Apply for a radio broadcast licence


We continue to receive a large number of applications for licences to broadcast drive-in services, such as drive-in movies. The laws and guidance in relation to whether they may lawfully be held are different in different parts of the UK. These laws and guidance may also be subject to change, and with little advance warning, depending on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Please note, we require at least 60 clear days (two months) between the date Ofcom receives your application and your proposed broadcast start date. If you have already sent Ofcom an application for an RSL licence without giving this 60 days’ notice, you have confirmed to us that you acknowledge the risk but wish to progress, despite us not being able to guarantee that we will be able to provide the outcome of your application in time. If you have not yet sent Ofcom an application for an RSL licence, please note that if you do not give us 60 days to process it, it is now unlikely that your application will be processed in time for your broadcast start date. You will be asked to confirm if you wish to continue with your application under these circumstances. In both cases the application fee is non-refundable if you opt to progress.

Find out more information about how we license drive-in services

Please note, we are currently receiving a large number of applications for RSLs. We require at least 60 clear days (two months) between the date Ofcom receives your application and your proposed broadcast start date. If you have already sent Ofcom an application for an RSL licence without giving this 60 days’ notice, you have confirmed to us that you acknowledge the risk but wish to progress, despite us not being able to guarantee that we will be able to provide the outcome of your application in time. If you have not yet sent Ofcom an application for an RSL licence, please note that if you do not give us 60 days to process it, it is now unlikely that your application will be processed in time for your broadcast start date. You will be asked to confirm if you wish to continue with your application under these circumstances. In both cases the application fee is non-refundable if you opt to progress.

Application window for 2021 period of high-demand – short-term restricted service licences (‘SRSLs’)

The application window closed on 16 October 2020 and we are now carrying out the next steps outlined in the notes of guidance for licensees and applicants for short-term restricted service licences’ (PDF, 431.5 KB)

Statement: Short-term restricted service licensing review
Published 19 November 2019

Short-term RSL application form (ODT, 71.2 KB)
Updated June 2020

Short-term RSLs: guidance notes for licence applicants and licensees (PDF, 431.5 KB)
Updated June 2020

Long-term RSL and Audio Distribution Systems RSLs: Guidance notes for licence applicants (PDF, 730.0 KB)
Updated June 2020

Long-term RSL application form (ODT, 70.8 KB)
Updated June 2020

Audio Distribution Systems RSL (ADS-RSL) application form (RTF, 861.8 KB)

ADS-RSL service information form to change or add services to an Audio Distribution Systems RSL licence (RTF, 858.5 KB)

ADSRSL LRSL Licence contact update form

Short Term RSL standard form licence (PDF, 644.4 KB)

Long Term RSL standard form licence (PDF, 705.3 KB)

ADS-RSL standard form licence (PDF, 704.2 KB)

Compliance checklist for radio broadcast content (PDF, 161.0 KB)