Is It Legal To Sleep At A Rest Stop In Washington State?

Traveling can be exhausting, and sometimes you just need to pull over and get some rest. 

I've made some crazy road trips before. I once drove straight through to California from Washington one summer.

What Are The Regulations And Rules To Rest Stops In Washington State?

I pulled over to grab some ZZZZ's but what are the rules and regulations when it comes to sleeping at a rest area in Washington State?

The limitations on the use of rest areas in Washington State are clearly outlined in state law.


According to RCW 47.12.250, it is unlawful for any person or persons to stop, stand, or park any vehicle for more than eight hours within a twenty-four-hour period at a safety rest area. This includes trailers, campers, motorcycles, and any other type of vehicle.

Additionally, camping or maintaining a camp, tent, or other sleeping accommodation is also prohibited at these rest areas.

Furthermore, disabled vehicles are subject to additional restrictions. It is illegal for any disabled vehicle to remain parked at a safety rest area for more than forty-eight hours.

After this time period, the vehicle may be subject to mandatory impoundment under RCW 46.55.080(1). These regulations are in place to ensure that rest areas remain safe and efficient spaces for travelers passing through the state.

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The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)  will post appropriate signage at all safety rest areas regarding parking time limits as outlined in the law.

The Washington State Patrol will enforce these rules consistent with state statutes related to parking violations.

While there are strict limitations on how long you can stay at a rest area in Washington State, commercial vehicles have some flexibility when it comes to federally mandated rest periods.

Commercial vehicles may park up to an hour beyond their required rest breaks before continuing their journey.

You can read more about the rest stops laws and rules here.

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