Additional Fee, Premarital Preparation Course

Reference Number: 

Under T.C.A. § 36-6-413, there is imposed an additional fee of $62.50 on the issuance of a marriage license. This $62.50 fee is in addition to all of the fees county clerks charge for issuance of a marriage license.

Applicants are exempt from payment of $60.00 of the fee if:

  1. They have completed a four-hour premarital preparation course and provide the county clerk with a valid and timely Certificate of Completion; or
  2. They obtain their marriage license in a county having a municipality defined as a premier type tourist resort pursuant to T.C.A. § 67-6-103(a)(3)(B)2and both applicants provide the county clerk with an affidavit of non-residency or valid driver license establishing that they are not Tennessee residents.

To qualify for the exemption by attending a premarital preparation course, both applicants must submit a Certificate of Completion1 showing that they have attended a course, together or separately, within one year of the date of the application for the marriage license.  The course must have been at least four (4) hours in length.

The law does not provide details as to the content of the course, other than to say that it may include conflict management, communication skills, financial responsibilities, children and parenting responsibilities, and data concerning problems reported by married couples who seek counseling.  Premarital preparation courses may be taught by any of the following:

  1. Psychologist
  2. Clinical social worker
  3. Licensed marital and family therapist
  4. Clinical pastoral therapist
  5. Professional counselor
  6. Psychological examiner
  7. Official representative of a religious institution
  8. Any other approved instructor who meets qualifying guidelines that may be established by the judicial district for the county in which the marriage license is issued.

The Certificate of Completion form is to be completed by the instructor of the course.  Applicants for a marriage license must present a copy of the completed form to the county clerk in order to qualify for the exemption on this basis.

The entire $60.00 fee (when it is collected) is to be remitted by the county clerk to the state. The state is responsible for distribution of the fee to various agencies in accordance with the provisions of the law.  T.C.A. § 36-6-413.

1The Certificate of Completion form has been developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

2Currently, this exemption includes only Sevier County.  Non-residents in all other counties must pay the $60.00 fee unless they have completed a premarital preparation course.