The Application Process
To obtain a marriage license in Shelby County, both parties must appear for the issuance of the license. The age requirements for marriage in the State of Tennessee are as follows. For persons:
- Under the age of 17 - No marriage license can be issued. No exceptions. Provisions allowing judges to waive the age restrictions have been repealed. Underage marriages can no longer be authorized by court order.
- Between the ages of 17 and 18 - If one applicant is between the ages of 17 and 18, the other applicant cannot be more than four years (48 months) older. No exceptions. A birth certificate is required for verification. The minor's parents/legal guardian, next of kin, other having custody of the applicant, or duly authorized representative of a public or private agency having legal custody of the applicant shall join in the application either by personal appearance before the county clerk, or by submitting a sworn and notarized Affidavit of Underage Marriage Consent. *This is not required if the 17 year old applicant is emancipated; however, certified proof of emancipation must be presented at time of application. There is also a three-day waiting period for approvals.
- Between the ages of 18 and 20 - A certified birth certificate is required for verification.
- Age 21 and over - A picture ID is required for verification.
Applicants applying for a marriage license may complete the Marriage Application form prior to visiting the office.
The Marriage License - Rites of Matrimony, Marriage License - Certified Copy and the Tennessee Department of Health - Certificate of Marriage forms are given to the couple at the time of issuance.
After the ceremony has been performed, both the Tennessee Department of Health - Certificate of Marriage form and the bottom tear-off portion of the Marriage License - Rites of Matrimony form must be completed and signed by the individual performing the ceremony and forwarded back to the County Clerk's Office to be recorded. The marriage is not recognized by the State of Tennessee until the Shelby County Clerk's Office receives both of the forms and they are entered into the state's system.
If the Marriage License is not used with 30 days, it is voided and a new license must be purchased.
Newly married couples should present the Marriage License - Certified Copy as proof of their marriage for legal documents, name changes, etc.
Effective July 1, 1985, a blood test is no longer required.
Where to Obtain Marriage Licenses
A Shelby County marriage license may be obtained at any of the following locations:
Downtown - 150 Washington Avenue - Monday through Friday - 8:00 AM until 4:15 PM
Shelby East Complex - 1075 Mullins Station Road - Monday through Friday - 9:00 AM until 5:15 PM
Millington - 4836 Navy Road - Monday through Friday - 8:00 AM until 4:15 PM
If you desire a certified copy of your marriage license, come by any of the above offices or mail a $10 check or money order along with the exact date of the marriage and the full names of both parties, to:
Shelby County Clerk
Att: Marriage Department, Suite 201
150 Washington Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103