Tennessee Marriage License

If you're getting married in Tennessee, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $93.50 to $107.50, and you'll have to use it within 30 days.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

Where do I get a marriage license?

You can apply for a Tennessee marriage license at any county clerk's office. Either the county clerk or deputy clerk will help you.

Costs

How much does a marriage license cost?

The Tennessee marriage license fee varies by county, ranging from $93.50 to $107.50, with $100 being the most common price point.

Residency

Are there any residency conditions?

There are no marriage license residency requirements.

Usage

Where can I use my marriage license?

Your Tennessee marriage license can be used anywhere in the state, but only in Tennessee.

Application

What information will the application ask for?

The marriage license application will ask for your current name, birth name, birth date, birthplace, gender, address, address after marriage, phone number, social security number, race, education completed, marital history, and parents' names, birth names, and birthplaces.

Can I submit my application online?

Most Tennessee counties allow you to submit the marriage license application online. You must pick up and pay for the license at the county clerk's office.

Attendance

What if I can't apply in person?

You can submit a notarized absentee application or statement if you're a member of the U.S. armed forces serving overseas, incarcerated, or unable to appear due to a disability. Otherwise, you must apply together, in person.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to get married?

Aged 18 and over?

Any adult aged 18 or over is free to marry without soliciting anyone's consent.

Aged 17?

If you're 17 years old, you can get married to someone no more than four years your senior with the consent of a custodial parent, guardian, or next of kin. Consent can be granted in person or through a notarized affidavit.

Aged 16 and under?

Marriage below the age of 17 has been banned, effective May 21, 2018.

Premarital Education

What's the benefit of taking a premarital preparation course?

The marriage license fee will be reduced by $60 if you and your fiancé each present a notarized premarital preparation course certificate of completion signed by the instructor within the past year.

Waiting Period

When will I get my license?

You'll receive your marriage license immediately. You can marry that same day.

Expiration

How long will my marriage license last?

Your marriage license will expire 30 days after it's been issued.

Identification

What form of ID should I bring?

Virtually any valid government-issued photo ID is acceptable, such as a driver's license, military ID card, passport, green card, or visa.

Will I also have to show my birth certificate?

If you're under 18 years old, bring a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you look less than 21, the clerk might want to see your certificate.

Blood Test

Do I have to get a blood test?

There is no longer a blood test requirement before getting married.

Divorced

What if I'm previously divorced?

Divorcees do not have to bring proof of divorce. Knowing the divorce date is sufficient.

Widowed

What if I'm a widow or widower?

Widows and widowers do not have to bring evidence of their late spouse's death. Just know the date of death.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required at my ceremony?

Witnesses are not required to participate in your marriage ceremony.

Name Change

How do I change my name due to marriage?

Name change after marriage isn't an automatic process. Although your marriage certificate authorizes you to change your name, you have to submit the necessary forms. You can use an online name change service to help complete the process.

License Return

When does my license need to be sent back?

Your marriage license must be returned to the issuing county clerk to be recorded in the marriage registry no later than three days after your marriage ceremony.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?

A certified copy of your marriage certificate can be purchased for $5 from the county clerk's office where you applied for your marriage license. The state's office of vital records also sells it for $15.

Common-law Marriage

Can I enter into a common-law marriage?

Although you can't establish a common-law marriage in Tennessee, the state will recognize one lawfully established in another jurisdiction.

Cousin Marriage

Can I marry my first cousin?

Marriage among first cousins is permitted.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married by proxy?

You cannot have a proxy take your place during the marriage ceremony. You must be physically present to exchange vows.

Civil Ceremony

Can I get married in a civil ceremony?

You may ask the county clerk to schedule your civil ceremony with a judge at the county courthouse. Some county clerks also officiate.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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  1. So me and my husband went to get our marriage license, got the preacher to sign it, and when we went to turn it in names and social security numbers were put in wrong and what not.

    They gave us another license and told us to just get the preacher to sign it and bring it back. It's been 7 months since then and we still haven't went to see that preacher again.

    Could we still go get him to sign that one and turn it in? Is our license not valid anymore and we'd have to pay the money for license all over again?

    1. Could we still go get him to sign that one and turn it in?

      Yes, you can still go to your preacher after all this time has passed and get him to sign.

      There isn't a time limit to correct your marriage record.

      Is our license not valid anymore and we'd have to pay the money for license all over again?

      Your license is valid. Your marriage is valid. You do not have to pay for another license. That isn't an option anyway, since you're already married.

      It's in the county clerk's interest to make sure their records are properly amended so that the state's vital records also has corrected records.

  2. What are the requirements to get married in the courthouse? And what is the fee?

    1. What are the requirements to get married in the courthouse?

      You'll have to make an appointment.

      And what is the fee?

      You'll have to contact the courthouse for their fees. Some offices will perform your civil ceremony free of charge.

    1. Hi Brad. The course fee varies by instructor. They set their own rates. Ballpark is $20 to $30.

    1. Hi Tina. If you're referring to a courthouse ceremony, that's up to the judge. It's unlikely though.

  3. I applied over the weekend for a marriage license.I was checking if it was received? What fees will needed to be paid? Thanks

    1. Hi William. You'll have to pay the application fee, which is approximately $100.

  4. Our church offers pre-marital counseling for couples. Does that count as a pre-marital counseling course or is there a list of approve courses somewhere?

  5. I never got my name changed back to my maiden name after my divorce - I still have my hyphenated last name (maiden-married) and now I’m getting remarried. Do I have to bring anything about my divorce with me to get my new marriage license?

    1. Do I have to bring anything about my divorce with me to get my new marriage license?

      No. But make sure you remember the date your divorce was finalized.

  6. This info was from another website ( https://www.aclu-tn.org/general-requirements-marriage-tennessee/ ) regarding Marriage in TN:

    "Are we required to get premarital counseling before getting our license?

    No, but it will save you about $60.00. If you provide the county clerk with a valid and timely certificate of completion of a premarital preparation course conducted by an authorized counselor, approximately $60 of your marriage license fee will be waived.(12)."

    So, basically, it's "Legal Extortion" to charge people MORE money to acquire a marriage license, if they choose NOT to get pre-marriage counseling.

    We have been together for 10+ years and decided to Honor our Union Officially. No Pre-Marriage Counseling is going to change the way that we love and honor and treat each other.

    But yet, we're being PENALIZED for not joining the Status Quo? Because our belief system may be different than the majority of the State?

    We were told in a very disrespectful way by the Centerville County Clerk, "That's the way it is, take it or leave it!"

    Whatever happened to the "Separation of Church and State"?

    1. It's the same price whether you take the course or not. You pay $60 for the course and it saves you $60 on the wedding license. Still comes out to $100.

      1. Only costs $100 if you have a completion certificate when applying.

  7. My fiancé and I are looking to get married in Tennessee but currently live in Maryland. What would we need to do for out of state residents? Could we apply and pick up the license same day? Or is there a waiting period?

    1. What would we need to do for out of state residents?

      Nothing different.

      Could we apply and pick up the license same day? Or is there a waiting period?

      Yes. There's no waiting period.

  8. When can we schedule an appointment to get married and who do we call to make the appointment

    1. Hi Charles. Availability varies. You'll have to phone your county clerk for their schedule. Check the offices lookup on this page to find your local office.

  9. Is it possible to get married as a tourist without a social security number?

    1. Hi Tim. Non-U.S. citizens don't need to supply a social security number.

  10. When you call about getting married at the courthouse who do you talk to?

  11. Can you still get married at the courthouse in Bolivar, by a judge or justice of the peace? If yes, do we need to make a appointment and what documents need to be brought with us? We have been married before and would like to get license and all in one stop.

    1. Can you still get married at the courthouse in Bolivar

      You'll have to contact the courthouse about availability.

      by a judge or justice of the peace

      Perhaps by a judge. Also inquire if the county clerk is willing and available to do so.

      do we need to make a appointment

      That's likely.

      what documents need to be brought with us?

      The same documents you'll need when applying for a marriage license: government-issued photo ID and birth certificate (for minors).

      would like to get license and all in one stop

      This would be possible if you make sure to schedule your ceremony to coincide with your application date.

  12. Our preacher is turning in our marriage license. When or how do we get our marriage certificate?

    1. When or how do we get our marriage certificate?

      After it's been returned, contact either the county clerk's office you obtain your marriage license or from the TN vital records office. It's faster to get it from the county clerk's office.

      1. Can I turn in my own marriage license after the ceremony?

  13. Got licensed on October 8 and we got married on October 16. We’re just now getting back from our honeymoon and we haven’t turn in our marriage license back to the county clerk yet. Will they still accept it?

  14. How long after we fill out the online application do we have to pick up and pay for the license?

      1. I would like to know the answer to this, too. I'm applying with Wilson County.

  15. My fiancée is in the hospital and won't be able to come in person. How do I get the absentee paperwork so we can get a license?

    1. How do I get the absentee paperwork so we can get a license?

      Get it from the county clerk's office.

  16. We live in TN and got married in TN but we had a VA marriage license because we were originally going to get married in VA but had to change to TN at the last minute. Is our marriage valid?

    1. Hi Jodie. A VA marriage license would not be valid in TN. The subsequent marriage wouldn't be valid.

  17. How long after we do the online application that we can actually come in and get/pay for our license? Could we apply the same day we come to pick it up? We’re doing this in Wilson County.

  18. Can we pick our own date and time when it's a courthouse wedding? I have a plan and want to make sure it happens

    1. Can we pick our own date and time when it's a courthouse wedding?

      Maybe. It depends on the court's availability and flexibility.

  19. I just filled out an online marriage license. Do I need to set up an appointment with the Montgomery County Clerks office for us to come in person to finish it or can I just walk in?

    1. Hi Madison. I don't believe the Montgomery County Clerk's office requires appointments to finish your marriage license application. They do limit the number of people allowed in the office at a time though.

      You can call them to make certain. And it's worth asking if they've received your electronic application.

  20. We planned on getting married this past November, we had to postpone due to a family death. We got the license and paid for it in Davidson County.

    Is there anyway we can get another license without going in person? It's past the 30 days but difficult for us to both get off from work before our wedding in March

  21. We lost our marriage license so we need another one.

    1. Hi Betty. If you're unmarried and need a new marriage license to complete your marriage ceremony, then contact the county clerk's office where you applied about issuing a duplicate.

      If you're married and need a certified copy of your missing marriage certificate, then still contact the same county clerk to purchase a new one.

  22. I spoke to the county clerk in Montgomery County. She said she could issue the license, but that they could not perform the ceremony because it would be a conflict of interest. She did not offer the service of a judge or Justice of the peace.

    Our only alternative is a notary signing service that charges $200.00 'for an elopement'. It this a scam?

    By the way, we are senior citizens who have lived together for 13 years, we aren't eloping LOL

    1. Our only alternative is a notary signing service that charges $200.00 'for an elopement'. It this a scam?

      Regular, for hire, non-notary officiants and ministers also charge around $200, as it's a for-profit service.

      You can try an another county clerk's office to see if they'll either officiate or can recommend a judge. You don't have to marry in the same county (or clerk's office) where you got your marriage license.

  23. My fiancé and I are getting married in Wilson County, went on the website to start looking into what we need to do to get our marriage license and the website says at least one of us has to be a resident of the county.

    How does that work? Neither of us are residents of Wilson County but that is where our venue is. What are we supposed to do to get our marriage license since neither of us are residents?

    1. Hi Gabi. You may apply at another county clerk's office. Your marriage license is good for use statewide. Trousdale, Smith, and Rutherford County are nearby counties.

  24. We are from OH but want to marry in TN, after getting the license turned in, if we return to OH will we be able to get our certificate?

    Like can it be mailed back to OH or do we need to stay in TN and pick it up? How long would it take to get the certificate after turning in the License?

    1. Hi Lee. Your Tennessee marriage certificate can be mailed to an out-of-state address.

  25. How do we turn in our marriage license for TN if we elope out of state? Can we fax it in?

    1. How do we turn in our marriage license for TN if we elope out of state?

      You can't. Your Tennessee marriage license is only valid if your marriage took place in Tennessee.

  26. I am an ordained minister, and my granddaughter wants to have a friend perform her wedding and have me sign their marriage license. I live in Indiana and have performed weddings in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

    As I remember from those states the individual performing the wedding must sign the license for it to be legal. I do not want to sign it and invalidate it or get myself into legal trouble. What is the law regarding this in Tennessee?

    1. The following is quoted from Tennessee Code, section 36-3-303:

      One authorized by § 36-3-301 who solemnizes the rite of matrimony shall endorse on the license the fact and time of the marriage, and sign the license, and return it to the county clerk within three (3) days from the date of marriage.

      In other words, the person who performs the marriage must sign the marriage license.

  27. My fiance is currently incarcerated and we are trying to get married. What do we need to do & what paperwork do we need?

    1. Hi Tameica. You and your intended spouse must write to the prison chaplain, requesting to get married. They'll complete the paperwork and clear it with the warden.

  28. Is a course fee required? Must a course be completed before the ceremony? If I can get married the day the license is issued, how would that work? I'm not a TN resident and will be doing this over a long weekend.

    1. Is a course fee required?

      Yes, whoever conducts the course will charge you.

      Must a course be completed before the ceremony?

      Yes, but completing the course is optional.

      If I can get married the day the license is issued, how would that work?

      You'll have to complete the course before applying. You'll need to show your certificate of completion. It's up to you to find an instructor who would accommodate.

      I'm not a TN resident and will be doing this over a long weekend.

      You can search for online courses in Tennessee. Keep in mind, state law requires the course to take at least four hours.

  29. In the state of TN is it 30 days prior to your wedding ceremony that you can apply for marriage license or is it 90 days?

    1. Hi Natalie. It's 30 days. Tennessee marriage licenses are only good for 30 days after they're issued.

  30. Do you have to take the course or can you get married without it? If the course is taken, is the amount for both people or apiece?

    1. Hi Jewels. Taking the premarital course is optional. The course provider sets the rates, whether a single charge or dual. Both of you must complete the course to get the $60 discount.

  31. Can you have guests at your wedding ceremony at the courthouse? If so, how many can you have?

    1. Hi Kristie. Witnesses are usually a nonissue, but you should clear this with the court clerk in advance regarding capacity. They might prefer to hold your ceremony in a different room, depending on the number of attendees.

  32. Question, we are getting married by my uncle who is a resident of TN and was indoctrinated by the universal life church to marry us. He is also a large part of our religious upbringing. I've Applied online for the marriage license, but I heard a rumor I need to seek a different person to sign off on my marriage license? Is this true?

    1. I heard a rumor I need to seek a different person to sign off on my marriage license? Is this true?

      Tennessee statutes don't exclude family members from officiating.

  33. I am getting married in Gatlinburg, but I don't have my social security card and the number isn't on my drivers license. What other ways can I provide my social security number that is acceptable?

    1. Hi Jamie. You do not have to show your social security card. Just write your social security number down on the application.

    1. HI Holly. Your marriage can take place in the county courthouse. Just as the county clerk to schedule it for you. Or you can get married anywhere else in TN.

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