Every household and office in Germany is legally obliged to pay a monthly public broadcasting license fee, the so-called "Rundfunkbeitrag". The fee helps to finance public service broadcasting programmes on television, radio stations and the internet.
The fee is currently set at €17,50 per month and is mandatory for everyone with a registered address in Germany ─ regardless of the amount of TVs or radios they own and whether or not they ever use public broadcasting. After registering your residence with the city, you can expect an invoice in your mailbox within a few weeks.
The fee is only paid once per household, meaning:
- 1 person in an apartment = 1 licence fee
- 1 family in an apartment = 1 licence fee
- 1 flatshare = 1 licence fee
Recipients of social welfare can apply for an exemption. People with disabilities pay a reduced fee.
Further information can be found on the website of ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice.