Can I Make My Golf Cart Street Legal? : The Ultimate Guide to Street Legal Golf Carts

Can I Make My Golf Cart Street Legal ? The Ultimate Guide to Street Legal Golf Carts

How Do I Make My Golf Cart Street Legal?

 If you’re considering purchasing a golf cart to use on the road, it’s important to understand the requirements for street legal golf carts. In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about street legal golf carts, including the legal requirements and safety features. 

What Makes a Golf Cart Street legal? 

 To be considered street legal, a golf cart must meet certain requirements set by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The requirements may vary by state, but generally, a golf cart must have: 

  • Headlights and taillights that are visible from at least 500 feet away 
  • Turn signals that are visible from at least 300 feet away 
  • Brake lights and reflectors 
  • A windshield made of safety glass (optional) 
  • Rearview mirrors 
  • Seat belts for all passengers 
  • Tires that are designed for road use 
  • A maximum speed of 25 mph or less 
  • A horn or other warning device 
  • A registration and license plate (in most states) 

It’s important to note that not all golf carts can be made street legal. If the golf cart did not get a 17 digit VIN assigned to it at the date of manufacturing, it will not be able to be made street legal.  

Safety Features 

In addition to meeting the legal requirements, it’s important to ensure that your street legal golf cart has the necessary safety features to keep you and your passengers safe on the road. Some important safety features include: 

  • Roll bars or cages to protect occupants in the event of a collision or rollover 
  • High-quality brakes that can stop the golf cart within a short distance 
  • Properly inflated tires that are in good condition 
  • A slow-moving vehicle emblem, which alerts other drivers that your golf cart is moving at a slow speed 
  • Reflective tape or other reflective materials to increase visibility at night 


How to Officially Make Your Golf Cart Road Ready

If you’re interested in making your golf cart road ready, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your vehicle meets the legal requirements for use on public roads. Here’s how to make your golf cart road ready: 

  1. Check Your State’s Laws: The first step in making your golf cart road ready is to check your state’s laws regarding the use of golf carts on public roads. Laws can vary from state to state, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your area. 
  1. Install Safety Features: Depending on your state’s laws, your golf cart may need additional safety features to be road ready. These features could include headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, mirrors, seat belts, and a horn. Make sure to install all required safety features to ensure that your golf cart is roadworthy. 



  Why Do States Allow Golf Carts on the Road? 

States like golf carts on the road for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that golf carts are often used as a means of transportation in retirement communities, campgrounds and other neighborhoods with low speed limits. Allowing golf carts on public roads can provide a convenient and affordable mode of transportation for residents in these areas. 

Additionally, golf carts are environmentally friendly and produce very little noise pollution. This makes them an attractive alternative to traditional cars and trucks, especially in areas where there are concerns about air and noise pollution. 

In addition, allowing golf carts on the road can help reduce traffic congestion and parking issues in crowded areas such as downtown business districts or tourist areas. Golf carts take up less space on the road and can be parked in smaller areas than traditional cars, which can help alleviate parking problems. Some states allow golf carts on the road as a way to promote tourism. In some areas, golf carts are used to give tours or shuttle visitors from one location to another. 


LSV vs. NEV – What’s the Difference  

Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs) and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) are both types of small, electric vehicles that are designed for use on roads with low speed limits, typically 35 mph or less.  

 One of the main differences between LSVs and NEVs is their top speed. LSVs are capable of reaching speeds of up to 25 mph, while NEVs are limited to a maximum speed of 25 mph. This means that LSVs are generally better suited for use on roads with higher speed limits, such as rural roads or suburban streets, while NEVs are typically used in more densely populated areas, such as cities or neighborhoods. 

Another key difference between LSVs and NEVs is their legal classification. LSVs are classified as motor vehicles under federal law, which means they must meet certain safety standards, such as having seat belts, headlights, taillights, turn signals, and mirrors. In addition, LSVs must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and drivers must have a valid driver’s license to operate them. 

NEVs, on the other hand, are classified as low-speed vehicles (LSVs) under federal law, which means they are subject to a different set of safety standards. NEVs are required to have seat belts, headlights, taillights, turn signals, and mirrors, but the safety standards for NEVs are generally less strict than those for LSVs. Additionally, in some states, drivers of NEVs may not need a driver’s license to operate them. 

Here is a link to PA’s NEV laws

Overall, while LSVs and NEVs share many similarities, the key differences between them relate to their speed, legal classification, and safety standards.  


Conclusion, Street legal golf carts can be a convenient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation for short trips in your local area. To ensure that your golf cart is safe and legal for use on the road, it’s important to follow the legal requirements and install necessary safety features. With proper care, your street legal golf cart can provide years of reliable transportation. 




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