How to Cancel a TV Licence After Someone Dies

Written by Fraser Stewart
Reading time 3 minutes
How to Cancel a TV Licence After Someone Dies image

Losing a loved one is a challenging and emotional experience, and during this difficult time, many practical matters need to be addressed. One of these considerations is managing a TV Licence on behalf of the deceased. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the importance of a TV Licence and provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to close or transfer it after the passing of a family member. By following this guide, you can ensure legal compliance and alleviate some of the stress associated with managing the estate of a loved one.

Understanding the TV Licence: A Comprehensive Overview 

A TV Licence is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom for anyone who watches or records live television broadcasts or uses certain streaming services like BBC iPlayer. The licence covers a wide range of channels and platforms, offering access to a variety of content, including news, entertainment, and sports. Some of the popular channels and platforms covered by a TV Licence include Sky, Freeview, Freesat, Virgin, ITV X, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Sky Go, and Now.

The TV Licence is not limited to traditional television sets but applies to any device used for watching or recording TV. This includes devices like digital boxes, games consoles, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Essentially, if you are watching or recording live TV on any device, you need a TV Licence.

Only one TV Licence is required per household, which simplifies the process and makes it more cost-effective. The cost of a TV Licence is £159 per year for a colour TV and £53.50 per year for black and white. For those aged over 75 and living at the same address, there is a free TV Licence available, known as the "Over 75 TV Licence." Additionally, individuals who are blind or severely sight-impaired can apply for a 50% concession on the cost of the licence.

In the following sections, we will discuss the steps to take when closing or transferring a TV Licence after the death of a loved one. This will help you maintain legal compliance while dealing with the complexities of managing their estate.

How do I inform TV Licensing of a death?

There are multiple scenarios that may arise if a TV Licence holder passes away. This article summarises these scenarios below for you to choose which is applicable to you. 

If the TV Licence is still required at the address

If the holder of the TV Licence has died, any other people living at the address will remain covered by the current TV licence. 

It is important to change the ownership of the TV Licence. There are many ways for you to do this: e-mail TV Licensing with their Contact us form or write to them at Customer Services, TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL.

When contacting TV Licensing, it is important to include:

If the TV Licence needs to be cancelled

If the TV Licence needs to be cancelled, you can fill out this form to cancel online. You must be authorised to act of their behalf and will need  to know the licence number, address, and the title, initial, and surname of the licence holder. 

In some cases, there may be a refund due which are calculated in unused months. For a refund to be due, there must be at least one month left before the licence expires. The executor for the estate can request a refund here.

If the account holder was over 75 and received a free TV Licence

If the person who has passed away was over 75 and received a free TV Licence, the free licence remains valid until it expires. If anyone else at the address is 74+ and receives Pension Credit, they may also be eligible for a free licence. If this is the case, you should contact TV Licensing on 0300 790 6165 to inform them that the licence holder has died and apply for a free licence. 

In this case that no one at the address is eligible for a free licence, you will need to contact TV Licensing to inform them that the licence holder has died and to provide them with the name of the person the licence is transferring to. When the free licence expires, TV Licensing will contact the new owner for renewal. To do this, call the contact centre on 0300 790 6165 or fill in their contact form. 

Do TV Licensing need a copy of the death certificate?

No, a copy of the death certificate is not required. 

How do I change Direct Debit details?

You can change Direct Debit details by writing to TV Licensing at Customer Services, TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL.

Within the letter, you will need to include the name and address of the licence holder who has passed away, along with their bank details. Additionally, you should include the new licence holder's name and bank account details. The new licence holder must also sign the letter.

For more information, please visit TV Licensing here.

Additional Resources

Our features

Powerful features to help you organise your life

Learn More
About us

We are here to make life planning simpler

Learn More