New Tennessee Laws Effective January 1, 2019

Mon 14 Jan 05:38 | Posted by on News

Most laws enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly during its 2018 session went into effect July 1, 2018. However, 16 new statutes became effective January 1, 2019. For a complete list, go to ( 

Below are a few notable new laws:

  • Immigration – State and local governmental entities and officials are prohibited from adopting sanctuary policies. Such entities that do will be ineligible for economic and community development funds from the state until such policy is no longer in effect.
  • Opioids – The Tennessee Department of Health shall establish, maintain, and publicize a telephone hotline and an Internet hotline for citizens to report allegations of opioid abuse. Any entity that prescribes, dispenses, or handles opioids must display a sign advertising the hotlines.
  • Abortion – Women seeking an abortion in Tennessee are required to have an ultrasound as part of a physical examination prior to the abortion. Any person performing the ultrasound must offer the woman the opportunity to learn the results, including whether or not a heartbeat is detected.
  • Wine Sales – Beginning January 6, 2019, grocery stores may sell wine on Sundays between 10 am and 11 pm, but not on Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving.
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Reports – The minimum property damage threshold for which a motor vehicle accident requires a written report to be filed with the Tennessee Department of Safety is increased from $400 to $1,500. 
  • Water Contamination – Each local board of education must develop a policy to implement a program to reduce the potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water in public schools.
  • State Vehicles – The Tennessee Department of General Services shall establish a state vehicle abuse hotline and website. Vehicles owned or leased by the state must have decals providing information on how to make a complaint.

by Paul Matthews