Is it Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in San Diego?

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In 2019, the San Diego City Council agree and placed a ban on car livers and car campers.

The ordinance states that it is illegal for people to sleep in their cars between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. – within 500-feet of a residence or school. This mostly applies to people who are homeless or stranded at the moment.

However, for a driver who’s feeling dizzy and just needs to park somewhere safe to have some rest (probably get some sleep) before continuing with his journey, does this ban affect such a person? Is it illegal to sleep in your car in San Diego?

Sleeping In A Car In San Diego: What You Should Know

Overnight sleeping in your car is illegal in all parts of San Diego. There are designated places to go to if you want to live in your car or sleep in your car in San Diego.

The city has a few rest stop centers where drivers can drive in at any time of the day to rest.

You will also find parking lots that allow people to park their vehicle(s) for a longer time – you can take advantage of such lots to get more sleeping.

Interestingly, there are five (5) safe parking lots in San Diego, you can also go there to park and sleep inside your car peacefully.

Is it Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in San Diego?

Is it Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in San Diego

Except if you’re planning to live in your car, it is not illegal to park in safe corners, rest areas, or parking lots to get some sleep inside your car.

However, you should inform any security personnel about what you’re about to do; that way, you’d be more relaxed and comfortable as you fall asleep in your car.

San Diego is a city in California; the state’s government does not have a statewide decree, ordinance, or law that makes sleeping inside your car illegal unless you’re a vehicle liver. Only overnight parking is prohibited in all cities of California.

Rest stops, parking lots, and safe neighborhoods are good places to park your car and sleep inside. However, while doing so, ensure that you’re not drunk, and you’re not parked in the wrong spot.

In some streets, the residents may call the police on you if they notice that you’ve been parking for a long time.

When you’re parked at rest stops, you can also access the facilities available in the center, which may include a bathroom, eatery, and other recreational stuff.


For someone asking, “Is it illegal to sleep in your car in San Diego?” The simple answer is NO. However, if you’re a vehicle liver, the city has designated centers where homeless people can camp and stay without getting disturbed.

If a cop ever knocks on your window, roll it down and hear what he’s got to say. If asked why you’re sleeping in your car – tell the cop that you’re feeling drowsy and you think you should rest a while before continuing with your trip.

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