Are Golf Carts Street Legal? | What You Need To Know!

Golf carts have become a popular mode of transportation in many communities, especially for those who live in gated neighborhoods or retirement communities. 

However, as their popularity continues to grow, many people are left wondering whether golf carts are street-legal. Can you drive a golf cart on public roads? 

What are the requirements for driving a golf cart on the street? In this blog post, we will explore the laws and regulations surrounding golf carts and their use on public roads.

Are Golf Carts Street Legal

Are Golf Carts Street Legal?

Many factors, including the rules and legislation of the state or nation in which they are being operated, the type of golf cart, and the specific intended use, determine whether golf carts are street legal.

Golf carts aren’t often considered street legal unless they abide by specific rules and are registered with the relevant authorities.

For instance, in the US, several states permit the use of golf carts on public highways with a 35 mph or lower speed limit, providing that the golf carts are equipped with specified safety equipment, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, mirrors, and seat belts.

A slow-moving vehicle symbol is also required, and the driver must have a current driver’s license.

Not all golf carts are built or fitted for usage on public roads, which should be noted. Golf carts designed only for use on golf courses could not comply with all regulatory criteria for operation on public roads.

Checking local rules and regulations is essential before driving a golf cart on a public road. You should also ensure the golf cart is outfitted appropriately and registered for public road usage.

How to Make a Golf Cart Street Legal?

How to Make a Golf Cart Street Legal?

To be considered street legal, a golf cart must fulfill several conditions, which differ according to state and municipal legislation. To make a golf cart street-legal, the following typical specifications may be required:

Safety features: For golf carts to be legally driven on public roads, they may need to include safety equipment, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, mirrors, seat belts, and windshields.

Maximum speed: A maximum speed limit could be necessary for golf carts to be lawful on public roads. This speed restriction varies by state and maybe 25 mph in some and higher or lower in others.

Size and weight restrictions: To be allowed on the road, golf carts might need to adhere to particular weight and size requirements. For instance, they could have to meet specific width, height, or length requirements or weigh less than a specified amount.

Registration and insurance: For golf carts to be lawful on public roads, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may require registration and insurance.

Licensing and age requirements: There may be age limitations for both drivers and passengers, and some jurisdictions may require golf cart drivers to have a driver’s license.

What States Are Golf Carts Street Legal In?

The legal restrictions on using golf carts on American roads are shown in the following table. Nonetheless, the cart has to include brake lights, taillights, and headlights.

StateMinimum AgeLicense RequiredInsurance RequiredMaximum Speed
Arizona16YesYes25 mph
California16YesYes25 mph
Florida14NoNo20 mph
Georgia16YesYes20 mph
Indiana16YesYes25 mph
Kentucky16YesNo35 mph
Louisiana16YesNo25 mph
Maryland16YesYes25 mph
Michigan16YesYes25 mph
Mississippi16YesNo35 mph
Nevada16YesYes25 mph
New Mexico15NoNo25 mph
North Carolina16YesNo35 mph
Ohio16YesNo25 mph
Oklahoma16YesNo35 mph
South Carolina16YesNo35 mph
Tennessee16YesNo35 mph
Texas16YesNo35 mph
Utah16YesNo35 mph
Virginia16YesNo25 mph
Washington16YesNo35 mph

This table is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. It is always important to check with local authorities and the Department of Motor Vehicles for specific guidelines and requirements.

Risks of Using Golf Carts on Public Roads

Risks of Using Golf Carts on Public Roads

There are several dangers associated with driving golf carts on public highways for both the driver and other drivers. Some of the risks include the following:

Limited visibility

The highest speed of a golf cart is typically 25 mph, which is far slower than the bulk of on-road vehicles. Traffic may become held up as a consequence, which may aggravate drivers.

Low speed

Golf carts generally top out at 25 mph, which is considerably slower than the majority of on-road vehicles. This may result in backed-up traffic and irritated motorists.

Lack of safety features

The same safety measures seen in vehicles, such as airbags and seat belts, are not present in golf carts. As a result, passengers are more at risk in the case of a crash.

Limited control

Golf carts can be more challenging to handle in emergencies since they are less agile than vehicles.

Uneven terrain

Golf carts are intended for usage on smooth, level terrain, like golf courses. Accidents danger increases while using them on public roads with rough terrain, potholes, or other hazards.

Driver inexperience

Those who do not have a license to operate a motor vehicle, such as youngsters or senior citizens, frequently utilize golf carts. Inexperience or ignorance of traffic laws may increase the danger of accidents.

Overall, Golf cart usage on public highways can put drivers and other road users at serious risk. It’s critical to abide by safety precautions and traffic laws and to use golf carts only when necessary.


What safety precautions should I take when driving a golf cart on the road?

Always fasten your seatbelt, travel reasonably, follow all traffic laws and regulations, and watch for other cars and pedestrians.

Ensure the golf cart has lights for both the front and rear and turn signals. Also, refrain from being distracted while driving by things like using a phone.

Can I drive my golf cart on the highway?

No, golf carts are not intended for use on interstates or highways. They are made for usage on low-speed roadways or private land.

Can I modify my golf cart to make it roadworthy?

Your golf cart could be able to undergo certain adjustments to make it road-legal, such as the installation of safety elements like lights and mirrors.

To make sure that any adjustments you make are allowed and adhere to the rules that apply, it is crucial to verify with your local authorities.

Can I use my golf cart to run errands or commute to work?

Golf carts are primarily designed for use on private land or low-speed highways, so using one for commuting or errands would not be feasible.

Also, there can be rules and legislation that place restrictions on where and how you can use a golf cart.