Students and Apprentices

The public broadcasting services in Germany offer a high-quality information and entertainment programme as well as independent reporting – on the radio, television and internet. This programming is made possible by the licence fee, which is currently 17.50 euros per month. As part of a contributory financing model, everyone is obligated in principle to pay this fee.

Even you, as students and apprentices, are required to pay it in principle if you live in your own dwelling and not with your parents, for example. However, under certain conditions, you can apply for an exemption from the licence fee.

Go to 'Information in Other Languages'

I still live at home. Do I have to pay the licence fee?

If you are a student still living at home, your parents pay the licence fee. In case you receive a letter from the contribution service, please respond by providing the licence fee contribution number for the dwelling in which you live.

back to 'Frequently Asked Questions'

 

I live in a flat-sharing community (Wohngemeinschaft, WG). Who pays?

In a WG, only one resident is always required to register [in German] with the contribution service. All other residents who have already registered can deregister. If the contribution service asks you as a WG resident to clarify your contribution obligation, please send the service the contribution number of the person who is paying the licence fee for the dwelling.

In a WG, it is only possible to be exempt from the obligation to pay the licence fee if everyone meets the requirement for the exemption. If one occupant does not meet the requirement, he must register his name with the contribution service and pay the licence fee.

back to 'Frequently Asked Questions'

 

I live in a student hall of residence. Do I have to pay?

If your room is located on a generally accessible hallway, it is considered as a dwelling. It does not matter if you have your own bathroom or kitchen: The monthly licence fee of 17.50 euros per room must be paid.

If several rooms are separated from a generally accessible hallway or staircase by a common front door, the rules for a flat-sharing community apply.

Provided no licence-fee account for a dwelling exists, the contribution service recommends that you register [in German] to promptly pay the license fee to avoid possible claims for recovery.

back to 'Frequently asked questions'

 

I am doing an apprenticeship. Do I have to pay the licence fee?

If you are currently doing an apprenticeship and receive an apprenticeship allowance, you are not entitled to an exemption. Even if the apprenticeship allowance is low, you are not entitled to an exemption. Please register [in German] if no licence-fee account has been set up yet.

On the contrary, you can apply for an exemption from the contribution obligation [in German] if you do not live with your parents and receive the following public benefit:

  • Vocational training assistance pursuant to §§ 114, 115 No. 2 of the Third Book of the Social Security Code or pursuant to the Third Chapter, Third Subparagraph of the Third Book of the Social Security Code

back to 'Frequently Asked Questions'

 

As a student, I receive BAföG, a student grant. How does this affect things?

If you receive BAföG and do not live with your parents, you can apply for an exemption from the licence fee [in German]. The exemption also applies to spouses or registered partners, but not to other occupants.

back to 'Frequently Asked Questions'

 

What is the rule for those who have completed a voluntary social year, Erasmus students or other grant holders?

Those who have completed a voluntary social year, Erasmus students or other grant holders are in principle required to pay the fee. The same rules apply to them as to all other contributors. Please register [in German] if you still do not have a contribution account.

back to 'Frequently Asked Questions'

 

How can I apply for an exemption?

Are you entitled to an exemption from the licence fee? The online form [in German] guides you step by step through the application. To further speed up the process, we would ask you to please attach the necessary proof directly to the application.

back to 'Frequently Asked Questions'