How Do I Get a Marriage License in Tennessee?



     Congratulations! You’re engaged and it’s time to find out the details about how to get married.  Since county and state requirements regarding a marriage license change periodically, we encourage you to verify this general information with your local county. You can also look at the U.S. Marriage Laws website and individual county websites, where we obtained our information.

What documentation will I need to get a marriage license?

     * Proof of your birth date in the form of a certified birth certificate or a State issued Photo ID

     * Your Social Security number

What about blood tests and waiting periods?

     Blood tests are no longer required in Tennessee.  If you are 18 or older, there is no waiting period.  Those under 18 will need to fill out an underage application, which has a 3 day waiting period, unless waived by a County Mayor or Court of Record.  If both parents of underage individuals accompany those who apply, the waiting period can be waived.

How long will the application be good and can I use it in another county or state?

     Applications are good for 30 days including the date of issue and are good for all of Tennessee. Weddings may take place outside of Tennessee for those 16 and older, but the license must be returned to the issuing clerk within 3 days following the marriage. For those who are under 16, the application is only good in Tennessee. It would be a good idea to check with the local clerk in your county in Tennessee and in the area in which you desire to be wed to confirm details.

What fees are involved and how do I get a discount?

     In addition to the $93.50-$99.50 cost of the license, some counties charge a small fee. A $60 discount is available to those who complete a marriage preparation course within a year of their applying for a license.  Present the certificate from the completed course, which usually requires notarization, to the clerk when applying to get your discount.  In some counties, a $60 discount may be given if those applying are not Tennessee residents. You will need evidence of where you have your residency. Contact the specific county for details.

What information is needed to get a marriage license and who has to be present?

     * Basic information including name, address, birth date, and location of birth will be required for both parties.

     * Parents’ full names (including mothers’ maiden names), states of birth, and current addresses (if living)

     * Number of prior marriages and date the last marriage ended (Death certificate of spouse or divorce certificate may be required)

     * In general, if you are 18 or older, both prospective bride and groom must be present.  Those under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian with them to apply in addition to both prospective bride and groom. Custodial parent must bring custody papers.

     * Those under 18 will often need court consent before being issued a license.

What types of marriages are recognized in Tennessee?

     * Legal aliens may wed in Tennessee and will need a passport and an American Visa with valid expiration dates. A Resident Alien Card is also accepted.

     * First cousin marriages are legal in Tennessee.

     * Common law marriages are not recognized in Tennessee.

Is my last name changed when I get married?

     Last name changes are not automatically done in Tennessee. If you want to change your name, see name change kit to get a kit online.

Can I apply online for a license?

     Pre-applications are available online. They will be sent to your local county clerk where you may go to pick up your license.

Help, I lost my marriage license! Where can I get a copy?

     Certified copies of marriage licenses can be obtained from Tennessee Vital Records, Department of Health, 421 5th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37243 (615) 741-1763 or online by searching “marriage license copy”. Both methods have a small fee. 

Congratulations and Best Wishes from Always Yours Occasions, LLC!



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