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Where can I buy a French Television Licence?

Posted by David Greenwood - Created: 16 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Seeker-184579 - 16 years ago

AbbieR: yes, they will send you an annual bill after registering for the first time. 

According to the information behind this link, the cost hasn't changed since Jan 1st 2002, i.e. €116.50 p.a. for a colour TV [and €74.31 for a black & white TV - do they still exist?! - Oh! and if you install a TV in a place where drinks are served, the cost is €466 for colour and €297.24 for black & white...yawn!].  But as I don't have a TV any more, I wouldn't swear it hasn't gone up since then.

If you install a TV in a place where drinks are served, the cost is €466.

On the same site, you will learn that the redevance will cover any number of TVs at the same address, but (rather oddly) you are expected to declare each and every instance of acquisition of a TV within 30 days, whether bought, rented, given or lent to you.  You can temporarily move your TV from one residence to another to watch it wherever you like but you will pay for two 'licences' if you keep 2 TVs at 2 different adresses.

You can pay by one-off direct debit, cheque, bank transfer (T.I.P.) or in person in cash or by cheque at your local 'trésorerie' or in cash /by cheque /by credit card at your 'centre de redevance' (Toulouse, in the case of PACA residents).

If you don't pay by the due date indicated on the bill, you'll get a reminder within a few weeks and a 30% surcharge. If you still don't pay, they can prosecute and you may pay double the cost + a surcharge + legal costs.

You can also choose to pay in 3 instalments - these will be direct-debited on Feb 1st, Jun 1st  & Oct 1st of the following year if you apply for this method of payment before Dec 10th of the year of usage.

Only the French can make something so simple sound so complicated, eh?!  And it never ceases to amaze me how difficult it is to find out about the actual cost of things - on this occasion, the vital info was buried deep within one of the FAQs...

Seeker J

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Posted by Sol-192236 - 16 years ago

You mean we have to pay to see that cheesy guy on France 3 in the mornings?!!!!!!!

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago

Black Cat

I should have used the word 'state' rather than 'prove', because you are correct.  They send a demand to all homes which are registered for 'taxe d'habitation' and as you say the occupant then has to either cough up or state that he doesn't have a TV.


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Posted by Black Cat-192495 - 16 years ago

MikeP. The homeowner doesn't have to "prove" anything of the kind. If he receives a request for the licence fee he simply has to return it stating that he doesn't have a TV. This has happened to me twice and I was believed both times. A lawyer friend advised me to do this and he was right. (It must be said that, in both cases I did not have a TV in the flat and therefore was telling the truth.)This doesn't mean they won't check to be sure you're stating the truth (although in my cases no check was done to my knowledge).Those who don't pay should be grateful they're not living in the UK where detector vans are everywhere, inspections are common and the fine is £1000. In France the fine is only 3 time the licence fee. In other words, if you get away with it for 3 years, your already ahead.... not that I would recommend that anyone break the law in this way.

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Posted by AbbieR - 16 years ago

My principle (only) residence is here in France. Anyone know how much it costs?


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Posted by David Greenwood - 16 years ago

Thank you - thre is even a map on the site to show where the nearest redevance office is at


thank you




David Greenwood

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Posted by gordygrk2-184034 - 16 years ago

If you're principle residence is in the UK, then the demand will be sent to that address. Dont wory about it as this can take over a year, as in our case.



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Posted by AbbieR - 16 years ago

I can see the form for registering, but how much is the licence and how do you pay for it? Do they send you a bill after registering or do you send money with the form?



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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago

There is no market for TV detector vans here because the assumption is that every home has a TV and therefore must have a licence, the onus being placed on the householder to prove that he doesn't have a TV.  (Guilty until proved innocent!).

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Posted by Seeker-184579 - 16 years ago

Yes, you can register for a 'TV licence' ("redevance audiovisuelle" - this in fact a government tax) by simply filling out and submitting the on-line form, here.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Alternatively, you can write to:

Centre régional de la redevance de TOULOUSE

19 place des Carmes

Téléphone :
Télécopie :


Hope this helps.


Having said this, I know some otherwise perfectly honest French people who go to great lengths to avoid paying this tax - it's a kind of national principle, I think.  Makes me think there is a totally untapped market for TV detector vans over here...