Is it illegal to sleep in your car in Virginia? This is an important question you should ask yourself if you’re planning to travel across Virginia. Like some states in the US, sleeping in your car can be an act of a crime.
It is illegal to sleep in your car in Virginia and most other states and localities. Sleeping in your car (and even parking it) is a violation of state or municipal law that can lead to a fine. If you need to sleep, it’s best to find a safe location nearby.
Why Is It Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in Virginia?
Most state laws prohibit sleeping in your car on public property because homeless people use it as a default. They’re not just homeless, though. They could be anyone who doesn’t have any place to stay for the night. Some people choose to sleep in their cars because they can’t afford a hotel, or because they want to avoid the noise and mess of communal shelters. And some people just don’t like staying in shelters because there are certain restrictions on what you can and cannot do there.
Even if you’re not homeless, you should avoid sleeping in your car to keep from getting a fine. Or, if possible, find somewhere else to sleep for the night.
Is It Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in Virginia?
Yes, it is illegal to sleep in your car if you are parked on public property that isn’t specifically meant for sleeping. It’s also against the law to drive while sleeping or drive while intoxicated, but that’s another story.
Usually, you can’t sleep in your car if it’s parked on any public road or highway. You may be able to park on the shoulder of the road, under certain circumstances. The law also varies based on whether it’s day or night when you park.
Where Can I Park My Car Overnight in Virginia?
You can park your car overnight in Virginia if you’re parked at a rest stop, truck stop, hotel parking lot, driveway leading up to the private property, or other property that is specifically designated for overnight parking.
Do I Need to Get Special Permission?
No. You just need to park your car overnight in a place that is specifically meant for parking. You can’t, however, disrupt the peace and quiet of your neighbors by playing loud music, revving the engine, or making other noises.
Having the ability to live out of your car for an extended period of time may seem attractive, but if you want peace of mind when sleeping, there are better options available. Sleeping in a car could land you a fine, so you’d better check in advance.
Further Reading: Waysides and rest areas – Codes of Virginia