Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS



Tennessee Legislature


Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-902

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-903

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-905

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-901

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-906

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-907

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-14-405

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-904


13.24.400 - Aviation


Y-12 National Security Site, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge - FAA No Drone Zone


Drones in the news

May 2020 - Drone Light Show put on to thank, salute front line workers




Bill History

Where just the name of the bill or resolution is hyperlinked in black that means that it is not yet law!

Note that bills that are now law are changed to blue font


HB 1191 - died in chamber

HB 1456 - died in chamber


HB 1564


HB 1811


HB 2173


HB 2376 - clarifies that it is permissible for a person to use UAS on behalf of either a public or private institution of higher education, rather than just public insitutions. 


HB 759 - 100% progression failed for lack of motion


SB 1561 - As enacted, redefines "autonomous technology" for purposes of provision whereby no political subdivision may by ordinance, resolution, or any other means prohibit within the jurisdictional boundaries of the political subdivision the use of a motor vehicle equipped with autonomous technology if the motor vehicle otherwise complies with all safety regulations of the political subdivision; clarifies the definition of "autonomous technology" applicable to the provisions governing electronic displays, such as televisions, in motor vehicles. - Amends TCA Title 47; Title 54, Chapter 1; Title 55 and Title 67.


SB 2106 - creates the crime of using a drone to fly within 250 feet of a critical infrastructure facility for the purpose of conducting surveillance or gathering information about the facility.


SB 2333 - As enacted, allows a motor vehicle to be operated, or to be equipped with, an integrated electronic display visible to the operator while the motor vehicle's autonomous technology is engaged. - Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 8 and Title 55, Chapter 9, Part 1.


SB 2470


SB 2634 - died in chamber


SB 709


On May 20, 2013 The Tennessee General Assembly passed into law Senate Bill (SB) 796 (download below), which was an act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 29 and Title 39, relative to surveillance. 

SB 796 addresses the use of drones by law enforcement. The new law enables law enforcement to use drones in compliance with a search warrant, to counter a high-risk terrorist attack and if swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life. Evidence obtained in violation of this law is not admissible in state criminal prosecutions. Additionally, those wronged by such evidence can seek civil remedy. 

Adobe Acrobat document [36.1 KB]

On April 4, 2014, the Governor of Tennessee signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1777 (download below). This is an act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 70, Chapter 4, Part 3, relative to hunter protection. 

SB 1777 makes it a class C misdemeanor for any private entity to use a drone to conduct video surveillance of a person who is hunting or fishing without their consent.

Adobe Acrobat document [37.5 KB]

On May 16, 2014, Senate Bill (SB) 1892 (download below) was signed into Public Chapter 876. This is an act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 29 and Title 39, relative to the protection of privacy. 

SB 1892 makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a person to use UAS to intentionally conduct surveillance of an individual or their property. It also makes it a crime to possess those images (Class C Misdemeanor) or distribute and otherwise use them (Class B Misdemeanor).  The law also identifies 18 lawful uses of UAS, including the commercial use of UAS under FAA regulations, professional or scholarly research and for use in oil pipeline and well safety. 

Adobe Acrobat document [53.5 KB]

On April 30, 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 153 (download below) into law. This is an act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, relative to criminal offenses.

HB 153 prohibits using a drone to capture an image over certain open-air events and fireworks displays. It also prohibits the use of UAS over the grounds of a correctional facility.

Adobe Acrobat document [90.7 KB]

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Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS


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The information on this website is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. 

While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not YOUR attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

In no event shall Sarah Nilsson be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages relating to this material, for any use of this website, or for any other hyperlinked website.



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