Sleeping In Your Car In Los Angeles 2023:9 Question Answered

There are different reasons you’d want to consider sleeping in your car. For starters, you might be planning a road trip with your lover, friends, or family members for a unique bonding experience.

Or you could want to go outdoor camping without needing to spend on housing or getting accommodation while camping.

You could also be homeless with only your car as the option to sleep in. Whatever your reason is, you should know that you can’t simply waltz into any city in California to camp to spend the night.Sleeping In Your Car In Los Angeles

You’d be surprised that after prolonged hours, the cops around might walk up to you and ask you to leave the spot you parked in.

Without knowledge of the city or County’s local laws, you might get pissed and overreact as a result. So, before you embark on that road trip or park at the side of the road, here are a couple of things you should know. Let’s dive in.


Where Can I Sleep In My Car In Los Angeles ?

It’s important to research areas where you can sleep in your car in Los Angeles before you sleep in those areas. The reason is Los Angeles currently has a law that restricts cars from dwelling in residential areas within a specific period.

This period runs from 9 pm to 6 am. In essence, if you managed to escape the authorities to park in a residential area from morning till noon, you’re going to be evacuated once it’s 9 pm. With this law enacted, you might need to think twice before spending the night in a residential area.

In essence, residential areas are out of bounds. However, some of the places you can park your car to pass the night are rest stops- for eight hours and some privately owned property as long you have the permission to park for a nap or deep sleep.

Specifically, some places you can park to sleep in your car in Los Angeles include; 888 S Figueroa 24 Hour Parking, Cherokee Garage, Standard Parking, Pershing Square Garage, etc.

Is Sleeping In Your Car Illegal In Los Angeles ?

In recent times, sleeping in your car in Los Angeles has become illegal, and here’s why. The end of a series of council meetings in Los Angeles has seen council members vote to ban sleeping in cars in the County. As a result, some parts of Los Angeles have executed the ban.

Generally, the ban is not a result of insecurity but mainly because Los Angeles seeks to eradicate homelessness in the County. Nevertheless, this rule has some exceptions as people can still park to sleep in their cars in specific areas like designated spaces, public lots owned by stores like Walmart and Casinos, etc.

Can You Get A Ticket For Sleeping In Your Car?

Yes and No. You’ll most likely get a ticket for sleeping in your car for some reason. First, if you’re intoxicated (regardless of whether your engine is on or turned off), you could get a ticket for sleeping in your car because the cops would assume you drove yourself to the spot.

Another instance that could earn you a ticket when you’re caught sleeping in your car is if you’re trespassing. By trespassing, I mean if your car is parked at a spot longer than expected, like for more than 8-hours at a rest spot. Or, if your car is parked on land that bans parking of cars to sleep in, you could get a ticket.

However, if it’s your first time in the act, the cop or traffic officer might let you off the hook with a warning. But your car would be marked in case you’re caught again. On the flip side, you won’t get a ticket for sleeping in your car if the land you’re on has no restriction on how long you can stay parked on it.

Is It A Crime To Sleep In Your Car?

Generally, a crime is a breach of law that could occur because the law prohibits it or because it is evil in itself. Sleeping in your car is not a crime. However, there are specific contexts that could turn it into a crime.

For instance, if you sleep in your car in a location prohibited by the law, you’ve committed a crime that’s punishable by the law as it falls under mala prohibita (crime because the law prohibited the action).

Nevertheless, the punishment for sleeping in your car in a prohibited space or spot is not as severe as the punishment for terrorism or murder. Regardless of the punishment that’s given to you, you can’t be arrested and thrown into jail.

Is It Legal To Sleep On The Side Of The Road IN Los Angeles ?

No, you cannot sleep on the side of the road in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, this rule applies to freeways according to DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD [21000 – 23336] that prohibits anyone from parking their cars to sleep on the side of the road. The only exception to this rule is if you’re in an emergency, in which case it would attract any police officer.

However, the problem with this rule is that not everyone understands what “freeways” mean. The reason is, as long as you’re not on a freeway, you can sleep on the side of the road in Los Angeles in your car.

According to the vehicle codes of Los Angeles, a “‘Freeway’” is a highway in respect to which the owners of abutting lands have no right or easement of access to or from their abutting lands or concerning which such owners have only limited or restricted right or easement of access .

“In essence, if you’re sure you’re not on a freeway, you won’t get into trouble for parking your car by the side of the road for a nap.

Can You Sleep At Rest Areas In Los Angeles?

Yes, you can sleep at rest areas in Los Angeles. However, there is a restriction on the liberty you have to sleep at rest areas in Los Angeles.

For starters, you can’t sleep overnight in rest areas in Los Angeles. Second, you can only stay or sleep at rest areas for 8 hours within 24 hours. The moment you exceed the 8 hours, police officers would approach you and ask that you respectfully leave the area.

Can You Sleep In Your Car At Walmart IN Los Angeles?

Yes, you can. The majority of Walmart stores in Los Angeles allow people to car camp or park their cars to sleep in their parking lots . But, you might need to get permission from the branch security before you conveniently park overnight in the parking lot.

Also, if there’s a system you need to go through to park overnight at a Walmart parking lot, you might want to find that out to prevent weird surprises.

What Are LOS ANGELES’S Rules Against Sleeping Overnight In Cars?

Directly targeted at homeless people who live in their cars, the law bans people parking their RVs and cars for “habitation purposes” in residential areas from 9 pm till 6 am.

The law further prohibits people from living in their cars within 500 ft. or one block of schools, daycare facilities, preschools, etc.


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