What You Need to Know: City's New Rules on Vehicle Dwelling

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LOS ANGELES - The City of LA's new vehicle dwelling law is now in effect. Here's what you need to know.

As a result of the city's new provision, living in a vehicle, known as vehicle dwelling, is prohibited at all times within 500 feet of licensed schools, preschools, daycare facilities or parks. However, vehicle dwelling is allowed during the following times:

  • Daytime Hours
    • Between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
    • Vehicles must be more than 500 feet away from licensed schools, preschools, daycare facilities or parks.
  • Nighttime Hours:  
    • Between  9 p.m. and 6 a.m.  
    • Vehicles must be in non-residential zoned areas that are more than 500 feet away from licensed schools, preschools or daycare facilities or parks.
The city wants people to know where they can lawfully live in their vehicles. A combination of departments and agencies will continue to work with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, other service providers, faith-based organizations, and communities to provide information and outreach about vehicular dwelling. 

How will it be enforced?

Under this law, the LAPD has the authority to issue citations and may do so if more than one of the following activities are observed and when it reasonably appears that a person is using a vehicle as a place of residence or accommodation:
  • Possessing inside or on a vehicle items that are not associated with ordinary vehicle use, such as a sleeping bag, bedroll, blanket, sheet, pillow, kitchen utensils, cookware, and cooking equipment;
  • Obscuring some or all of the vehicle's windows;
  • Preparing or cooking meals inside or on a vehicle; and
  • Sleeping inside a vehicle.
A first violation will result in a $25 fine, a second violation is $50 and all subsequent violations are $75. Individuals cited may be eligible for referral to a diversion program such as the City Attorney's Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART). 

For assistance with general questions, call 3-1-1 or email 311@lacity.org. For more information, visit www.lacity.org/vehicledwelling.