Sleeping at one of Michigan's many rest areas is certainly not glamorous, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. But is catching a few ZZZs at a rest area or welcome center in Michigan legal?

Rest Stops in Michigan

At last count, the Michigan Department of Transportation operates 77 rest areas throughout the state. Of these locations, 14 are also 'Welcome Centers' which are said to serve more than 7.5 million travelers each year.

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We haven't verified this, but MDOT claims that rest stops are located within an hour's drive of each other throughout the state. This fact may be a little fuzzy when you get into the Western Upper Peninsula.

Michigan Rest Stops


Michigan Rest Stop Rules

Surprisingly, very few rules govern Michigan's rest areas and roadside parks.

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While some websites claim that Michigan puts a four-hour time limit on rest areas, there are no such laws on the books here in our state.

At a handful of rest areas throughout Michigan, MDOT has posted signs indicating that overnight parking and camping are prohibited. However, this is the exception, not the rule.

How Long Can You Stay at a Michigan Rest Area?

Michigan has no imposed time limit for staying at one of its rest stops. Unless otherwise posted, parking overnight at a rest area in Michigan is acceptable, and sleeping in your vehicle is permitted.

However, if you remain parked in a rest area for an extended period, local law enforcement officers will likely check on you.

Sleeping in your vehicle in Michigan outside a rest area is also legal, but there are some circumstances that could get you in trouble.

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