During your stay in Saarbrücken you will receive a letter from the „ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice“.
You can find information on their service in 6 languages online:

What is the “ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice”?

This is a service that collects the fee for radio, TV and internet which every German citizen has to pay – even if you do not own any of these devices!
The monthly payment is €18,36 (as of July 2021) and usually the money is being paid on a 3-month basis (€55,08).

Who has to pay?

Every person living in Germany, regardless of nationality, even Erasmus students and other exchange students.
If you live in shared housing, then it depends on the exact form of housing whether you have to pay by yourself or if you can share the payment with your flatmates.

How exactly does the system work in single apartments / shared?

  • Single apartments are counted as single residences. Here, every individual inhabitant has to pay the contribution fee of €18,36 per month.
  • Double apartments (“Dublette”) and the so-called residential groups (i.e., shared apartments “WG”) are each considered as one residence, meaning only one student per apartment has to pay.
  • In the dormitory buildings - which have a shared kitchen and/or bathroom for everyone on that floor, the legal situation is not quite clear. The “ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice” will probably try to define each room as a “residence”, meaning that all inhabitants would have to individually pay the whole contribution fee. You can nevertheless try to claim your whole floor as one residence.

What do I have to do?

Once you have received the letter: attached you will find a paper to register for the service. On this paper you have to mark the date of your move into this room and you can choose to transfer the money every three months yourself or to give them your bank account and let them take it (we strongly advise the first option!)

If you live with other people in a house which has shared facilities (“WG”), then all members of the apartment will be considered to live in one household.

In this case, one of the roommates will have to register and pay the full fee. You then have to share the costs for fee amongst all inhabitants of the flat. If the other flat mates receive this paper as well, you can fill in the field on the document that is marked with „someone else is already paying for our apartment“. This way, only one student per household pays the fee and you can share the costs.