Tennessee Sex Offender Laws Explained in Full by DoNotPay

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Tennessee Sex Offender Laws Can Mark Criminals for Life

Sex offenders in Tennessee face harsh punishment and far-reaching repercussions for their crimes.

With 286 registered sex criminals per 100,000 residents, Tennessee ranks 15th in the country for sex offenses. This could result in you living or working closer to a registered sex offender that you may feel comfortable with.

DoNotPay is here to help. Our guide to the Tennessee sex offender laws will give you all the info you need to protect yourself and your loved ones from contact with a sex criminal.

What Are the TN Sex Offender Laws?

Tennessee follows the same system as most states in categorizing the severity of sex offenses and punishing criminals accordingly.

The Volunteer State uses a tier system explained in this table:

Crime LevelExplanation
Tier IFirst offender crimes are normally designated tier I, as long as they do not involve violence.

Examples of tier I crimes are:

  • False imprisonment of a minor
  • Receipt or possession of child pornography
  • Acts of public indecency such as voyeurism
Tier IISecond offenses are automatically classified tier II, as are crimes involving:
  • Prostitution of minors
  • Sexual contact with pubescent minors
  • Production or distribution of child porn
  • Enticement of a minor
Tier III (known as level III in some states)Tier III offenses are the most serious and include:
  • Non-parental kidnapping of a minor
  • Rape
  • Use of any force or coercion to commit sexual acts
  • Sexual acts with minors aged under 13

How Severely Are Tennessee Sex Offenders Punished?

Sex offender laws in Tennessee include some of the harshest sentencing practices in the country.

Tier II and tier III offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences, which can be increased by aggravating factors, such as the criminal being in a position of authority over the victim.

The punishment ranges in Tennessee for different types of sex offenses are as follows:

Type of CrimeCustodial Sentence RangeMaximum Possible Fine
Aggravated rape or child rape15–60 years$50,000
Rape or sexual battery8–30 years$25,000
Sexual battery by an authority figure2–15 years$10,000

Lesser offenses are punishable by between two and 12 years incarceration and a maximum $5,000 fine.

Do Tennessee Sex Offenders Have To Register?

All convicted sex offenders in Tennessee have to place themselves on the state’s sex offender registry.

The registry contains details such as:

  • Name and any aliases of the offender
  • Home, school, and work addresses
  • Driver’s license details
  • A recent photo of the criminal
  • Phone numbers and email addresses
  • Social media accounts

Offenders have to keep their details updated according to the following schedule:

  • Tier I offenders—annually
  • Tier II criminals—every six months
  • Tier III offenders—quarterly

Unregistered offenders or those who do not update their details on time face stiff additional penalties, including fines and incarceration.

What Does Being on the Registry Mean for TN Sex Offenders?

Registered Tennessee sex offenders face tough restrictions on their everyday lives, including limitations on:

  1. Employment
  2. Residence
  3. Travel


Registered sex offenders in Tennessee are not allowed to take up employment within 1,000 feet of any place where children congregate, such as:

  • Schools
  • Daycare or childcare facilities
  • Public parks
  • Playground
  • Sports facilities


Convicted sex criminals must keep to the same distance regulations when finding accommodation. This effectively makes most areas within towns or cities off-limits.


Registered sex criminals cannot loiter in areas within 1,000 feet of any facility where children congregate and must register with local law enforcement authorities whenever they travel within the state.

Interstate travel is allowed if local authorities are informed of travel plans in advance. The criminal’s destination state may require registration for stays of more than five days.

International travel is possible, but all sex offenders nationwide receive an identifying mark in their passports to warn destination countries of their status. Some countries may refuse admission to registered sex offenders.

How Can You Benefit From Tennessee Sex Offender Laws?

The safety of your family is one of the most important considerations in your life.

The Tennessee sex offender registry is designed to create a map of sex offenders’ whereabouts in the state. Under the 1996 Megan’s Law, members of the general public can access the state registry and search for:

  • Specific offenders
  • Sex criminals in their neighborhood

While this is a useful service, sex offenders can move into your building overnight, and you would only find out about it by performing regular searches.

This is where DoNotPay comes in. Our Sex Offender Search feature can if you choose!

DoNotPay Is Your Guardian in Tennessee!

If you’re worried about being close to sex offenders in Tennessee, DoNotPay is your guardian!

Our Sex Offender Search product lets you check a radius around your home for registered sex offenders, look for a specific offender to determine their whereabouts, and set up weekly updates, so you don’t miss any developments.

Here’s how to use our feature:

  1. in your web browser
  2. Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
  3. Choose whether you want to search for
    1. A particular person
    2. Sex offenders in your vicinity

Your report will be sent to you in an instant, and your weekly updates will give you ongoing peace of mind.

DoNotPay Can Help in Other States as Well

DoNotPay has information on how the sex offender registry works in most states—here are some examples:

GeorgiaUtahNorth Carolina
PennsylvaniaNew YorkMissouri

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Although certain tasks require you to get a lawyer’s assistance, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for their service. With DoNotPay, you can avoid figuring out the jargon and have peace of mind dealing with bureaucratic tasks the easy way.

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Communication Is the Key

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Here’s what you can do with our app:

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