Court Reporter Licensure

In 2009, the General Assembly enacted The Tennessee Court Reporter Act, which requires that all court reporters be licensed to engage in the practice of court reporting. Any activity, with some exceptions, that would involve “the making of a verbatim record by means of manual shorthand, machine shorthand, closed microphone voice dictation silencer, or by electronic recording of any testimony given under oath before, or for submission to, any court, referee, or court examiner or by any board, commission, or other body, or in any other proceeding where a verbatim record is required,” would require a license issued by the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting. Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-9-602(2). Under the same section, the taking of a deposition is the making of a verbatim record.

Exceptions

A license is not necessary for court reporting under the following circumstances:

  • Court reporting services paid for by a federal agency or other instrumentality of the United States, Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-9-603(d); or
  • Court reporting services provided pursuant to Title 40 (court reporting performed in a criminal matter, as required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-14-1301 et seq.).

In other words, a court reporter license is not needed to perform court reporting services if the federal government is paying for the court reporting service or the court reporting service is provided in a Tennessee criminal court as required by Tennessee law. For ALL other matters, a license is required to engage in court reporting.

OBTAINING A COURT REPORTER LICENSE

Application

  • Submit Tennessee Board of Court Reporting License Application; AND
  • Submit proof of passage of:
    • National Court Reporters Association Registered Professional Reporter Examination; OR
    • National Verbatim Reporters Association Certified Verbatim Reporter Examination; OR
    • American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers Certified Electronic Court Reporter Examination; AND
  • Pay applicable fees.

Reciprocity

  • Determine whether reciprocity exists between Tennessee Board of Court Reporting and court reporting licensing authority of other state; AND
  • Submit Tennessee Board of Court Reporting License Application; AND
  • Submit proof of licensure and status of licensure in other state; AND
  • Pay applicable fees.

TEMPORARY LICENSE

Should a court reporter not be eligible to be licensed through reciprocity and not yet have passed (or received results of) one of the licensing examinations, then the court reporter may be eligible for a temporary license. A temporary license may be obtained as follows:

  • Submit proof of graduation from a court reporting program or its equivalent; AND
  • Submit Application; AND
  • Pay applicable fees.

Temporary licenses expire 60 days after the date upon which the next board approved examination for licensure is given. Up to three additional temporary licenses may be issued to applicants who do not pass the examination.

The Board continues to accept applications for licensure. Applications can be downloaded from this page. Should you have questions about obtaining a license or completing the application process, please contact Debbie Hayes at the Administrative Office of the Courts (615-741-2687 or 1-800-448-7970).

PLEASE NOTE: The grandfathering provisions set out in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 20-9-613 are no longer in effect. Any person who engages in court reporting must obtain a license in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 20-9-609.