What States is it Illegal to Sleep in Your Car

There are no federal laws that stops you from sleeping in your car, but state rules and residential areas can charge you for loitering. However, In what states is it illegal to sleep in your car?

Sleeping in your car is not illegal in any state as long as you don’t sleep in a restricted area. For example, in Florida, you cannot sleep in your car on the Florida Keys and highways because it is reserved for emergencies and crashed vehicles.

Is Sleeping In Your Car Illegal?

Sleeping in your car isn’t illegal but if where you sleep is on a property that is not yours, it is called trespassing.

Regardless of what state you live in, parking in places that are not yours can get you arrested, even in public places where parking and resting are allowed, the timing is fixed and you can’t exceed a few hours before you are seen to be loitering around.

Sleeping isn’t illegal, staying for too long is what pulls people’s attention to you.

What States Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car?

States it is illegal to sleep in your car are:

1. Florida

Florida is one of the states it is illegal to sleep in your car. However, the rule does not apply to all the cities in Florida, just some certain places in Florida called the Florida Keys.

It is illegal to sleep in your car in the Florida Keys. For those asking if you can drive to the Florida Keys, note that, even if you drive to the Florida Keys, you cannot sleep in your car anyway there.

Apart from the Florida Keys, it will depend on other laws of those places. For example, pulling over and sleeping in your car on a highway may not be allowed because it is reserved for emergencies and crashed vehicles.

If you are in Florida and wish to get a place to sleep before continuing your journey, you can make use of popular grocery stores parking lots like Walmart, etc.

2. Georgia

In Georgia, there are no laws that prevents people from sleeping in their cars. However, you should be careful where you sleep to avoid landing yourself in more problems than you can imagine.

If you are traveling and just need a place to sleep before continuing your journey, you can just make use of popular stores such as Walmart. And, it should be a one-night thing to avoid attracting suspicious eyes on you.

Nonetheless, if you wish to stop anyway and sleep in Georgia, ensure you are not doing it on highways, this is because highways are reserved for emergencies only. So, avoid it.

If you are on a highway and you are feeling sleepy, continue driving until you are out of the highway, pull up, and sleep.

3. North Carolina

While there is no law preventing you to sleep in your car in North Carolina, there are limitations to how long you can sleep in your car.

For example, it is obvious that both North and South Carolina prohibits parking at rest stops. To make it worse, North Carolina however limits rest stop parking periods to a four-hour maximum.

Now, imagine trying to sleep and you hear someone knock on your window to tell you to get moving, that you have spent more time than you should. Anyways, four hours of sleep can go a lot. You can just pull up to a hotel and get a room.

4. Tennessee

While it is not legal to sleep in your car in Tennessee, there are limitations to the number of hours you are allowed to sleep at rest stops.

Nevertheless, unlike North Carolina where you have at least 4 hours of sleep at rest stops, you only get three hours in Tennessee making it the city with the shortest resting hours with no overnight parking and camping.

Some cities in Tennessee prohibit people from sleeping both in public and private parking lots, so before you pull over and sleep in any, ensure you enquire if you can sleep there to avoid breaking any law.

However, it is important to note that no state rejects you sleeping in your car. It is your car and you can choose to relax any time of the day. The state isn’t against your sleeping; the state rules are only against you staying too long.

You can sleep in a supermarket parking lot, but staying too long can cause you to be suspicious and law enforcement agencies can call you in for questioning.

Taking a nap for an hour can’t get you a strike because you comply with the timing. To have a more decent sleep, ask your local police officer about what legal rights you have and where you may stay longer even if you want to take a nap.

Why Do Some Counties Don’t Allow Sleeping In The Car?

Sleeping in a car isn’t wrong, but the state’s rules will hold you to it if you stay longer than expected. There are laws for parking and sleeping in a car.

There are lots of strings attached to sleeping in a car and it is to the safety of the people and you. You can sleep as much as you want, but sleeping overnight isn’t allowed and aside from that, it is a dangerous move to make.

Also, sleeping in your car in the same sport for a very long time is not good. It is not your private property. The fact that it is public property doesn’t mean you should turn the space into your private property where you can always pull up and sleep.

Pros of Sleeping In a Car

Sleeping in your car isn’t bad; neither should you be fined for it. The following are advantages to sleeping in your car they include:

1. A Quick, Peaceful Nap

Maybe you are on a long trip and you desire a quick sleep before you continue your journey, you are tired and pressured, your eye-lids are closing behind the wheel and you intend to take a nap to refresh yourself before you continue the journey, it is wise to find a closer parking lot and rest a while before you continue your journey.

Sleeping in the car in tough situations like this is the best move you have got to ensure you are refreshed enough to drive longer.

2. A Trip is Made Easy

A vacation requires you to spend more. In case you are on a vacation and you are hoping to find a place to sleep, maybe you have little or you don’t desire to spend on accommodation, your car can be your home for the time. Sleeping in your car can reduce the amount you will spend on securing accommodation.

Accommodation can be quite expensive. A few hours of sleeping while taking a vacation won’t do you any harm. It is a vacation, there are likely little or no rules guiding you overstaying in your car.

To be on the safe side, ensure you know the rules assigned to sleeping in a car in that locality. It is your cost-effective measure. You save more and still live life in the fun.

Cons of Sleeping In a Car

Sleeping in your car also has its bad sides and it can’t be avoided. A few of the disadvantages include:

1. It May not be a Safe Move

Safety shouldn’t be neglected when thinking of sleeping in your car. One question you should ask to guarantee your safety is that where you intend to park, is it legal? Staying at the right place is the best way to have a peaceful sleep.

Finding stores and supermarkets that allow parking can be a little safe because you won’t be the only one there. You are likely to find individuals like you who are also looking for where to sleep for a crucial time.

If you fear supermarkets, you can sneak into hotel parking lots. Hotels frown at people who sleep in parking lots. They prefer you get a room, but if you can leave early enough, you will get out without being noticed. But if you are detected, they can only request that you move your car.

2. It May not be Comfortable

Sleeping in a car isn’t comfortable, either it is in the back seat or the front seat. You can’t sleep so well without having back pain.

A room Is preferable and easy to stretch and move your body as much as you want but in a car, you have little or no way to stretch, you will probably shrink yourself to fit into the car space and have a few troubles getting your head properly placed.


It isn’t illegal to sleep in a car if your car is parked in the right place and you feel it is safe to sleep there. You can go ahead. There are no federal laws that go against sleeping in your car, but when you do, it is smart to consider parking laws and not forget your safety too