The following Maine rest area rules were researched from Maine’s Revised Statutes, the Maine Administrative Code, documents published by Maine Department of Transportation, and from signs posted at various Maine rest areas. We believe this to be the most accurate curation of rules relating to public use of Maine’s rest areas.
Maine Rest Area Rules
To date, the State of Maine has not adopted any laws or regulations regarding the public use of its highway rest areas. They have not adopted any statewide limits on how long you can stay at a rest area, if overnight parking is allowed, if camping is allowed, or if you can sleep in your car. The Maine Department of Transportation has not published any guidelines on the use of its rest areas. Moreover, in our travels through Maine, we have not seen any signs posted limiting length of stay, or addressing overnight parking.
How Long Can You Stay at a Maine Rest Area?
There currently is no statewide laws or rules on how long you can stay at a rest area. We have not seen any signs posted regarding length of stay. It’s our belief that you are allowed to stay at any Maine rest area or service plaza and remain there for as long as it takes you to rest up and resume driving safely.
Is Overnight Parking Allowed at Maine Rest Areas?
Yes, overnight parking is allowed. This is because rest areas in Maine are open 24 hours a day, meaning you can arrive at night and remain there for as long as it takes to rest up and resume driving safely. If that takes you into the following morning, then you have effectively stayed overnight.
Can You Sleep in your Car at a Maine Rest Area?
Yes, you can sleep in your car. Maine does not have any laws or regulations that prohibit sleeping in a vehicle while at a rest area. They fully expect drowsy drivers to use their rest areas for the purpose of getting some sleep. They’d rather you sleep in your vehicle than sleep on the grass or on a picnic table.
Is Camping Permitted at a Maine Rest Area?
The State of Maine has not adopted any laws or regulations that would prohibit camping at a rest area. We assume to “camping” to mean some form of outdoor recreation, or sleeping outdoors. However, we would not advise doing so. If your goal is to park overnight at a rest area, then we recommend sleeping in your vehicle and spending most of your time inside the vehicle. The less attention you draw to yourself, the more likely you’ll be able to stay overnight without being approached by law enforcement.
Where Can I Get a List of Maine Rest Areas?
The State of Maine has not published a list of its rest areas. However, the Maine Turnpike Authority has published a list of its service plazas at… https://www.maineturnpike.com/Traveler-Services/Service-Plazas.aspx