At this time, we are performing wedding ceremonies by appointment for Knox County Residents only, at the Old Courthouse location for the couple and a limited number of guests.
We reserve the right to stop accepting applications for any service before closing time if the demand exceeds our ability to process all applications before our scheduled daily transaction submission.
Completing the online Marriage Pre-Application will save you a considerable amount of time. The general information you submit will be forwarded directly to our office. After completing the pre-application online, you may then visit one of our locations to obtain your license. Additional requirements are outlined below.
Before a marriage can occur in Tennessee, a license must be obtained from the County Clerk. The fee is $97.50. The fee is reduced to $37.50 if the couple completes a Premarital Preparation Course. There is no waiting period, the marriage license is valid for thirty (30) days from issuance, and is good for ceremonies performed anywhere in Tennessee.
- Proof of date of birth (Certified Birth Certificate or Government Issued Photo Identification)
- Social Security Number (for individuals that have been issued one)
- Both parties must appear together. If either party is under the age of 18, contact our office for additional requirements. If either individual is incarcerated at the time, or has a disability which prevents the person from appearing, that person may submit a notarized statement. Click the links below to download the required forms:
Marriage License for Incarcerated Applicant
Marriage License for Applicants with Disability
- The fee is $97.50. Applicants who have completed a premarital preparation course within a year prior to the date of applying for the license are exempted from paying $60.00 of this fee. Applicants must present a Certificate of Completion completed and signed by the course provider. This document must be notarized and presented to our office at the time of payment and receipt of your license.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I obtain a certified copy of my marriage license?
You may request a certified copy of your marriage license by visiting any of the Knox County Clerk's Office locations or you may request a copy online with a credit card. We will need the names of both applicants as well as the date of the marriage. Please note that the Knox County Clerk's office only has marriage license records for couples who applied for their marriage license in Knox County, Tennessee.
|Fees for a Certified Copy of a Marriage License.
(includes mail fee and online processing fees)
How can I research or get a copy of a family member's marriage license?
You may contact Tennessee Vital Records at 615-741-1763.
When does the license expire? The marriage license is valid for 30 days, including the day it is issued.
Who can solemnize a marriage? The rite of matrimony may be solemnized by any of the persons listed in T.C.A. § 36-3-301:
- All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls.
- Current and former members of county legislative bodies.
- County mayors/executives and former county mayors/executives.
- Current and former judges and chancellors of this state, including federal judges and federal administrative law judges.
- Current and former judges of general sessions courts.
- Municipal court judges.
- The governor.
- The county clerk of each county, and former county clerks who occupied the office on or after July 1, 2014.
- Current and former speakers of the senate and speakers of the house of representatives.
- Mayors of municipalities.
- Current and former members of the general assembly who have filed notice with the office of vital records. Former members must have filed notice with the office of vital records while serving the general assembly.
- Law enforcement chaplains duly appointed by the heads of authorized state and local law enforcement agencies.
- Members of municipal legislative bodies.
- Notaries Public.
The statute provides that in order to solemnize the rite of matrimony a minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization, and such customs must provide for ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate and responsible act. T.C.A. § 36-3-301(a)(2). Courts look to the tenets of the particular religion to determine whether a particular person is a regular minister or other spiritual leader having the care of souls. Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 14-90(9/30/14). The county clerk has neither the authority nor the duty to examine the qualifications of persons seeking to solemnize the rite of matrimony. Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 97-139 (10/9/97). The county clerk cannot require proof that an officiant is, in fact, a minister or other authorized person. Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 87-151 (9/17/87).
Ordinarily, elected officials are not authorized to act outside the jurisdiction from which they were elected. See Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 85-189 (6/10/85) (under prior law, elected officials had no jurisdiction to perform marriages outside their jurisdiction). However, in 1997 the General Assembly authorized all elected officials and former officials who are authorized to perform marriages to do so in any county in the State of Tennessee. T.C.A. § 36-3-301(i).
For marriage purposes, the several judges of the United States courts, including United States magistrates and United States bankruptcy judges, who are citizens of Tennessee are deemed to be judges of this state. However, the term "former judges" does not include any judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office. T.C.A. § 36-3-301(a). The term "retired judges of this state" includes persons who served as judges of any municipal or county court in any county which has adopted a metropolitan form of government and persons who served as county judges (judges of the quarterly county court) prior to the 1978 constitutional amendments. T.C.A. § 36-3-301(e). Also, any person who was a member of a quarterly county court on August 1, 1984 can perform marriages. T.C.A. § 17-1-206.
All judges, including city judges, are included among the officials who may solemnize marriages. A city judge may perform a marriage in any county in Tennessee, regardless of whether the judge was elected or appointed. T.C.A. § 36-3-301(k).
Deputy county clerks who are duly authorized by the county clerk have the power to perform marriage ceremonies, under the authority granted under T.C.A.§ 18-1-108(4). Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 85-243 (9/18/85).
Still have questions? You may email your inquiry here: Email the County Clerk.
Responses are provided Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm.
Can I get married at the County Clerk’s office? Yes, the County Clerk’s staff can perform marriage ceremonies. However, the Old Courthouse is the only location where a ceremony may be performed and they are by appointment only.
The Knox County Clerk's Office accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). We cannot accept credit cards for Passport services. A fee of 2.5% is assessed by the electronic processing company on all credit and debit card transactions. This fee does not go to the Knox County Clerk's Office. When you submit a check, you are authorizing electronic movement of funds from your account to the Knox County Clerk's account for payment of your transaction. There is a $30.00 NSF fee on all returned checks that are processed electronically. For those checks that are not processed electronically, the following statutory penalties will apply: the amount of the check on any amount owing less than or equal to twenty dollars, $20.00 on any amount owing greater than twenty dollars but less than two thousand dollars, and 1% on any amount owing greater than two thousand dollars. (T.C.A. § 9-1-109)