License Fee

The licence fee, a fee for all persons registered in Germany that has to be paid to the ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice

What is the Rundfunkbeitrag (license fee)?

Since 2013, the license fee has been the model for financing public service broadcasters in Germany (TV, radio, online streams). In doing so, they provide an importent part of public service, which is regulated in the state broadcasting treaty. The ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice (contribution service) is responsible for administering the license fees. The license fee is explicitly not a tax, but a separate earmarked contribution (solidarity model) and currently amounts to 18,36 euros per month and per household.

The mission / statutory mandate

  • To provide as many people as possible with information, education, advice and entertainment through their programmes every day
  • Providing independent information for all citizens
  • Providing a manifold and varied programme content for all people
  • Communicating German values

Who is affected by the license fee?

All people, who are registered in Germany and who are of legal age (18 years and older) have to pay the license fee. Although the license fee must be paid per household, each person living in the household should pay a share of it.

Who is exempted from the license fee?

Generally only upon application:

  • All recipients of basic state benefits
  • All people requiring care and people living in care facilities
  • Students who receive loans and grants under BAföG
  • War-disabled and people with impaired sensory perception