New consumer protection laws, passed by the Tennessee General Assembly, mean residents will now have greater protection from military impersonators, improved assistance when recovering from identity theft and cannot be charged by credit reporting companies when enacting security freezes.

The new laws were among the over 150 new laws that took effect July 1.

Public Chapter 914: Enacts the "Tennessee Stolen Valor Act." Under this, it shall be a criminal offense for a person to commit criminal impersonation by pretending to be an active duty member or veteran of uniformed service.

Public Chapter 800: Allows a victim of identity theft to apply for and receive a new driver’s license with a new distinguishing number upon presenting proof of the crime. Allows a law enforcement report that lists the applicant as a victim of identity theft as proof. Authorizes the department of safety to charge a reasonable duplicate license fee for a victim of identity theft.

Public Chapter 595: Establishes that a consumer reporting agency shall not charge a Tennessee consumer to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze.

Public Chapter 638: Prohibits health care prescribers, and those associated, from using certain types of solicitation towards victims of an accident or disaster for the purpose of marketing their services within 30 days from the accident. Applicable to "marketing services of the healing arts related to the accident or disaster" applying to violations occurring on or after July 1, 2018.

Public Chapter 960: Specifies that if a tenant pretends to have a disability-related need for an assistance animal in order to obtain an exception to a provision in a rental agreement that prohibits pets or establishes limits on the types of pets tenants may possess, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief, as well as recover reasonable attorney’s fees for breach of contract and nonpayment of rent as provided in the rental agreement.