What Makes a Golf Cart Street Legal?

Golf carts aren’t just for the greens anymore. More people are turning their golf carts into street-legal vehicles for convenient transportation in their communities. The key question is, how do you transition from fairway cruiser to hitting the streets in your cart? Here’s what you need to know about the common street legal golf cart requirements.

Decoding The Street Legal Golf Cart

Street legal golf carts in the U.S. must meet specific equipment criteria to ensure roadworthiness. However, its crucial to remember, golf cart road laws vary widely across states and even towns. Some states, like Florida, Arizona, and Texas, are more golf cart-friendly, while others, like New York, restrict them entirely on the road. Always check local regulations before cruising the streets in your cart.

Here’s what most street legal golf carts typically require.

golf cart taillight

Light Kit

A street legal golf cart kit typically includes headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. If you’re not sure what type of light kit you need, contact your local dealer for guidance. You can also check with local authorities to find out the specific requirements in your area.

Mirrors

Both side-view, and rear-view, are key components in ensuring safe and legal street operation of your golf cart. The requirement for mirrors varies between municipalities, with some requiring both types while others may require just one. If in doubt, it’s best to fit both to be on the safe side.

Dot-Approved Components

Street legal golf carts typically require certain federally approved components, including DOT-approved tires, a windshield, and seat belts for each passenger.

Completing the Package

In addition to the previously mentioned items, most places require a horn, speedometer, illuminated license plate holder, and reflectors positioned on each corner of the cart.

Additional Considerations

Here are some additional considerations for making your golf cart street legal, beyond the required accessories:

Speed Limitations

Golf carts typically need to have a minimum top speed of 20 mph to hit the road. In most states, golf carts have a speed limit of 35 mph. This means you can only drive them on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or lower. Check local rules before driving golf carts on public roads as some states have lower speed limits.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Golf carts do not come with a VIN from the manufacturer. Instead, they have a serial number. You can get a VIN for your golf cart by registering it with your state’s DMV. The DMV will inspect your cart to make sure it meets all the requirements for street legal use.

If your cart meets the requirements, the DMV will issue you a new title and VIN for your cart.

It is important to note that not all states require golf carts to have a VIN. If you’re unsure whether or not your state requires a VIN, you should contact your DMV.

Insurance

Don’t forget to get insurance for your street legal golf cart when you’re getting ready to hit the road. It’s not just a wise precaution—it’s mandatory in most places.

Just as with your regular vehicle, your golf cart needs liability insurance. If an accident occurs, you’ll need to present your insurance documents, license, and registration. The cost of golf cart insurance varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of golf cart, the value of the golf cart, and your driving record.

Remember, even the most careful driver can fall victim to another’s negligence. Ensure you’re covered to protect your investment.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! With this guide, you’re well on your way to making your golf cart street legal.

If you’re considering purchasing a new cart, CartFinder offers plenty of options. We often hear questions like, “How much is a street legal golf cart?” The truth is prices can vary depending on numerous factors. However, by browsing our inventory of new and used street legal golf carts for sale, you’ll gain a better understanding of what’s available!