Updated at: 23-03-2022 - By: Lucas

As a disclaimer, nothing on this page should be construed as advice or instruction. As a result, we recommend that you seek legal counsel.

Affiliate links can be found throughout this piece. Using any of the links on this page will allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

In the United States, there is no federal law prohibiting people from sleeping in their cars.

It is expected that you should not drive under the influence of alcohol, and you should not be found behind the wheel of a moving vehicle while dizzy.

Is it, however, a crime in Tennessee to sleep in one’s car? It is illegal in Tennessee to sleep in your vehicle. Nonetheless, you may be able to find a safe and legal parking spot in some establishments that allow for long-term parking.

Road trips across Tennessee can be a great way to get to know the state and its people. The state’s highways are lined with stunning scenery. The problem is that TN doesn’t have a lot of places where you can park overnight and get some rest.

Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car In Tennessee?

Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car In Tennessee-1

Overnight parking is not permitted in Tennessee, like in Florida and North Carolina. To make matters worse, local governments across the state have enacted laws making it illegal to sleep in a moving vehicle. If you break these guidelines, you could be prosecuted with FWI.

For the period of three (3) hours, vehicles in Tennessee are permitted to relax at rest stations and in authorized parking spaces. North Carolina’s rest stops allow up to four hours of rest, therefore this is a short period of time.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that outdoor camping is prohibited in this state. If you’re a vehicle camper, you’ll need to check out the campground’s restrictions.

In Tennessee, finding a secure and legal spot to rest your head before continuing on your journey might be tedious.

While in the state of Tennessee, there are still ways to sleep in your automobile. There aren’t many options, and they’re not as comfortable as you’d like them to be.

Virginia does not allow you to sleep in your vehicle.

You’ll want to look for 24-hour retail shops that allow customers to park overnight in their parking lot. The security guards at the store should be informed in advance if you want to park there. If you want to be taken into consideration, you need to be nice when talking to them.

The state of Tennessee has a surprising number of retail establishments that allow customers to park their cars overnight. Church parking lots, on the other hand, might be a good place to take a little nap. There are a variety of parking policies in place at different churches.

Aside from churches and a few shops, there isn’t much more to do but park your car and sleep in it.


A common question is, “Is it unlawful to sleep on the road in Tennessee?” In Tennessee, sleeping in your automobile is against the law regardless of whether the engine is off. It’s still possible to park legally and safely in some establishments that allow long-term parking, however.

It’s also possible to stay in a hotel and have a peaceful night’s sleep. A friend living in Tennessee may be able to help out if you need it.

A house or hotel room is where you’ll be spending the night instead of your car. These options may cost a lot of money, but they will spare you the embarrassment of facing a jury.