Second home owners can now apply for exemption from double payment of the license fee. No refund is provided.

The license fee is to be increased on January 1, 2021.

KLess than a month after the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling on the broadcasting fee, owners of second homes can officially apply for exemption from the fee. The responsible contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio announced this Thursday that appropriate forms were available. In mid-July, the constitutional court in Karlsruhe declared the contribution to be essentially constitutional, but overturned the obligation to pay contributions for second homes.

Since 2013, the license fee has been charged per apartment and is no longer tied to a receiving device such as a television like the previous fee. Currently 17.50 euros are to be paid per month. The constitutional court declared this financing model for public broadcasting to be essentially constitutional. However, the judges considered the obligation to pay contributions for a second home to be incompatible with the Basic Law.

A new regulation must therefore be found by June 30, 2020. Until then, according to the ruling, apartment owners who are already paying for an apartment can apply for exemption from their obligation to pay for additional apartments.

The contribution service created the prerequisites for this. The exemption is in principle possible retrospectively to July 18 – the day of the Karlsruhe judgment – declared the administrative community of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. The forms are available online at, but they can also be sent.

According to the information, applicants have to prove that a main and a secondary residence are registered for them. The applications will be processed one after the other and excessively paid contributions will be reimbursed. All citizens who have already submitted an informal application for exemption would be contacted if information was missing.