Is overnight parking allowed at Missouri rest areas? How long can you stay at a Missouri rest area? Is camping permitted at Missouri rest areas? What are the full Missouri rest area rules?
Missouri Rest Area Rules
The State of Missouri has not adopted any laws specifically about use of its highway rest areas. However, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has posted signs at many of its rest areas containing the following rules…
Rest Area Regulations
Trash receptacles for Litterbag and Park use only
No camping – no open fires
No vending or solicitation of materials or services
Vehicles restricted to designated parking areas
Pets must be kept on a leash
Pet owners responsible for control and cleanup of pets
Livestock not allowed outside vehicles
No holding tank dumping
How Long Can You Stay at a Missouri Rest Area?
MoDOT has not specified any maximum time limit for staying at its rest areas. Generally, you are allowed to remain at a rest area as long as you need to recuperate well enough to resume driving safely.
Is Overnight Parking Permitted at Missouri Rest Areas?
Yes. Because Missouri rest areas are open 24 hours a day, you can arrive at a rest area during night time hours and park overnight. With no specified maximum time limit, you are allowed to park overnight and stay in your vehicle.
Can You Sleep Overnight at a Missouri Rest Area?
Yes. There are no rules or laws against sleeping in your vehicle while at a Missouri rest area. And because you have up to 24 hours to stay there, that would also include overnight sleeping.
Is Camping Allowed at a Missouri Rest Area?
Yes, camping is allowed as long as it does not extend through the evening and into the following morning.
Many Missouri rest areas have facilities that could be used as part of recreational camping. These include picnic tables, cooking grills, children’s play areas, pet exercise areas, scenic viewing areas, and kiosks with historical information. You are welcome to enjoy rest area facilities and grounds for recreation, but you cannot do so through the night and into the following morning.
If you plan to stay overnight at Missouri rest area, then you should instead limit your activities to inside your vehicle. Do not put your camping equipment outside, do not roll out your awning, and try to look like someone who is too tired to do much of anything. You can then demonstrate to a law enforcement officer that you’re here only to rest long enough to continue driving safely.
Listing of Missouri Rest Areas
MoDOT publishes a map showing all of its rest areas… https://www.modot.org/missouri-rest-area-guide