Part of Dixie and home of the famous Memphis and Nashville cities, this Southern US state is known as the global capital of country music. You might also have heard of a small whiskey distillery, named Jack Daniel’s or the famous hot chicken, part of the soul food cooked with passion by the women of this state.
Tennessee is a great state to live in and has a lot of awesome things to offer, but it also comes with some of the country’s wackiest laws. If you ever cross the border to this place and want to stay out of trouble, it is best you know and obey the following rules.
Your Netflix password could get you in big trouble
If all you want to do after a long day at work is to get into your comfy PJs with a glass of wine in one hand and the remote in the other hand zapping through the endless possibilities on Netflix, you may be in trouble.
Believe it or not, it is illegal to share your Netflix password in this state. The law is directed at hackers who sell the log-in credentials for a dime. So next time you break up with your significant other or have a feud with one of your family members, it may be a good idea to change the password on your Netflix account.
- Hold my Beer!
Tennessee is one of the few parts of the United States where you are allowed to have open alcoholic-beverage bottles and cans in a vehicle in motion, as long as the driver doesn’t drink.
Though we wouldn’t recommend testing your limits, if you get pulled over by the cops, all you have to do is pass your drink to another passenger or hide it somewhere in the car. Police officers will have a hard time proving you were breaking the law. Again, we encourage you to stay safe at all costs and never drive under the influence, no matter if it is allowed or not.
The main reason why this law is not changed is that football supporters who want to go to the University of Tennessee games by bus and have the right to open a beer can.
- Double standards much?
There comes a time in everyone’s life where sorority houses or a large place shared with your best friends seems like a dream come true. It certainly is, but not if you’re living in Tennessee. According to the local laws, it is OK to move in with your girlfriends, but not too many of them.
If more than eight women live together under the same roof in any place in Tennessee, the house is considered a brothel and, well, treated like such. Better not have too many female relatives we guess!
- No body ink for minors
Tattoos have become extremely popular over the past few decades, and more and more people seem to embrace this culture that was once considered worthy only for gang members, sailors, and ex-convicts. Moving forward to the 21st century, everyone seems to enjoy some body ink, either flashed out or placed strategically in areas covered by clothes.
Unfortunately, the trend is extremely popular amongst teenagers and youngsters too, which is not a good idea, especially since ink is supposed to be meaningful and last forever. Nevertheless, if you live in Tennessee, the state keeps you covered. This state strictly forbids tattooing minors which we think it is reasonable at the end of the day.
- No PDA in kindergartens
The laws in this state go as far as considering simple affection gestures as inappropriate, even from the earliest stages of life. For instance, holding hands is allegedly a gateway to sexuality, meaning it is forbidden in schools and even kindergartens.
While we do read some psychology studies that state the first sexual instincts of a child develop by the age of 6-7 years old, we still consider this law a bit unreasonable. After all, children are taught that one of the purest gestures of affection that can be shared with any family member or friend is holding hands.
- Don’t buy your kid a beer
Although there is a general rule within the United States that minors are not allowed to drink or receive alcoholic drinks from people until the age of 21 years, the state of Tennessee thought it should become their local concern too if children are served beers or alcoholic drinks.
We consider this law rather unuseful and redundant, but what can you do?
- Irregular taxing system
When it comes to taxes, the United States is one of the only countries in the world that comes with a different taxation system and rate, according to the state you are buying from. This could become a little frustrating for expats especially since the price advertised for a certain item is never the one you actually have to pay for it.
But wait until you find out about the taxation system in Tennessee! For instance, you’ll have to pay extra for baby food, but horse food is not taxed.
Some daily newspapers are exempt, while other publications and magazines are taxed. Condoms bought from vending machines are exempt, but you’ll have to pay extra if you purchase them from retailers.
There are so many exceptions and rules of the taxation system of Tennessee that we cannot help but wonder what if we want to buy a regular headlamp? Will we pay extra if we order it locally?
Just like most other states from the Dixie part, Tennessee has a special place for religion and God. The belief is so strong that you’ll find plenty of rules exclusively dedicated to religion. For instance, ministers should only dedicate their lives to God and, therefore, cannot benefit from a public function.
As for Christian parents, we have some bad news! You cannot force your child to pick up trash on Easter Day. Better not ask why.
- Cowboys should stay away from fish
We also have some sad news for cowboys and western movie enthusiasts. Rodeos and learning how to use a lasso are not illegal yet, but it is against the law to throw your lasso to catch fish.
Luckily, you can use all other fishing tools, including your bare hands, to catch the perfect fish for your dinner.
- So what is legal?
We’ve already documented some of the weirdest laws in the state of Tennessee, but what we also found curious is one of the things you are allowed to do here. Although we don’t actually recommend it and we don’t know the roots of it, it appears that it is legal to gather and eat roadkill. In other words, if you hit a rabbit or a deer with your car, you might as well bring it home for dinner.