Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car In a Parking Lot?

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A lot of people live out in their cars for months and even years; they just have to navigate from one spot to another so they won’t draw attention to themselves.

In some states and cities in the United States, it is even safe to camp in your car while parked in designated car camping venues.

However, one thing has always been the concern of people who live in their cars; is it illegal to sleep in your car in a parking lot?

One can easily find privately-owned parking lots around a city and decide to park in there; but are you allowed to sleep inside the car while parked there?

Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car In A Parking Lot?

First things first, it is important to note that different parking lots have their rules and regulation. Some of them allow overnight parking, while there are yet some that do not allow such.

In the same way, some parking lots may be cool with you sleeping in your car, while there are some that won’t allow such.

More so, from a general perspective, laws for sleeping in your car differs from state to state and apply under certain conditions.

Apparently, no two states have the same exact laws for sleeping in a car. You should be safe after all, if you don’t sleep for too long in the spot where you’re parked.

When you park in a parking lot, you’d be informed of the rules that apply in the lot. Sometimes, the rules may not make it clear whether sleeping in your car is allowed or not; in such a scenario, you can call on the security personal around and ask if you can actually sleep inside your car while it’s parked.

It’s safer and more convenient when you know that you got the consent of an authority in charge of the parking lot before going on to sleep in your car.

The most we know, there is no illegality in sleeping inside your car while it is parked. You just need to find a perfect spot where you can park comfortably – and probably with the consent of the people in the neighborhood.

Which Is Safer: Parking Lots or Rest Stops?

Walmarts still allow overnight parking and there are several other parking lots too. Whether you park at Walmarts or commercial parking lots, you should be safe.

Usually, securities guard parking lots, so you should be cool, and for Walmarts, there are lots of other drivers sleeping in their car – you’re not alone.

Some rest stops in certain areas have a 24-hour bathroom facility and other amenities; yes, rest stops are usually open 24 hours, but you are expected to spend the whole 24 hours parked in there.

You can stay for up to 4 hours in a rest stop and this is enough to get a good sleep.

Some people drive into a neighborhood and pull over at a safe corner to rest. That’s also not a bad idea, but the residents may call the police on you if you park in their street for a long time.

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So, is it illegal to sleep in your car in a parking lot? No, it’s not illegal, but always ask whoever is around the area (or security) if such is allowed in the parking lot.

You are not going against any state’s rule for sleeping in your car. However, you could end up dealing with a lawsuit if you’re drunk or your car is not turned off completely.

Most importantly, don’t make a habit to always stop at a spot to rest/sleep while driving; your constant appearance could be a concern to the people around.

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