Check Out Free Tennessee Marriage Records (License Search)

Free Tennessee Marriage Record Search
Access anyone's marital information in Tennessee, free of charge.

Search free Tennessee marriage records to discover details about who is married in the state. The Tennessee Public Records Act gives citizens access to many government documents, including marriage licenses.

This marital information can be found in no time — as long as individuals know where to search. Utilize this streamlined resource to uncover information and helpful step-by-step instructions about how to find out if someone is married in Tennessee.

Who Can Access Marriage Records & Certificates in Tennessee?

Citizens may search free marriage records in Tennessee for a variety of reasons.

In some cases, they might conduct a marriage background check to determine if a person is or has been married. This information might be helpful if they’re in a relationship with the person or about to sign a prenup.

Others might be learning about their ancestry and choose to explore marriage records to conduct genealogical research. Also, couples who wed in Tennessee may require a certified copy of their marriage license to verify their union to open a joint bank account, file their taxes, apply for passports, or work with an adoption agency. Fortunately, the state has a broad public records law that makes these documents available for citizens.

Interested individuals can search public marriage records through several government agencies at the state and local levels. The Tennessee Public Records Act (TCA Code 10-7-503) makes public records, including marriage licenses, accessible to all citizens.1

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the state issues certified copies of marriage certificates to the married parties or someone acting as a representative of these parties.

However, record seekers may request non-certified copies of marriage certificates or tap into state and county archives to find out an individual’s marital status. When doing so, it’s important to remember that state law requires marriage records to be confidential for 50 years.

The state first began tracking marriage data in 1838, with each county maintaining ledgers of these unions. Citizens can access these marriage archives to explore historical unions, or they can research more recent ones from January 1973 to present through the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.2

Third-party providers may also post marriage data, but any information found through these resources can’t be used for official purposes.

The United States Census Bureau offers an overview of marriage data in Tennessee. While this information doesn’t include data on specific unions, it can offer more insight into marriage and divorce rates in the state.

In 2022, 49.2% of Tennessee residents ages 15 and above were married, compared to 11.8% who were divorced, 6.3% who were widowed, and 1.7% who were separated. Another 31% of Tennesseans have never been married, according to this 2022 data.

How To Access Tennessee Marriage Records: TN Marriage License Lookup

The Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics is the state-level organization responsible for marriage records.

The Office of Vital Statistics accepts marriage record requests by mail, in person, and online through a third-party provider. For individuals who don’t live in Nashville, which is where the Office of Vital Records is located, submitting the request online may be the most convenient option.

Start by printing and completing the Application for a Certified Copy of a Tennessee Certificate of Marriage Form.3 Then, mail the completed form to the below address with a copy of a government-issued ID (or have the application notarized to verify your identity) and a check or money order for $15 made payable to Tennessee Vital Records.

Another option for record seekers is to visit the Nashville office in person to secure a marriage certificate. The Office of Vital Records is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and accepts in-person requests during business hours. The process for requesting the marriage certificate is the same as the mail-in option.

Individuals can print the application linked above before their visit or pick up a blank form when they arrive at the office. The completed form and a $15-per-copy payment are required to complete the request and they accept payment by cash, check, money order, or debit and credit cards.

Tennessee Office of Vital Records
Andrew Johnson Tower, First Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243

Phone: (615) 685-4700

An aerial view of a government building labeled as the Vital Records Entrance at 710 James Robertson Parkway, highlighting the available free parking space for visitors seeking vital records services.
Source: Tennessee Department of Health4

Finally, individuals in Tennessee can also request marriage records online using VitalChek, a third-party platform that the state partners with.

Citizens can complete the online record request form, selecting marriage certificates, choosing Tennessee as the state, and providing information about the union, including the location and couples’ names. The marriage certificate through VitalChek costs $15 per copy.

The Office of Vital Records can provide marriage certificates from January 1973 to present. For older records, marriage archives can aid in a search. This guide provides more information on searching these archives below.

Retrieving Free Marriage Records Through Local Tennessee Counties

The search for marriage records can continue with county-level agencies throughout Tennessee.

Typically, individuals should start their search at the state level with the Office of Vital Records to tap into the broadest possible results. However, if that agency can’t provide the marriage record, then it’s smart to narrow the search by county—that is, if the county where the union took place is known.

Below are some tips on how to look up a marriage license in Tennessee at the county level.

Shelby County has the state’s largest population and includes the greater Memphis area. In the search for information on a bride or groom married in this county, contact the Shelby County Register of Deeds. An online search for marriages in Shelby County from 1820 to 1977 is available.

A digital record from the Shelby County Register of Deeds presenting a list of individuals, their marriage dates, and references to document images, exemplifying the county's archival system of matrimonial documentation.
Source: Shelby County Register of Deeds5

Simply enter one or both parties’ names and the year of marriage. Individuals can also search county marriage indexes by decade from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Shelby County Register of Deeds
1075 Mullins Station Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Phone: (901) 222-8100

The Shelby County Clerk accepts requests for certified copies of marriage licenses.6 While the county doesn’t have a specific form to submit to obtain a license, the office accepts both mailed and in-person requests. Citizens can mail their request, including the full names of both parties and the marriage date, to the Shelby County Clerk at the below address.

They may also provide this information in person during business hours at three offices located throughout the city. Business hours vary by location.

The downtown office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., the Shelby East Complex is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., and the Millington office allows visits weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Whether applying by mail or in person, individuals can expect to pay $10 for the copy of the certified marriage license.

Shelby County Clerk – Downtown Location
150 Washington Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

Phone: (901) 222-3000

Shelby County Clerk – Shelby East Complex
1075 Mullins Station Road, West Wing
Memphis, TN 38134

Phone: (901) 222-3000

Shelby County Clerk – Millington
4836 Navy Road
Miillington, TN 38053

Phone: (901) 222-3000

Davidson County, home to Nashville and surrounding areas, has the state’s second-largest population. Davidson County agencies, including the county clerk’s office, can also assist in a marriage records search. For the most immediate information about marriages in Tennessee, individuals can search the county’s licenses online.

Simply visit the marriage license search page and enter one or both names of the couple. Results will show the both couples’ names and wedding date.

A digital excerpt from the Tennessee County Clerk's portal showing a partially completed application form including details of two applicants with a noted marriage date, alongside blank fields for shipping information.
Source: Tennessee County Clerk7

From there, individuals can select the union and choose “Request Certified Copy” to place an order for a marriage record online. They’ll need to provide their mailing address and pay the $5.00 document fee and $2.14 processing fee by credit or debit card.

Citizens seeking a certified copy of their marriage license may request it from the Davidson County Clerk’s Office by mail. The office has marriage licenses from the previous 10 years available upon request. Complete the marriage license request form and mail a check payable to the Davidson County Clerk’s Office for all fees ($5 per copy plus a $2 mailing fee).

While the Davidson County Clerk’s office does not provide information on in-person requests, see the below contact information to reach out with any questions.8

Davidson County Clerk
Howard Office Building
700 President Ronald Reagan Way, Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37210

Phone: (615) 862-6050

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 196333
Nashville, TN 37219-6333

Knox County agencies can help citizens look up marriage licenses in Tennessee. For information on recent marriages—that is, those since 1990—record seekers should contact the Knox County Clerk.9 The office accepts online and in-person requests for marriage licenses.

Enter one or both parties’ names on the online lookup tool to find the marriage license. Select the record needed to check out online and enter the shipping address. Pay all associated fees, which include a $5.50 document fee, $1.30 mailing fee, and $2.22 processing fee, when you check out using credit or debit card.

Another option is to stop by any of the Knox County Clerk locations to request a marriage license in person.10 These requests cost $5.50 and require the names of both parties listed on the license, as well as the marriage date. All locations are open weekdays from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

For additional information on earlier unions, citizens can explore the Knox County Archives, which include marriage records from 1901 to 1950.

An archived list from the Knox County Public Library detailing matrimonial unions recorded between 1901 and 1950, presented in a tabulated format with columns for the groom and bride's names, the date of the event, and references for official documentation.
Source: Knox County Tennessee, Public Library11

Knox County Clerk – Old Courthouse (Main Office)
300 Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

Phone: (865) 215-2385

Knox County Clerk – West Knoxville
1028 Old Cedar Bluff Road
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: (865) 215-8500

Knox County Clerk – East Knoxville
4734 Centerline Drive
Knoxville, TN 37917

Phone: (865) 549-5184

Knox County Clerk – North Knoxville
7328 Norris Freeway
Knoxville, TN 37918

Phone: (865) 215-3400

Knox County Clerk – South Knoxville
7339 Chapman Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920

Phone: (865) 577-4510

Tennessee county clerks are the official record custodians for marriage licenses. So, if individuals are searching for marriage records in cities such as Memphis, Nashville, or Knoxville, they should reach out to the county clerk for the information.

Historical marriage records are another search option for people conducting genealogical research, and information on these archives follows.

How To Find Free Archived Marriage Records in Tennessee for Genealogy Research

Tennessee residents who want to learn more about their family history can explore older marriage records as well; archived marriage records are available at both the state and county level.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) has microfilmed marriage records for all unions between January 1, 1945 and December 31, 1972.12

While this marriage data is not available online, citizens can ask the TN State Library and Archives to search a 5-year window to find a record. The groom’s name and marriage date are required, and the bride’s name and county can aid in the search.

Marriage records from 1861 to 1945 aren’t available at the state level. However, the TSLA is willing to search for marriage records for this period, provided that citizens have the name of both parties, date of the union, and county.

In most cases, county clerk archives may have the necessary information for this date range. For example, people researching a union in Davidson County can explore the Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson Counties at the Nashville Public Library.13

People who plan to visit the TN State Library and Archives, located in Nashville, can schedule a research appointment by email (address listed below). They may also visit the Library, Microfilm, and Manuscripts Reading Room, Tuesday to Saturday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. Team members will be available to assist with research during the appointment.

Tennessee State Library and Archives
1001 Rep. John Lewis Way North
Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 741-2764

In addition to the TSLA archives, individuals may also discover historical marriage records through these resources:

  • Marriage record search through the Tennessee County Clerk by county (note that not all counties provide this information online)
  • Marriage archives housed at public libraries in Tennessee
  • Churches’ or other religious institutions’ records of marriages performed
  • Newspaper archives that may feature marriage announcements
  • Local historical societies that can aid in genealogical research

Additionally, the National Archives also offers helpful information to guide genealogical research.14 Note that since common law marriages are not legal in Tennessee, finding records of such unions is not possible.

How To Obtain a Tennessee Marriage License (Application Process)

Tennessee county clerks issue marriage licenses. Although procedures vary by county, the process often begins by completing the Online Marriage Pre-Application through the Tennessee County Clerk. Couples should choose their county from the drop-down menu to see if the marriage license application is available online.

Many, but not all, counties allow individuals to submit their application online. For those counties that don’t, couples can obtain a marriage license application from any of the Tennessee County Clerk Offices or the agency’s website.

After couples submit their application, they should plan to appear together in person at the local county clerk’s office with a photo ID and proof of Social Security number. Fees for a marriage license vary, and couples can reduce that fee by providing a Premarital Counseling Certificate of Completion. Couples have 30 days to wed after obtaining their Tennessee marriage license.

A certificate form acknowledging the fulfillment of a premarital preparation course by two applicants, detailing participant information, course completion, and provider credentials, compliant with regional legal requirements.
Source: Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County15

This guide equips citizens with the information they need to search Tennessee marriage records.


1East Tennessee State University. (n.d.). Tennessee open records [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

2Tennessee Department of Health. (n.d.). Vital records. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

3Tennessee Department of Health. (2019, November). Application for certified copy of certificate of marriage [PDF document]. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

4Tennessee Department of Health. (n.d.). Certificate of vital records. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

5Shelby County Register. (n.d.). Marriage records 1820-1977. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

6Shelby County, Tennessee. (n.d.). Marriage licenses. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

7Tennessee County Clerk. (n.d.). Marriage license lookup. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <> (n.d.). Department of county clerk. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

9Knox County Clerk. (n.d.). Marriage license. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

10Knox County Clerk. (n.d.). Map to our office. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

11Knox County Public Library. (n.d.). Marriage records. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

12Tennessee State Library and Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

13Nashville Public Library. (n.d.). Metro archives. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>

14National Archives. (2023, March 28). Start your genealogy research. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <> (n.d.). Premarital preparation course certificate of completion [PDF document]. Retrieved December 14, 2023, from <>