County clerks, and deputy county clerks, are authorized to issue a marriage license only upon the following conditions:
1. Written Application. Each of the parties must appear and make application in writing, stating the names, ages and addresses of the proposed contracting parties, and the names and addresses of the parents, guardian or next of kin of both parties. The application must be sworn to by both applicants. T.C.A. § 36-3-104. Sample Marriage License application.
2. Social Security Number. Under T.C.A. § 36-3-104, applicants are required to provide their social security numbers on the application for a marriage license. However, the statute does not require that an applicant have a social security number to qualify for a marriage license, so applicants who have not been issued a social security number are not required to provide one in order to obtain a marriage license. Op. Tenn. Att’y Gen. 08-126 (July 22, 2008). For opinions of the Attorney General discussing the collection and disclosure of social security numbers, see Ops. Tenn. Att’y Gen. 98-065 (March 17, 1998), 99-132 (July 7, 1999), 02-003 (January 2, 2002), and 02-016 (February 6, 2002).
3. Appearance by Affidavit (incarcerated or disabled applicants). If either individual is incarcerated at the time, the inmate is not required to appear but may instead submit a notarized statement containing the name, age, current address, and the name and address of the person’s parents, guardian or next of kin. If either individual has a disability which prevents the person from appearing, that person may submit a notarized statement containing the name, age, current address, and the name and address of the person’s parents, guardian or next of kin. T.C.A. § 36-3-104. Sample affidavit (disability) Sample affidavit (incarcerated)
4. Parental Notification. If either applicant is under 18 years of age, immediately upon filing the application, the county clerk is required to send notice of the application by registered mail to the parents, guardian or next of kin of any minor applicant. This provision does not apply if both parents, the guardian, or next of kin of the minor applicant join in the application either by personal appearance or by submitting a sworn affidavit. T.C.A. § 36-3-104.
5. Three-day Waiting Period. If either applicant is under 18 years of age, the application must remain on file and open to the public in the office of the county clerk for three full days before the license can be issued. This provision does not apply if both parents, the guardian or next of kin of any minor applicant join in the application either by personal appearance or by submitting a sworn affidavit. T.C.A. § 36-3-104. The three-day waiting period also may be waived by court order under T.C.A. § 36-3-107.
6. Parental Consent. In addition to the requirements set out above, T.C.A. § 36-3-106 provides that if either applicant is under 18 years of age, the parents, next of kin, guardian, or person having custody of the applicant are required to join in the application, under oath, stating that the applicant is 16 years of age or over and that the applicant has their consent to marry. If the applicant is in the legal custody of any public or private agency or in the legal custody of any person other than a parent, guardian or next of kin, then such person or the duly authorized representative of such agency must join in the application with the parent, guardian or next of kin, stating under oath that the applicant is 16 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age and that the applicant has their consent to marry. This provision does not apply to applicants who are in the custody of the department of mental health or the department of intellectual and developmental disabilities. T.C.A. § 36-3-106. Presumably, the parents may join in the application by submitting a sworn affidavit as authorized under T.C.A. § 36-3-104(b)(3).
The law does not prescribe a particular form for the application, as long as the required information is obtained. The application may, but is not required to, contain a space to be completed by the county clerk as a permanent public record showing that the marriage was solemnized. Sample Affidavit (Parent/Guardian/Next-of-Kin)