NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In the modern age, text messages have become a new way for telemarketers to try to get around laws banning them from reaching out to people with unsolicited sales pitches.

For some people, these unsolicited texts have become an almost monthly or even daily occurrence, with many people being inundated with texts from solicitors wanting to buy their homes. Often, the person has not even put the property up for sale.

However, a new law that takes effect on July 1, 2023 is aiming to put an end to those unwanted texts, just as Tennessee’s “Do Not Call” registry has helped curb phone calls from people trying to sell consumer goods and services.

The Do Not Call registry was created by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1999 and consists of Tennesseans who have elected not to receive telephone solicitations. Under House Bill 805, a new “Do Not Text” list will be merged with the existing registry to close the texting loophole.

The bill, dubbed the “Do Not Text” law, was sponsored by Tennessee House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) who told News 2 in February that some of his constituents were getting daily texts from people wanting to buy their homes.

At the time, Lamberth was also familiar with the problems his constituents were seeing. Less than an hour before presenting the bill, Lamberth said he received a text from a one-name investor looking to buy his home.

“Hello William, My name is Anna, Just checking if I could be of help to you in the sale of [address redacted]. We can handle most related issues for free!” the text said.

Under the new law, anyone who sends a text encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods or services could face a fine of up to $2,000 per violation. The bill also applies to solicitors requesting donations, with exception of not-for-profit organizations.

Many of the same provisions that already applied to telephone solicitation will also now be expanded to what the bill defines as “text message solicitation,” including that solicitors are prohibited from using any method to block a residential subscriber’s use of caller identification.

“Text message solicitation” does not include communication where the subscriber has already given permission to be contacted or when they have been an existing customer at a business within the past year.

Some examples are texts from a family dentist, a pest control company or a credit card company, according to the Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC), which enforces the state’s Do Not Call/Text program.

However, there are some restrictions. Businesses are not allowed to make more than three random calls or texts per week. A call or text from a collection agency or political candidate is also not considered to be solicitation under state law.

That’s because while the U.S. Supreme Court allows for the regulation of commercial speech, political speech is afforded greater protection from government regulation under the First Amendment, according to the TPUC.

Anyone who has registered their phone number on the Tennessee Do Not Call list will automatically be covered under the Do Not Text program. Tennesseans who haven’t signed up yet can do so by clicking here.

⏩ Read today’s top stories on

After registering, a phone number will remain on the list until the user requests the TPUC remove the number, or the number is disconnected.

Violations of the Do Not Call/Text program should be reported to the TPUC Consumer Services and External Affairs Division at 1-800-342-8359. Violations can also be reported online. To file a complaint, click here.