Living in My Car*: Do I Have Any Rights? (*or truck, RV, or other vehicle)
Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
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As of August 12, 2021, a car that you live in as your primary home qualifies for protection from debt collectors. Read this to find out more. #6901EN
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I live in my car. I use it as my home. Do I have any rights? +
Yes. As of August 12, 2021, a car that you live in as your primary home qualifies for protection from debt collectors. They cannot take the first $15,000 of your car’s value (equity) to collect on a court judgment against you. This protection is called a homestead exemption.
*If the car you live in was towed, and you cannot afford the impound fees, you may want to tell the judge at your impound hearing this. Talk to a lawyer. Read They Towed My Car to learn more.
I live in my car and use it as my home. Are any social services resources available to me? +
A few cities and counties may have “safe lot” programs. These let vehicle residents park safely in certain areas. You do not have to worry about being towed. There are not many of these programs. They vary by city. Call 211 to ask about these in your area.
Seattle has a Scofflaw Mitigation Project. It is run by the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness. They work to try to help vehicle residents who face booting and impoundment because of four or more unpaid tickets. Read Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness to learn more. Call 211 or this organization directly for up-to-date info. The services they offer may change.
Get Legal Help +
Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help.