Are Golf Carts Street Legal – It Depends

Matt Henney
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Golf carts are becoming an increasingly popular form of transportation, but many people don’t know if they’re street legal.

This article will discuss the legality of golf carts on public streets and roads in different states across the country.

It’ll break down state-specific regulations that can help you determine whether or not a golf cart is allowed to be driven on the road near you.

With this information, you can make an informed decision about how to operate your golf cart safely and legally.


Golf Cart Laws By State

It is important to be aware of golf cart laws in your state before driving one on public roads or streets. Every state has different regulations, so it is best to research the specifics for each locality and follow them closely.

In some states, a golf cart may be street legal if certain safety guidelines are followed. This includes having proper lighting, brakes, mirrors, and seatbelts installed on the vehicle. Additionally, these vehicles must typically have registration plates to be considered street-legal in most areas.

The age requirements for operating a golf cart also vary between states and cities; generally speaking, individuals need to be 16 years old or older. Furthermore, some jurisdictions require drivers to carry special insurance policies when they drive their carts on public roads or streets. It is essential that you check with local authorities prior to using your golf cart on any city street or public road.

In addition to following all local ordinances and restrictions while driving a golf cart on public roads, there are specific rules outlining where you can use these vehicles as well as what speed limits should be observed. Generally speaking, these types of vehicles cannot operate faster than 25 mph, even though private property owners may set slower speed limits depending on the size of their land parcel.

Lastly, its usage needs to stay within designated areas, such as parks and recreational facilities, unless otherwise specified by law enforcement in your area. Therefore, understanding your regional municipal laws is necessary before taking a golf cart out onto any roadway open to regular traffic, whether it’s during the day or at night. Each community will set up unique parameters regarding this type of transportation mode, so compliance with established statutes is key when utilizing your golf cart in any authorized manner outside of residential properties or other gated communities not accessible by general members of the public.


Types Of Golf Carts

Golf carts have become increasingly popular for those looking to get around without the need of a motor vehicle. The question arises: are golf carts street legal? To answer this, we must first understand what kind of golf cart is being discussed and its purpose.

There are two types of golf carts that can be considered street legal: LSV (Low Speed Vehicles) and full-sized Motor Vehicles. LSVs refer to any four wheeled electric or gasoline powered vehicle with speeds up to 20 mph, while motor vehicles are designed to travel at higher speeds like regular cars. They both offer similar features such as turn signals, parking brakes, headlights, taillights, side mirrors, windshields, etc., and may even come equipped with other optional accessories including radios and air conditioning systems.

When it comes to determining whether a golf cart is legally allowed on public roads, there are certain criteria that must be met in order for them to qualify as a low speed vehicle or motor vehicle according to your local laws. Here’s a quick 4 item numeric list showing what you’ll need when making sure your cart meets these requirements:

1. Must not exceed the maximum allowable weight limit specified by law
2. Must be able to maintain a minimum speed between 15-20 mph
3. Must display license plates issued specifically for use on low speed vehicles or motor vehicles
4. All drivers must adhere to traffic rules and regulations just like any other type of motorized vehicle

Therefore, if you want to drive your golf cart legally on public streets, make sure all necessary criteria is met before taking off! With the right precautions taken beforehand and understanding the difference between an LSV and standard motor vehicle, anyone can safely enjoy their time cruising around town in their very own street legal golf cart!


Differences Between Street Legal And Non-Street Legal Carts

Golf carts are a great way to get around, but there is an important distinction between street legal and non-street legal golf carts. This difference can be critical when it comes to operating your cart on public roads and highways. In this section, we will look at the differences between street legal and non-street legal golf carts so that you can make sure your golf cart is compliant with local laws.

|Street Legal | Non-Street Legal |
| — | — |
|Must have headlights, brake lights & turn signals| No requirement for these features|
|Can travel up to 25 mph (40 km/h) in some states | Speed limits vary based on jurisdiction|
|May require driver’s license or other form of identification | Not required|
|Compliant with state road regulations | May not be allowed on public streets or highways|

When making your golf cart street legal, it’s important to follow all relevant laws where you live. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may need certain equipment like headlights and taillights as well as a slow moving vehicle sign in order for your cart to be considered street legal. You may also need approval from the Department of Motor Vehicles if you want to increase the speed limit beyond what is allowed by law. Even if you do meet all requirements to drive a street legal golf cart, remember that many jurisdictions still restrict their use to roads with posted speed limits of 35 mph (56 km/h) or less.

In addition, most states require operators of street legal golf carts to possess valid driver’s licenses before they can legally operate them on public roads and highways. Some states even impose additional restrictions, such as age minimums or proof of insurance coverage, before allowing drivers onto public thoroughfares. Lastly, each state has its own set of rules regarding how fast one can drive a street legal golf cart – generally no more than 25 mph (40 km/h). It’s therefore essential that motorists check their local laws prior to driving any kind of motorized vehicle in public areas.

Keeping up with changing laws concerning golf cart operation can seem daunting at first; however, taking the time to familiarize yourself with local regulations can save unnecessary hassle down the line. Doing research into applicable ordinances ahead of time will help ensure safe travels, whether you choose a traditional gas powered model or opt for an electric version instead!


Requirements For Street Legal Golf Carts

So you’ve decided to buy a golf cart – but is it really street legal? The answer depends largely on the state in which you live.

In some states, such as Florida and California, golf carts can actually be legally driven on public roads if certain conditions are met. For example, most states require that your golf cart have turn signals and brake lights, mirrors, seat belts, headlights, and taillights. Additionally, the speed limit for these vehicles must be 35 mph or less. Furthermore, you will need a valid driver’s license to operate one of these vehicles on public streets or highways.

In order to make sure your golf cart is street legal in all regards, check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office first before taking it out onto any public roadways. They should provide guidance regarding what modifications must be made in order for the vehicle to meet legal requirements and how long they’ll last when used on public roads.

Generally speaking, even if you’ve modified your golf cart so that it meets all regulations set by your state DMV office, there may still be restrictions imposed depending on the type of road you plan to drive them on – always consult with an official prior to operating a street-legal golf cart!

When driving a street-legal golf cart on public roads, remember to use caution at all times and obey traffic laws just like any other motorist. This includes following posted speed limits and using appropriate turn signals when turning corners or changing lanes.

Always wear a helmet while riding in a golf cart as well; although they are technically considered ‘low speed vehicles’ they can still cause serious injury if involved in an accident due to their low profile design.

All things considered, owning and operating a street-legal golf cart requires careful attention to both safety regulations as well as local traffic laws – however, those who take necessary precautions can enjoy the freedom of zipping around town without having to worry about breaking any laws!


Safety Considerations For Street Legal Golf Carts

Street legal golf carts offer the convenience of easier movement for those who don’t want to walk a long distance, but it’s important that safety never be sacrificed.

The first step in safely driving a street legal golf cart is making sure all necessary equipment is installed and functioning properly. This includes headlights, brake lights, turn signals, rear view mirrors, seat belts and windshields (if applicable).

It’s also important to make sure that the posted speed limit is followed when operating a street legal golf cart; failure to do so can result in fines or other penalties.

In addition to ensuring your vehicle meets all safety requirements before taking it out on the road, drivers should also carry valid driver’s licenses while they are behind the wheel of their golf carts. Depending on local laws this could be either an official driver’s license or some form of ID such as a passport or government-issued identification card.

Additionally, wearing reflective clothing at night is recommended to help increase visibility and reduce any potential risks associated with nighttime driving.

It’s essential that owners take note of any regulations specific to their area about which roads are permissible for a street legal golf cart and what types of vehicles may share the road alongside them. In many cases these rules are based on whether certain roads have been designated as “golf cart routes” by state or local governments; if not specified otherwise, then generally bicycles must remain off the roadway where golf carts travel.

Lastly, obeying traffic signs just like any other motorized vehicle would – including stopping at stop signs – is critical in order to keep yourself and anyone else sharing the road safe.

Overall proper maintenance of your street legal golf cart along with following all relevant laws will ensure you maintain safety on every journey taken in your vehicle. Keep in mind that no matter how short or far you plan to drive your golf cart always remember that safety comes first!


Frequently Asked Questions


How Much Does It Cost To Make A Golf Cart Street Legal?

Making a golf cart street legal can be an expensive process.

Depending on the state, it may require special parts or modifications that increase the cost.

Additionally, registration and licensing fees must usually be paid in order to make your golf cart street-legal.

On average, you should expect to pay between $500-$2,000 to get your golf cart up to code for use on public roads.


Are Electric Or Gas Golf Carts Better For Street Use?

Electric and gas golf carts both have advantages when it comes to street use.

Electric golf carts are generally quieter, more environmentally friendly, and require less maintenance than gasoline-powered models. However, they may be limited by the battery range or charging time.

Gasoline-powered golf carts can travel further on a single tank of fuel but tend to cost more in terms of fuel costs. Additionally, since electric motors don’t require oil changes, they’re often cheaper to maintain over time.


Are There Age Restrictions For Operating A Street Legal Golf Cart?

When operating a street legal golf cart, there may be age restrictions to consider.

Generally speaking, the minimum driving age for such vehicles is 16 years old and anyone under this age must have an adult present with them while they are using it.

However, specific regulations vary from state to state so it’s important to check local laws before allowing someone underage to operate one of these vehicles.


Are Street Legal Golf Carts Allowed On Highways?

Street legal golf carts are allowed on highways in some states, while others may require that the cart has specific certifications or modifications before it can be used.

Some states also have restrictions about who is allowed to drive a street-legal golf cart and what speed they can travel at.

It’s important to check with local laws and regulations before attempting to operate a street legal golf cart on any highway.


Are There Insurance Requirements For Street Legal Golf Carts?

Insurance requirements for street legal golf carts vary by state, but generally speaking you’ll need to insure it just like a car.

Liability insurance is the most common kind of coverage required and may include property damage liability, bodily injury liability, uninsured motorist protection, medical payments coverage, and collision coverage.

Depending on where you live, some additional coverage, such as comprehensive or uninsured motorist property damage might also be necessary.



In conclusion, making a golf cart street legal is an affordable option for those who want to use it on public roads.

Electric models are the most efficient and cost-effective choice for daily commuting in urban areas.

Before you start driving your golf cart on the streets though, make sure that you understand all of the regulations; such as age restrictions, insurance requirements, and whether or not they are allowed on highways.

All of these rules vary from state to state, so be sure to check with local authorities before getting behind the wheel.

With proper preparation, I’m confident that anyone can enjoy their street legal golf cart in a safe and responsible manner!


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