TN Marriage License

Every state has different marriage licensing laws. And each of the 95 counties within the State of Tennessee has slightly different procedures for obtaining a marriage license. Be sure to contact the County Clerk’s office where you will get your marriage license and follow their specific protocols. The following information is intended to break down the most important information for you, but may not contain everything you need to know. Here are a few links for County Clerk offices in some of the major counties:

Washington County  /  Sullivan County  /  Jefferson County

Click here for a directory of all County Clerk offices in TN

4 Most Important things to know

If you are getting married in Tennessee, then here are the 4 most important things to know:

  1. In most cases, you and your fiancé must appear in person at any County Clerk’s office in the State of Tennessee to acquire your Marriage License. However, specific rules vary county to county, and some counties may have alternatives to appearing in person.
  2. You must have valid Photo IDs and Social Security Cards. If you don’t have either of these, contact the County Clerk office for acceptable alternative documentation, like birth certificate, tax return, or W-2s.
  3. You must pay a fee directly to the County Clerk’s office when you acquire the license (this fee is not included in any of our package prices). The fee varies by county, but it will be around $100. They provide a discount of around 60% if you have taken a qualified premarital counseling program. 
  4. The license will expire 30 days after it is issued, so do not get the license until your wedding is less than 30 days away. But don’t wait too long in case there is an unexpected delay or shut down at the County Clerk’s office. 

Additional Things to Know

  • You do not need to be a resident of Tennessee to get married in the state.
  • You don’t have to get your license in the county where you are getting married. Every county in TN has a County Clerk’s office. You can get your license at any of them, as long as you are getting married within the State of TN.
  • The marriage license must be completed by your officiant and returned to the County Clerk’s office within 3 days of the wedding ceremony. 
  • TN does not require witnesses to be present for the wedding ceremony, only the couple and officiant. 
  • There is no waiting period in TN to get the license, but it will expire 30 days after it is issued.
  • If you are divorced, it must be legally finalized before getting married again. Proof of divorce is generally not required.
  • Individuals under the age of 18 must present additional documentation and permissions to get married (contact the County Clerk’s office for details).

Marriage Certificate

  • The document which provides legal proof that you are married is called the Marriage Certificate. You can request a certified original of your Marriage Certificate after your completed Marriage License has been returned and processed.
  • To request your Marriage Certificate, you will need to either contact the County Clerk’s office where you acquired the license, or use VitalCheck, a 3rd party online service. The cost varies.
  • The DMV, Social Security office, and Passport agency do not accept copies of the Marriage Certificate, only original certified documents issued by the County Clerk’s office.
  • You are still legally married even if you don’t have the physical Marriage Certificate, but you will need it to make a legal name change. To change your last name, go to the Social Security office first with an original Marriage Certificate. Then go to the DMV, and then the Passport agency with an original as well. Or just click here to avoid all the hassle!