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Tennessee Marriage License and Blood Test Requirements

If you want to get married in Tennessee, you and your future spouse must get a marriage license from the local county clerk's office. Bring your ID or birth certificate to prove your date of birth and proof of your social security number (if you have one). You also need to know your parents names, where they were born, and address, if living. Some counties allow you to submit a marriage pre-application and then come to the office to show identification and sign the application.

The marriage license fee is around $100 in most counties. Tennessee residents can save $60.00 off this fee simply by completing a premarital preparation course within a year before applying for the marriage license. The marriage preparation course (four or more hours) can be taken with a psychologist, psychological examiner, therapist, counselor, social worker, religious leader, or pastoral therapist. Bring the signed and notarized Certificate of Completion with you to the clerk's office.

Criminal Penalties

Tennessee law provides for several criminal penalties for failing to follow marriage application laws. First, fraudulently signing or using false documents to marry when you're under age is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by not more than 30 days in jail and a $50 fine. Also, county clerks who issue a marriage licenses without complying with the law (for example, issuing to same-sex couples) commit a Class C misdemeanor. Lastly, officiants who either solemnize marriages between two incapable of marrying or fail to sign and return the license to the clerk within three days of the marriage commit a Class C misdemeanor.

Tennessee Marriage License and Blood Test Requirements: Statutes

The Tennessee marriage licensing requirements are outlined in the following table.

Code Sections

Tennessee Code Title 36: Domestic Relations, Chapter 3: Marriage

Where to Get a Marriage License?

County Clerk's Office

Age Requirements

18 years old or 16 with the consent of both parents, guardian, next of kin, or the state (wards of state). If a child 15 or younger wishes to marry, the court must waive the age requirement and permit the license be granted. This is only done under limited circumstances.

Residency Requirements

None. Non-residents may be able to get the $60 fee for not doing premarital counseling removed in some counties

Identification Requirements

Your ID such as driver's license, passport, or state, military or tribal identification, or certified birth certificate showing your date of birth and your Social Security card or other proof of the number

Blood Test Requirements

None since 1987

Waiting Period

None, if over 18 or parents accompany minor applicants, otherwise notices must be sent to parents or guardians

Same-Sex Marriage

Tennessee has a constitutional amendment and statute defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The law states same sex marriages from another state are considered void and unenforceable in Tennessee. A 2014 federal lawsuit seeking the recognition of three same-sex marriages that occurred in other states temporarily required the recognition of just those three marriages. This area of law is constantly changing.

Prior Marriage

If you've been married before, you must know the number of prior marriages and the date the last marriage ended. If you were married, but have been unable to get a divorce due to not knowing where your spouse is, the marriage is considered dissolved for purposes of remarrying if your spouse has been absent for five years and isn't known to be living.

Common Law Marriages

Common law marriages (for example, living together for a set number of years and holding yourselves out as a married couple) aren't recognized in Tennessee. However, Tennessee will recognize a common law marriage that was entered into in another state that does recognize them.

How Long is the License Valid?

A Tennessee marriage license is valid for 30 days, couples can perform the ceremony in the state or elsewhere, and couples can marry the same day (no waiting period).

Who Can Preside Over the Ceremony?

A marriage can be solemnized by any preacher, rabbi, religious leader, current or former judges, mayors, or legislators, the governor, or the county clerk. The license must be returned to the county clerk within three days of the ceremony.

Where to Get a Marriage Certificate?

You can get a marriage certificate from the county clerk where you received and returned the signed license. You can also order a certificate at the Tennessee Vital Records in Nashville or online for $15.

If you have questions about your future marriage, it may be helpful to consult an experienced Tennessee family law attorney before tying the knot.

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