Tennessee Vital Records: Births, Deaths and Marriages

Marriage licenses, certificates and other marriage records are a valuable source for locating maiden names.
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Learn how and where to obtain birth, marriage, and death certificates and records in Tennessee, including the dates for which Tennessee vital records are available, where they are located, and links to online Tennessee state vital records databases.

Tennessee Vital Records

1st Floor, Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-1763

What You Need to Know

Check or money order should be made payable to Tennessee Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. Call or visit the Web site to verify current fees. A photocopy of a valid government-issued form of identification which includes the requestor’s signature, usually a driver’s license, must accompany requests for birth and death records. 

Tennessee Birth Records 

  • Dates: From 1908
  • Cost of copy: $15.00 long-form; $8.00 short form

Comments: Tennessee birth records less than 100-years-old are only available to the individual named on the certificate, or their spouse, parent, legal guardian or child. However, verification of information from the records (a transcription of all available information) can be provided to any requester with a Verification of Birth Facts request.

Birth records are available from the State Office beginning with January 1914 births. Records of births from 1908-1912 were kept by the County Clerk in the county where the birth occurred and are also available at the Tennessee State Archives. Records of some births that occurred in the major cities (Nashville since June 1881, Knoxville since July 1881 and Chattanooga since January 1882) are also available. Although the short form is cheaper, the long-form (a photocopy of the original record) is much better for genealogical purposes!
Application for Tennessee Birth Certificate

Tennessee Death Records 

  • Dates: From 1908
  • Cost of copy: $7.00

Comments: Tennessee death records less than 50-years-old are only available to the individual named on the certificate, or their spouse, parent, legal guardian or child. However, verification of information from the records can be provided to any requester with a Verification of Death Facts request. This is a transcription of all available information from the death record, excluding the cause of death. 

The State office has had death records for the entire State since January 1914, for Nashville since July 1874, for Knoxville since July 1887 and for Chattanooga since March 6, 1872. Death records are available from the State Vital Records Office for the past 50 years. Older death records can be requested through the Tennessee State Archives. Although the short form is cheaper, the long-form (a photocopy of the original record) is much better for genealogical purposes!
Application for Tennessee Death Certificate

Tennessee Marriage Records

  • Dates: From 1861*
  • Cost of copy: $15.00 (state)

Comments: Tennessee marriage records less than 50-years-old are only available to the individuals named on the certificate, or their spouse, parent, legal guardian or child. However, verification of information from the records (a transcription of all available information) can be provided to any requester with a Verification of Marriage Facts request. The State office has marriage records for the entire State for the past 50 years. Older records are held by the Tennessee State Archives.
Application for Tennessee Marriage Certificate

  • *For Memphis birth records from April 1874 - December 1887 and November 1898 - January 1, 1914, and for Memphis death records from May 1848 to January 1, 1914, write to Memphis-Shelby County Health Department, Division of Vital Records, Memphis, TN 38105.

Tennessee Divorce Records

  • Dates: From July 1905
  • Cost of copy: $15.00

Comments: Vital Records Office keeps divorce records for 50 years. Older records are maintained by the Tennessee State Archives. Divorces can also be obtained from the Clerk of Court in the county where the divorce was granted. If you're ineligible to receive a certified copy of the divorce, you can still apply for the Verification of Divorce Facts for a transcription of information from the divorce record.