Licence Fee for Public Broadcasting

Do I have to pay "Rundfunkbeitrag"?

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Whenever you turn on the TV or radio, you can choose from a variety of channels. In Germany, the companies which operate these channels are divided into two main categories: private broadcasting and public broadcasting companies. Private broadcasters finance themselves through advertising, but the public broadcasting companies, e.g. ARD and ZDF, are primarily funded through licence fees paid by the public. Everyone who lives in Germany must pay such licence fees so that they can benefit from public broadcasting - whether they actually use the services or not. Public service broadcasting contributions are regulated by the Public broadcasting State Treaty ("Rundfunkbeitragsstaatsvertrag").

What Do I Need To Know?

How much is the licence fee for public broadcasting?

Who has to pay licence fees for public broadcasting?

How should I register?

What if I do not register?

Are there any deadlines I need to keep in mind?

Can I get exempt from paying licence fees?

Do asylum seekers have to pay licence fees?

What do I have to consider as a self-employed person?

Where can I find advice and support?


Some scammers send fake payment requests. Whenever you receive a payment request which seems to be from the Contributions' Service, first check your contribution number ("Beitragsnummer") and your address on the letter. Scammers, in principle, cannot know your actual contribution number. If in doubt, call the Contributions' Service and make sure the letter comes from them.