Austrian Dopers - Is this true?

Do you have to register with the government if you own a TV?

Google, “register austria television license”, Hit #1.

So what do I win? Or am I disqualified 'cause I’m not from Austria?


I love the Internet.

What if you are one of the lucky few (like I was once) who get radio reception thru a filling? Do you have to get a license (assuming it is your only receiver)? How would they know if you didn’t tell anyone?

I almost made a big mistake here. Carry on.

Switzerland also has (or had) such a law, and I have a great story from when my parents lived there.

My parents owned a radio, and had not purchased the required registration; their neighbors turned them in (the Swiss back then were a bunch of busybodies, apparently). A policeman came to the door and asked “Do you have a radio?” My Dad looked over to where the radio was playing, looked back and replied “Yes.” The policeman came in, examined the radio, and said (quivering in outrage) “This radio does not have a stamp! How can you play this radio without a stamp?”

Yeah, you guessed it – “It seems to work just fine.”

Dad bought a stamp.

I remember trying to buy a TV in the UK once and them wanting me to show them my TV license first. Fk them, I went someone else where they took my money no questions asked.

In Ireland and the United Kingdom a licence is required to own a television… The monies collected go to support the State television and radio stations… (RTE in Ireland, BBC in the UK)


I live in Germany,
we have the same thing. TV, Radio, car radio ~yes, I know, having a car radio is generally a standard feature, but they still make you pay a quarterly fee. Unlike Austria, I think we get charged for each item (I’ll have to ask my husband about that).

Furthermore, if you own a business (sports bar, video store) you have to do the same. You also need to pay a fee if you have a radio or band playing in your restaurant.

The Germans are still hounding me to pay this, specifically I think that it is the GBZ. But I haven’t lived in Germany for almost 2 years. They’re kind of like that paper boy in Better Off Dead: I want my $2!

As I understand, this fee is used to support the “free” German channels: EDF (Erste Deutsche Fernseher), ZDF (Zweite…) and some sports channels. You can consider the German equivalent of the NPR/PBS telethons. Except they’re mandatory.

I never had any idea this was so widespread. So nametag, the cops actually came to your folks house since the neighbors said they had an unapproved radio? Yikes.

So, is it like istara mentioned that you have to produce a “licence” when you purchase the equipment or do you just have to register it after the fact?

[sub]And us Canadians thought we had it rough having to register our guns. [/sub]

In Berlin, there used to be a truck that would cruise through the neighborhoods with sort of a strange NATO type dish on the roof…they would aim it at apartment blocks and could tell how many TV sets were on versus how many were legally registered.

The trick back then was to have an undated TV registration form filled out and placed next to your TV…that way, if the TV police came, you simply showed them the paperwork and told them you “just bought the TV today”.

Granted, you now had to register and pay the monthly fee, but you might never get the knock on the door.

If this all sounds too bizarre…next time there are commercials on TV, realize that is what is paying for your airtime…and next time PBS is begging for bucks, you are watching the polite version of the TV police.

The license is really a tax. They just put license on it to fool the people. Taxes are everywhere and on everything imaginable… whatever the traffic will bear.

Do not forget that all BBC TV and radio channels here in the UK do not have commercials to interupt the programmes. I am very happy to pay the just over £100 per year not to have my enjoyment spoiled by commercial breaks. The licence fee covers all TVs in one household. If you have just a radio you do not have to pay at all. Do you know that the Simpsons lasts just twenty minutes without all the adverts ?

Actually Rayne Man, most 30 minute programs minus commercials are closer to 22 minutes.

Here in Canada, CBC radio is commercial free although CBC TV is not.

What’s two minutes between friends !!

  • I paid in both Germany and Denmark.

It’s a tax, no more, no less.

And I do like the quality and cemmerciallessness of at least some of the programming, especially that in Denmark.

Besides, there’s precious little profit in making TV and radio in a language understood by less than 6 million people. So I guess it’s a conservation of culture thing, really.

I’ve never heard of the police using time on this - I’ve had people politely knocking on my door, asking if it could be true that I didn’t own a TV ? I then 'fessed up and we agreed that I’d owned it six months previously (in reality, more like five years) and he’d hand me a bill.

No biggie - politicians suggest putting it on the income tax every few years, get their heads duly chopped off by the non-TV-owning minority and then forget about it.

Around here two minutes between Friends is about 4-6 commercials (adverts).

The Post Office used to be responsible in this country for enforcing TV license evasion. I knew somebody who worked for that department and , although they had detector vans and other hardware, some of the best leads came from anonymous letters ,usually from neighbours who had had a big falling out and wanted to get their own back. The PO no longer carries out this work. It is now done by the Department of Trade and Industry or whatever they now call themselves. The only time the police are involved is if things turn a bit nasty.

ShibbOleth said:

>> As I understand, this fee is used to support the “free” German channels <<

but they STILL run commercials! ARGH!
kitty <hoping this won’t dupe as I was having trouble posting the first two times>

OK, I’m a bit confused. I realize this will vary from country to country but here are a couple of questions.

  1. Is this a one time fee or a yearly fee?

  2. Is it per TV/radio or per houshold?

  3. If you have a cable hook up, in which you are already paying for TV service, do you still have to pay the tax?