Where Can Golf Carts Be Driven? — (Restrictions and FAQs)

where can golf carts be driven has restrictions that vary by state and locality where you can operate them on roads via tell me more golf

Where can drive a golf cart beside the golf course?

The Tell Me More Golf Team will give you guidelines on where you can and can’t drive a golf cart legally and what you’ll need to do to make a golf cart street legal.

where can golf carts be driven has restrictions that vary by state and locality where you can operate them on roads via tell me more golf

Restrictions Vary By State And Locality Where You Can Operate a Golf Cart


As golf carts’ popularity has grown, more states and localities have put laws on the books that address when and where you can operate a golf cart. 

A couple of crucial factors are if the road is public or private and the local laws in your area.

Private Roads

In gated communities, golf communities, and resorts, you may be able to drive a standard golf cart on local roads with speed limits of 25 MPH or less.

In many beach areas, you are allowed to drive golf carts on the sand and roads with beach access.

If you need a valid driver’s license to operate a golf cart on private roads will be up to local laws.

Public Roads

Driving a standard golf cart on public roads is illegal in most states. However, you can convert a used cart or a new golf cart to meet the standards of a low-speed vehicle. 

Then you’ll need to insure it and register it with your state’s division of motor vehicles. You’ll also need a valid driver’s license to operate your street-legal golf cart on public roads.

With a registered, street-legal golf car, you may be able to drive in most states on public roads with posted speed limits of 35 MPH or less

Many states and localities also have restrictions on the times of day that you can drive a street-legal golf cart, typically in daytime hours and not at night.

Local Laws

Many localities recognize that golf carts are a great way to move people around for short distances. Because of this, they have flexible laws that allow standard golf carts and street legal ones on public and private roads.

Allowing people in golf carts keeps them out of cars and can help ease traffic congestion problems in crowded, resort-like areas.

According to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institutes, there are over 460 localities that currently have some sort of golf cart ordinances on the books. To ensure that you are legally operating a standard or a street-legal golf cart, the best thing to do is check with your local authorities.

SUBSCRIBE  for FREE GOLF TIPS from our EXPERT INSTRUCTORS!


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We’ve put together this list of states that allow street-legal golf carts on the road. However:

There are restrictions for driving them on public roads that vary state by state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

What States are Golf Carts Illegal to Drive?

Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, New York, and Rhode Island are the only 6 states where it is currently illegal to operate a golf car on public roads.

Typically it is only legal to drive street-legal golf carts on roads with posted speed limits of less than 35 MPH. However, you may cross a street with a speed limit of over 35 MPH. In addition, states and localities may limit the operation of street-legal golf carts to daytime hours.

Supposing it is legal to drive golf carts modified to be low-speed vehicles in your state. In that case, you will need to get a vehicle identification number for it or provide proof of insurance and register with your state’s division of motor vehicles.

SUBSCRIBE  for FREE GOLF TIPS from our EXPERT INSTRUCTORS!

What’s Required To Make A Golf Cart Street Legal?


You must upgrade a standard golf cart to meet the requirements set forth by the Federal Government for a low-speed vehicle (LSV) for it to be street legal.

The Federal Government’s definition of a low-speed vehicle is:

Definition of a Low-Speed Vehicle

  • Has 4 Wheels
  • Must go a minimum of 20 MPH and a maximum speed of 25MPH
  • Has a gross vehicle weight of fewer than 3,000 pounds

In addition to meeting the requirements above, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires an SUV to have many safety features not commonly found on stock golf cars.

Safety Features Required for an LSV:

  • Brake Lights
  • Front and Rear Turn Signals
  • Headlights
  • Parking Brakes
  • Seat Belts
  • Rearview Mirrors
  • Exterior Mirrors
  • Windshields
  • Tail Lamps
  • Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
  • Horn
  • Insurance
  • Registration

State and localities may also have additional safety requirements, such as slow vehicle signage.

Club Car, E-Z Go, Yamaha, and others will have to be upgraded with the above equipment to convert a golf cart to an LSV.

Additionally, stock golf carts were designed with a top speed of 10-15 MPH. Because of this, a golf cart’s batteries and motor must be modified to meet the requirements of an LSV and go 20-25 MPH.

Making these modifications to the power train of your golf cart may void the manufacturer’s warranty on the golf cart.

What Type of Golf Cart Can Be Made Street Legal?

You may be able to find a refurbished golf cart or a brand new one and make the modifications to it to convert it into an LSV.

However, you’ll probably need to look at electric golf carts over gas golf carts. Gas golf carts can be modified to go up to 20 MPH, the minimum speed allowed to reach LSV status.

On the other hand, electric golf carts can be modified to up to 30 MPH, exceeding the maximum speed allowed.

Other Considerations for a Street Legal Golf Cart

Most states will not allow drivers to drive street-legal golf carts on roads with posted speed limits over 35 MPH.

Even with headlights, many states and local jurisdictions will not allow you to drive street-legal golf carts at night.

To legally drive a converted, street-legal golf car, you must have a valid driver’s license and insurance and register it with your state’s DMV.

DMV Golf Cart Registration


Part of the process of converting a stock golf cart to make it street legal is registering it with a state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

It would be best if you converted your golf cart to LSV status before you try to register it.

You will have to obtain a VIN for your converted golf cart. Since many golf carts do not have VINs, you may have to find a third party that can help you obtain one for it.

With the VIN, you’ll register the street legal golf cart with your state’s DMV, and you will need proof of insurance with the minimums that satisfy your state’s requirements. The DMV will then issue your vehicle tags and registration.

Can I Drive A Golf Cart On The Sidewalk?


You may drive your golf cart on the cart path and sidewalk if you’re at a golf course and going to and from the parking lot or between nines.

Because street-legal golf carts classify as motorized vehicles, it is prohibited and often illegal to drive one on the sidewalk.

However, localities may make exceptions to this rule for gated communities, golf communities, and communities close to beaches.

Resort areas, golf communities, gated communities, and other places with private roads may allow you to drive a golf cart on the sidewalk for short distances. However, you must always yield and give the right of way to pedestrians and other non-motorized users.

Can You Drive A Golf Cart On The Road Without A License?


If you’re on a private road or roads with speed limits of 25 MPH or less, you might be allowed to drive a standard golf cart without a license for short distances and during daylight hours.

However, if you’re driving a street-legal golf cart, in most states, you must have a valid driver’s license to operate it on the road with a posted speed limit of less than 35 MPH.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

Golf carts are a fun, great way for people to get around on and off the golf course. They are easy to drive and can drive over many surfaces that a standard car can’t easily go.

To drive your golf cart on public roads, you must modify it to meet a low-speed vehicle’s safety and performance standards. Once the vehicle has met those standards, you’ll need to insure and register your street legal golf cart with your state’s DMV.

In most states and localities, with a valid driver’s license, you can legally drive your modified golf cart/LSV on public roads with posted speed limits of 35 MPH or less.
You may want to talk with your local golf cart dealership to find out your local laws and options for either upgrading a golf cart or purchasing an LSV.

SUBSCRIBE  for FREE GOLF TIPS from our EXPERT INSTRUCTORS!