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What makes a Golf Cart “Street Legal?”

What makes a Golf Cart “Street Legal?”

There is a lot of misunderstanding around the street legality of golf carts in the state of Florida. In most counties (like Walton County) or local roads, the legality of golf carts is left up to the local municipality. It is safe to say though, in almost all cases the local governing body will post signs on the roads if golf carts are allowed on them.

Florida Law

Florida Statute 316.2122 says, “A low-speed vehicle must be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers.”

Additionally, this Florida Statute goes on to say a “Street Legal” golf cart in Destin and Walton County, “…must be registered and insured in accordance with s. 320.02 and titled pursuant to chapter 319. This is the same registration laws governing regular automobiles.

Florida Police

If you happen to get pulled over while driving a golf cart, make sure that you have your insurance and registration available just like you would in a car or a truck. The police officers will be asking for this information. Better yet, don’t get stopped by the police. Follow the same rules of the road you do with the car with the exception of not being allowed to drive on roadways with a speed limit above 35 miles an hour.

Low Speed Vehicles

When it comes to golf carts and street legality there is an important distinction that needs to be made clear. Low speed vehicles (LSVs) and golf carts are treated differently under Florida law, although to look at them both you would probably call both of them golf carts. So what are the differences here?

LSVs are defined by Florida law as a four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph but less than 25 mph. LSVs also comply with federal safety standards for vehicles this means things like turn signals, headlights, and mirrors to name a few of the common aspects. As long as you have these proper things like seat belts etc, and the vehicle is registered and insured, it is legal to operate on roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less. This means anyone operating the LSV must be 18 years or older and have a valid driver’s license. Pretty much the same rules that apply to a normal vehicle apply to LSVs in order to make them street legal.

Golf carts that don’t meet all the safety requirements to be a LSV are not going to be permitted on state roads, but depending on the municipality or town that you are in their use may be allowed in special circumstances. The interesting thing about golf carts is that you only need to be 14 years of age or older to operate these vehicles, but you won’t be able to take them on many main or municipal roads in most cases unless you are registered and insured and comply with all federal safety standards for motor vehicles.

This overview should help when figuring out where you can and can’t take your golf cart or LSV!

Destin Police Car