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GPS Tracking Laws In Tennessee

GPS Tracking Laws In Tennessee – Legal Guide

One of the best ways to catch a cheating spouse or bust a problem employee is through the use of vehicle trackers. However, before you invest in a personal GPS to spy on your cheating husband or wife, it is important to understand the laws in Tennessee so you don’t do anything illegal. Now, let’s take a deep dive into GPS tracking laws in Tennessee, and learn what you can and can’t do!

GPS Trackers

Is GPS Tracking Your Husband or Wife Illegal In TN?

There are some things you definitely need to know if you plan on putting a GPS on a car for the purpose of tracking it. First of all, you can never enter someone else’s vehicle and equip a tracker if you are not the registered owner or lessee. If you are the registered owner of the car you can legally track it (as long as you say you are tracking the vehicle for theft recovery purposes when asked).

What if you place the tracker outside of the car while the vehicle is parked on public property? Now here is where things can get a little murky in terms of the law. Some business lawyers have been able to use this defense with success because the person using the tracker 1) did so on public property where a person does not have a right to privacy and 2) did not enter the vehicle. Putting a tracker on a vehicle without the consent of the occupant of the vehicle can be a misdemeanor offense (TN law) if you are not careful in the fashion you equip tracking systems to a vehicle.

Please note that hidden GPS trackers can’t be tracked back to you if the device were discovered by the occupant of the vehicle.

Related Content: Hiring A Private Investigator For Cheating Spouse

Tennessee GPS Law 39-13-606 – Electronic Tracking Of Motor Vehicles

Law Enforcement: Police can install, conceal or equip an electronic tracking device inside or outside of any motor vehicle without consent for the purpose of a criminal investigation. However, they need to abide by Federal Law which states police are required to first obtain a search warrant so as to not violate a person’s fourth amendment rights.

Parents: If you have a teen driver and want to make sure they are driving safely you can legally do so if you are the parent or legal guardian who leases or owns the automobile. Monitoring a minor child with a hidden vehicle tracking device installed on the vehicle is not a violation of Tennessee law.

Vehicle Theft: Placing an electronic device on a motor vehicle for tracking the location of stolen goods or if the vehicle is stolen is legal.

Unlawfully entering a vehicle that you do not own and putting a car tracker inside is a Class C misdemeanor.

Related Content: GPS Tracking Laws In Each State


Placing an electronic GPS tracker on a car has the potential to be a misdemeanor. In order to avoid any criminal offenses, please consult with an attorney about using a tracker, especially, if you are involved in a child custody case or have a legal separation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Legal To Use GPS Tracking Devices In Tennessee?

Yes, it is legal to use GPS tracking devices in Tennessee as long as they are used for legal purposes such as monitoring your own vehicle, tracking your employees or fleet vehicles, or tracking a minor child with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Are There Any Restrictions On Using GPS Trackers In Tennessee?

Yes, there are restrictions on using GPS trackers in Tennessee. Under the Tennessee Code, it is illegal to install, conceal, or otherwise place an electronic tracking device on a vehicle without the consent of the owner or lessee of the vehicle. Violation of this section is considered a Class E felony.

Can Employers Track Their Employees Using GPS In Tennessee?

Yes, employers can track their employees using GPS in Tennessee, but they must notify employees beforehand and obtain their consent. Failure to obtain consent can result in legal action by the employee.

Can GPS Tracking Be Used In Child Custody Cases In Tennessee?

Yes, GPS tracking can be used in child custody cases in Tennessee for purposes of monitoring the whereabouts of a minor child with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. However, if GPS tracking is used without the other parent’s knowledge or consent, it could be seen as a violation of privacy and lead to legal consequences.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Someone Is Illegally Tracking Me With A GPS Device In Tennessee?

If you suspect that someone is illegally tracking you with a GPS device in Tennessee, you should contact law enforcement immediately. Placing of an electronic tracking device without your consent is a criminal offense and punishable under state and federal statutes. You can also seek legal advice from personal injury lawyers or business lawyers for guidance on your legal options.

Information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice from a planning lawyer, family law attorney, or any professional law firm. Before installing, concealing, or placing a tracking device without the consent of the owners of the vehicle, please consult with an attorney in Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, TN, or any city in the great state of Tennessee. Laws for the purposes of monitoring vehicles can change so you need the most up-to-date information.

Matthew Henson
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