Tennessee (TN) Vital Records

Vital Records Online (VRO) is a secure, US-based service for ordering Tennessee vital records electronically. VRO makes it easy to order birth, death, and marriage certificates online, ensuring the safe delivery of your records while keeping your private information confidential.

History of Vital Records in Tennessee

Tennessee Government-Issued Vital Records

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) is the primary agency of state government in Tennessee responsible for public health, providing services to residents in all 95 counties. An act of the State Legislature authorized the State Board of Health to collect vital statistics, but it was not until 1913 that a Bureau of Vital Statistics was placed under the supervision of the Board.

The Tennessee Office of Vital Records reviews, registers, amends, issues, and maintains the original certificates of births, deaths, marriages, and divorces that occur in Tennessee.

Find out how to obtain official Tennessee vital records, what information they contain, where to request them, and how they are used.

Start your application online for TN vital records

Certified Birth Certificate
Tennessee Birth Certificate

Request a certified copy of live birth for your baby or child.

Certified Marriage Certificate
Tennessee Marriage Certificate
Obtain marriage records for yourself or a family member.
Certified Death Certificate
Tennessee Death Certificate
Get an original copy of a death certificate replacement for a lost record.

Why Do I Need Certified Copies of My Tennessee Vital Records?

Vital records are significant in various life events, such as marriage, school or military enrollment, and travel, as they prove one’s identity, citizenship, and family ties. They can also be valuable for settling legal disputes or claiming an inheritance, tracing family history, and revealing important details about our ancestors, such as their full names, birth and death dates, and locations.

In the event of a lost birth, marriage, or death certificate, it is critical to file a police report and request a certified replacement urgently. You can find more helpful information about vital records in the frequently asked questions section for birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Where to Get Tennessee Vital Records

In Tennessee, vital records are preserved and distributed at the county and state levels. Each county is responsible for certifying and issuing vital records that occur within its jurisdiction. You can find a comprehensive list of Tennessee’s county vital record issuing agencies below, which includes locations, contact information, and online applications to request birth, marriage, and death certificates.

You can obtain your birth, marriage, or death certificate in Tennessee through your county or state. The procedure varies by county, as only some locations offer in-person applications. However, any Tennessee vital record can be ordered online from any location through VRO.

❗️If you’re seeking ancestral records for genealogy research in Tennessee, they are freely available from various public archives.

Visiting Vital Records Office

  • Long waiting lines
  • Complex and tedious application process
  • Strict business hours and closed during holidays
  • Extremely busy phone line
  • No trackable application
  • Only checks and money orders

Visit Directory

Ordering Vital Records Online

  • No waiting in long lines
  • Simplified and streamlined application process
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Online assistance by specialists
  • Verification and error checking
  • Custom trackable application interface
  • Convenient fee payment by credit card

Get Started Online

How to Order Tennessee Vital Records

Tennessee vital records can be ordered online, in person, or by mail. The state health department offers walk-ins and can issue any birth or death certificate registered statewide from all county health departments. However, online requests are the most reliable and easy method for some applicants.

The Tennessee Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records is responsible for producing and certifying birth, death, and marriage certificates. Each type of vital record has unique requirements, so reviewing the steps and conditions before submitting your application is essential. Once you understand the requirements, ordering your certificate becomes a straightforward process.

The associated costs, eligibility, requirements, and processing times for receiving your certificate depend on the certificate you need and how you submit your application. Confirm that your documents, application, and fees are sent to the correct office that produces certified copies of the original record.

Ordering Online

Ordering Tennessee vital records online is quick and effortless and involves two simple steps:

  1. Complete the online application, upload your documents, and
  2. process your order.

(Choose additional options if you need to insure, expedite, or obtain premium customer support for your application.)

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can order Tennessee birth, death, or marriage certificates online. Ensure you have all the necessary documents prepared beforehand as you’ll need to upload copies during the secure online application.

VRO’s simplified system ensures a quick and successful certificate request by helping generate your required documents, providing the correct application, and submitting your packet to the health department’s vital records office that issues the certified record.

The application process can be completed from any device with an internet connection within five minutes. VRO also helps prevent application rejection by ensuring your application is free of common mistakes or missing documents. If your application requires a notary, it can be conducted virtually during the online ordering process.

✔︎ Our $29 processing fee includes your automated document processing and first-class shipping & handling.

✔︎ Additional copies of your certified vital records can be purchased for the state’s fee during the online application to save future costs.

✔︎ Vital Records Online’s support team manages scanning and printing your application and documents. Learn more about how the online ordering and handling process works.

 ✔︎ A notarized sworn statement is not required when ordering a Tennessee birth, death, or marriage certificate online, as long as you can provide a valid copy of a form of identification accepted by the TDH.

Ordering In-Person or By Mail

Applying in person is a viable option for individuals who live near a vital records-issuing health department. Before traveling to the health department, confirm that the office is open to the public for walk-ins. Ordering via mail or online is a more efficient method than applying in person, particularly if the local vital records office is closed or you prefer to avoid long queues. Those residing out-of-state can apply by mail or online; however, online ordering is the most convenient method for those living abroad.

The procedure is similar whether you apply for vital records in person or by mail.

If you choose to apply in person at the vital records office, prepare to complete the following steps:

  • gathering your documents,
  • getting photocopies of your documents,
  • completing the correct form,
  • obtaining a notarized sworn statement (if you are unable to provide an accepted form of identification), and;
  • presenting everything to the health department during regular business hours.

Additionally, when ordering by mail, you will need the following: 

  • purchasing an envelope,
  • including a physical check or money order,
  • issuing it to the TDH.

Each type of vital record certificate has unique requirements. Vital Records Online simplifies the process and reduces errors for faster processing time. Learn more about our services for replacing birth, death, or marriage certificates for you or a family member.

❗️ To avoid your application being denied due to mistakes or incomplete information, review the requirements for each vital record before mailing it.

❗️ Ensure that your documents, application, and payment are submitted to the correct health department that issues certified copies of the preserved original record.

❗️ Before receiving approval, confirm if you must also have your documents and application notarized with a sworn statement for identity verification.

❗️ If you mail your application and documents manually, it is recommended to purchase mail tracking to confirm their arrival at the correct office.

Requirements

Understanding the terms and prerequisites before collecting the documents for your vital record application is fundamental.

Proof of Identity for Verifying Authorization: 

The required information, IDs, and documents for ordering certified copies of Tennessee birth, death, and marriage certificates are listed in the table below. The Tennessee Department of Health requires all applicants to prove their identity when requesting certified vital record certificates. For most types of records, a driver’s license, a passport, or a state-issued photo ID is sufficient, though checking other acceptable IDs as per certificate needed is recommended.

If your ID is expired or you do not have it, you must submit two secondary forms of identification accepted by the TDH – Office of Vital Records. Alternatively, you can sign your application at a public notary. This notarization will suffice as proof of identity, so providing primary or two secondary IDs is unnecessary if you notarize your application.

What Documents Are Required to Order Vital Records in Tennessee?

Review the eligibility conditions and requirements for obtaining certified replacement certificates for Tennessee birth, death, and marriage records, as each type of certificate and unique circumstance has specific criteria.

❗️ Without proper ID and a fully completed application, your request will be returned, causing considerable delays in processing your order.

Certificate Required Information ID Requirements Options Secondary IDs
Birth Certificate Date of Birth,
Email,
Father's Name,
Full Name of Person of Record,
Hospital of Birth,
Mailing Address,
Mother's Maiden Name,
Phone Number,
Place of Birth,
Purpose for the Certificate,
Sex,
Your Name,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Alien Registration Receipt,
Certificate of Citizenship,
Driver's License,
Passport,
Permanent Residents Card,
Temporary Resident Card,
US Certificate of Naturalization,
US Citizenship ID,
US Employment Authorization Card,
US Military ID
Application Page of Insurance Policy,
Bank Statement,
Copy of Police Report for Stolen ID,
Deposit Slip,
Health Care Coverage Card,
Medical Record,
Military Discharge,
Pay Stub,
Social Security Card,
Utility Bill,
Vehicle Registration,
Voter Registration Card,
W-2 Form
Death Certificate Age at Death,
Date of Death,
Email,
Full Name of Person of Record,
Funeral Home Address,
Funeral Home Name,
Mailing Address,
Phone Number,
Place of Death,
Purpose for the Certificate,
Sex,
Your Name,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Alien Registration Receipt,
Certificate of Citizenship,
Driver's License,
Passport,
Permanent Residents Card,
Temporary Resident Card,
US Certificate of Naturalization,
US Citizenship ID,
US Employment Authorization Card,
US Military ID
Application Page of Insurance Policy,
Bank Statement,
Copy of Police Report for Stolen ID,
Deposit Slip,
Health Care Coverage Card,
Medical Record,
Military Discharge,
Pay Stub,
Social Security Card,
Utility Bill,
Vehicle Registration,
Voter Registration Card,
W-2 Form
Marriage Certificate Bride Name,
Bride's Name Before Marriage,
Date of Marriage,
Email,
Groom Name,
Groom Name Before Marriage,
Mailing Address,
Phone Number,
Place of Marriage,
Place where License Was Issued,
Purpose for the Certificate,
Your Name,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Alien Registration Receipt,
Certificate of Citizenship,
Driver's License,
Passport,
Permanent Residents Card,
Temporary Resident Card,
US Certificate of Naturalization,
US Citizenship ID,
US Employment Authorization Card,
US Military ID
Application Page of Insurance Policy,
Bank Statement,
Copy of Police Report for Stolen ID,
Deposit Slip,
Health Care Coverage Card,
Medical Record,
Military Discharge,
Pay Stub,
Social Security Card,
Utility Bill,
Vehicle Registration,
Voter Registration Card,
W-2 Form

Who is Authorized to Order

Who can request vital records in Tennessee?

The individual on record can request their own certificates and must provide proof of identity with the application or when obtaining a notarization for their application. If someone else requests the certificate on their behalf, they can ensure they are authorized by reviewing the eligibility requirements. In Tennessee, only the spouse, parents, legal guardian, or children of the individual on record are authorized to request certified copies of a certificate.

However, if your relationship with the person on record does not qualify you as an eligible individual, it is still possible to obtain the certificate. Ineligible applicants must provide a signed statement from the record-holder or an authorized individual, giving TDH – Office of Vital Records permission to release the certificate. Photocopies of government-issued IDs of the ineligible third-party applicant and the authorized individual (or the person on record) must be included.

Certificate Authorized People
Birth Certificate Children, Parents, Person on Record, Spouse
Death Certificate Attorneys, Children, Parents, Spouse
Marriage Certificate Children, Parents, Person on Record, Spouse

Notarized Sworn Statement

Do I need a notary with my application?

The Tennessee Department of Health generally does not require applicants to obtain notarized statements when requesting certified copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates, regardless of who is applying and which method they use to make their request. However, you must notarize your application to verify your identity if you cannot provide a photocopy of a valid government-issued ID or two forms of acceptable secondary identification. An online notary is included with your order when ordering through Vital Records Online — otherwise, you must bring your ID if you use a public notary,

❗️ A Notarized sworn statement may be required under the following circumstances:

  • When submitting an application without a copy of a valid, government-issued ID or two forms of secondary ID.
  • When amending a record.

For more information about the unique circumstance that may require a notary, view other FAQs below or visit the Tennessee Office of Vital Records website at https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/vital-records.html.

❗️ A notary is generally not required to obtain authorized copies of Tennessee vital records. A photocopy of your ID is sufficient to verify your identity. However, a notarized application can be used instead of an ID if you sign your application before a notary; you do not need to provide a photocopy of your ID.

✔︎ VRO includes an online notary service in your application packet. Otherwise, you must bring your ID when creating this document using a local public notary.

✔︎ A notarized sworn statement is not required when requesting informational verification copies of Tennessee vital records.

Costs and Fees

The cost of obtaining a certified vital record certificate from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) depends on the fees for each type of certificate. The total cost will also be affected by the method you submit your application and whether a notary is required to prove your identity.

When ordering a birth, marriage, divorce, or death certificate through Vital Records Online, the online Application Assistant starts at $29. The Tennessee Office of Vital Records charges a fee of $15.00 for each certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage certificate. If the requested certificate cannot be located, you will receive a letter certifying that no record was found. The fee for a “no record found” is the same as for a certified copy.

Certificate Fee Additional Copy
Birth Certificate $15.00 $15.00

✔︎ Additional copies can be requested during the same order to save future costs in case your vital records are lost, destroyed, or stolen.

Vital Records Online Logo VitalRecordsOnline.com processing fee is $29.

Processing and Delivery Times

How long will it take to receive my vital records from Tennessee?

Check the table below for the current processing time, as processing and delivery times for birth, death, or marriage certificates may vary. Be aware that processing times may change based on the volume of requests received by the Tennessee Office of Vital Records.

The method you use to submit your application may also impact the total time until you receive your vital record. VRO simplifies the process of gathering documents and submitting your application packet and offers expedited orders for faster processing so you can receive your certificates promptly. When ordering through VRO, online notarization can be included during checkout — otherwise, account for additional time to obtain it from a local entity.

Certificate Processing Time Rush Processing Time
Birth Certificate 4 to 6 weeks N/A
Death Certificate 4 to 6 weeks N/A
Marriage Certificate 4 to 6 weeks N/A
Divorce Certificate 2 to 3 months N/A

 ✔︎ All orders through VRO include an online notarization service that can be performed virtually during checkout if required.

❗️ The processing and replacement duration of birth, death, or marriage certificates by TDH may increase based on a high volume backlog of orders.

❗️ We also advise allowing 2-3 additional days in your application process when using a local notary.

❗️ A simple error, typo, or missing document can cause wait times to double, repeat shipping costs, or expose personal information.

How to Track My TN Vital Record?

When ordering with Vital Records Online, you can monitor the order status and track its location after submitting your application with the first-class mail tracking included with your order. If you mail your application packet to the Tennessee Office of Vital Records manually, be sure to purchase first-class mail tracking to confirm your application’s successful delivery.

The Tennessee Office of Vital Records ships all vital records securely via USPS first-class mail, but they are not responsible for any misplaced or lost certificates. If your birth certificate is lost, report it immediately. Avoiding simple errors or typos in your application reduces the potential of your personal information being sent to the wrong address.

Find more frequently asked questions below the Tennessee counties office locations directory.

Tennessee (TN) Vital Record Office Locations

Local Vital Records offices may be closed to the public.

Online Applications are available 24 hrs, 365 days per year.

Search (A-Z) Tennessee vital records issuing agencies in your county.
Address Hours Application
(TDH - Office of Vital Records)

Tennessee Department of Health,
Office of Vital Records, 

1st Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower,
710 James Robertson Parkway,
Nashville, TN 37243

Phone: (615) 741-1763

Mailing Address:
8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Anderson County
100 North Main Street
Clinton, TN 37716
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Bedford County
100 West Side Square, Suite 102
Shelbyville, TN 37160
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Benton County
1 Courthouse Square
Camden, TN 38320
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Bledsoe County
PO Box 149 * 3150 Main StreetPikeville
TN 37367
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Blount County
347 Court Street
Maryville, TN 37804
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Bradley County
155 Ocoee Street Courthouse, Room 101
Cleveland, TN 37311
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Campbell County
570 Main Street
P.O. Box 435
Jacksboro, TN 37757
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Cannon County
200 West Main Street
Woodbury, TN 37190
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Carroll County
625 High Street, Suite 101
Huntingdon, TN 38344
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Carter County
801 East Elk Avenue
Elizabethton, TN 37643
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Cheatham County
350 Frey Street
Ashland City, TN 37015
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Chester County
159 East Main Street
Henderson, TN 38340
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Claiborne County
P.O. Box 318
Tazewell, TN 37879-0318
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Clay County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Cocke County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Coffee County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Crockett County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Cumberland County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Davidson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
DeKalb County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Decatur County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Dickson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Dyer County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Fayette County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Fentress County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Franklin County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Gibson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Giles County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Grainger County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Greene County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Grundy County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hamblen County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hamilton County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hancock County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hardeman County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hardin County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hawkins County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Haywood County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Henderson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Henry County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hickman County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Houston County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Humphreys County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Jackson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Jefferson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Johnson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Knox County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lake County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lauderdale County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lawrence County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lewis County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lincoln County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Loudon County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Macon County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Madison County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Marion County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Marshall County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Maury County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
McMinn County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
McNairy County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Meigs County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Monroe County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Montgomery County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Moore County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Morgan County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Obion County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Overton County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Perry County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Pickett County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Polk County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Putnam County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Rhea County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Roane County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Robertson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Rutherford County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Scott County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sequatchie County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sevier County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Shelby County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Smith County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Stewart County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sullivan County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sumner County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Tipton County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Trousdale County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Unicoi County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Union County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Van Buren County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Warren County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Washington County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Wayne County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Weakley County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
White County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Williamson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Wilson County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
❗️ Displays the first 20 counties. Use the search to find your county.
Find additional Tennessee Vital Records locations at onlinevitals.com

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Apostille

An apostille is often required when submitting a vital record to a foreign government. The Tennessee Secretary of State issues apostilles for vital records initially filed with the TDH.

How can I get an apostille for a vital record?

Apostilles can be acquired through the Tennessee Secretary of State or Vital Records Online. VRO offers reliable, professionally assisted services for obtaining apostilles for birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates across all 50 states and is acknowledged by various governments with legal validity in over 100 countries.

The service starts at $149 (plus government fees) and can be conveniently completed online in just three steps:

  1. Complete the Apostille Express online application.
  2. Submit the required documents for approval.
  3. Receive your apostille document.

In most cases, you don’t need to obtain a hard copy of your documents as the whole procedure can be completed online. Once the apostille documentation is ready, it will be sent to you via FedEx or DHL. Our esteemed courier services provide reliable, worldwide delivery to ensure that your documents arrive at your doorstep, regardless of your location.

You will need to provide the following information: 

  • Authentication Submittal Form
  • Certified vital record certificate
  • $2.00 per document
  • Self-addressed envelope only if expedited delivery is needed

You can submit requests for vital record apostilles to the Tennessee Secretary of State at the following address:

For standard or express shipping (UPS, DHL, or Federal Express), submit the request to the physical address:

Office of Authentications Tennessee Secretary of State,
Business Services Division,
ATTN: ATS,
Section 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave – 6th Floor,
Nashville, TN 37243

You can reach the office at (615) 741-0536 or online at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/vitalrecords/apostille-and-exemplified-copies.html.

Correcting or Amending Vital Records

Tennessee Department of Health has provided a list of common scenarios to facilitate correcting or amending a birth, marriage, or death certificate. Requirements and specific forms depend on the certificate type and the information that must be corrected. In Tennessee, some amendments require a court order, which often necessitates hiring an attorney.

No entity can alter the original document; any supplemental changes become addendums to the original vital record.

Correcting or amending vital records generally requires the following information: 

  • A completed amendment application;
  • Supporting documentation;
  • Appropriate fee(s);
  • A notarized affidavit completed by an authorized person.

Learn more about correcting or amending birth, death, and marriage certificates.

REAL ID ACT

  • The DMV prefers a birth certificate when verifying your identity for the REAL ID;
  • The deadline to obtain a Real ID has been extended to May 7th, 2025.

The REAL ID Act is a new federal law regarding driver’s licenses that may affect those individuals whose vital records do not match their driver’s licenses. To prevent delays when applying for your Real ID driver’s license, you are encouraged to review your birth and/or marriage to ensure your name, sex, and date of birth are listed correctly.

Search Public Records

Where can I search for free public records?

In Tennessee, birth records are made public after 100 years, while death and marriage records are available after 50 years. Although finding free public records can be difficult, many vital records are publicly accessible. You can browse Tennessee’s archives of birth, marriage, and divorce records; however, it may take considerable time to find the information you want.

Are Tennessee Vital Records Open to the Public?

In Tennessee, many state records are public. However, access to birth, death, and marriage records depends on the type of record and the year it was recorded. Third-party websites can be helpful for researching vital records. These sites are not restricted by location and can provide a good reference point, but be mindful that the data on these sites may not coincide with official government records.

To find a record on a third-party website, you will generally need the following information:

  • The location of the record you’re looking for, including the city, county, or state where it was recorded.
  • The name of the person on record, if it is not a minor.

How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official

Each Tennessee county and municipality creates distinct vital records. You can compare your copy to the official certified vital record in the county that issued yours to confirm its authenticity. Informational copies typically display a stamp or large print that reads “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” or something similar.

What Are the Differences between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?

Authorized Copy: 

Authorized copies are certified, legal documents that can be used to establish identity, while informational copies are not certified and cannot be used for official identification. Only individuals with a “direct and tangible interest” in a vital record can obtain certified copies.

Informational Copy:

Informational copies of vital records, often called “short-form, unofficial (non-certified), “heirloom,” or “commemorative certificates,” are not considered legal documents in Tennessee. They are not intended for official purposes such as identity verification, passport application, or applying for benefits. These copies are usually used for personal reference/display or genealogical research purposes only.

The Tennessee Department of Health does not issue non-certified copies of certificates; however, they can provide “verifications of a record,” which consist of a list of verified facts from the record. Proof of ID or a notarized statement is not required to obtain verification, but you must be able to provide the information requested in the application.

Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.

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