How to Get Married in Tennessee

Illustration depicting wedding rings and iconic Tennessee landmarks

Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

When you're applying for a marriage license in Tennesse, there are a few things you need to know and documents that you will have to bring with you. It's recommended that you get this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your wedding date. Be aware that each county in Tennessee could have its own requirements, so it's best to double check with your local county clerk.

No blood test is required and there is no waiting period for marriage licenses.

ID and Residency Requirements

You will need a valid driver's license, certified birth certificate, or valid passport to get married in Tennessee. You must also provide your Social Security number; this is a non-negotiable requirement.

Passports are acceptable identification for those who are not U.S. citizens. You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee. If you have been divorced from a previous marriage, you will need to show a copy of your divorce decree.

Marriage License Fees

The marriage license fees may only be payable in cash in some counties, and some may accept debit cards. The fee for a marriage license varies from $93.50 to $99.50.

If you complete a premarital preparation course in the year prior to your application date, you will receive a $60.00 discount. You will need to provide a Certificate of Completion.

According to Tennessee Statutes 36-6-413-b-2, non-residents in some Tennessee municipalities can receive a $60 discount upon showing the county clerk proof that establishes they are not Tennessee residents. Call the county clerk where you want to get married to see if this discount will be available to you.

Non Permissible Marriages

Covenant marriages are not permissible in Tennessee.

Proxy marriages are not permissible. However, if an individual is incarcerated or has a "disability that prevents the applicant from appearing," a notarized statement that contains the "person's name, age, current address and the names and address of the parents, guardian or next of kin" may be accepted by the county clerk.

Common law marriages are not recognized in Tennessee.

Cousin Marriages

A marriage to a first cousin is allowed.

Same-Sex Marriages

Same-sex marriages are allowed in Tennessee. This came as a result of a June 2015 ruling in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges by the U.S. Supreme Court that found it unlawful to deny the right to marry to same-sex couples. Following the decision, Republican Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, made a statement saying that the state would follow the national decision.

Under 18

If either party is under the age of 18, they must be accompanied by parents. If under the age of 16, Tennessee law requires that the couple receives a court order before being allowed to marry.


Any ordained or licensed clergymen over the age of 18, and justices of the peace may officiate a marriage. A number of other officials may also perform your ceremony, including members of county legislative bodies, county executives and former county executives, current and former judges and chancellors of this state, current and former judges of general sessions courts, current and former governors of this state, the county clerk of each county, current and former speakers of the Senate and speakers of the house of representatives, and mayors of municipalities.


The marriage license is valid for 30 days. This means that you get married and have it officially recorded within that time period. If you do not, you will need to apply for a marriage license and pay the fee again.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage

To receive a copy of your marriage certificate, contact the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. Requests can be received in person at the Nashville office, through the mail, or via an online form.

The fastest way to get a copy is in person, which is done while you wait. It can take six weeks to fulfill your request using other methods. However, there is an expedited option available.

Verify Requirements

State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.