How to Legalize a Golf Cart or LSV
What do Ludacris, Channing Tatum, Guy Fieri, and most retirees have in common? They all drive golf carts. And since you’re reading this, I suspect you do too. You’re in good company.
THE FAST AND THE FAIRWAY
Golf carts aren’t just the vehicle of choice for navigating the local par 70. Caddies are an easy and economical way to get around the neighborhood, to run to the grocery store, or to pursue the downtown area without dragging out the family hauler. The similar Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) looks about the same, but can go faster and usually comes with more road-going features. Most LSV'S are already street legal and just need to be registered but a golf cart is typically not for road use. It has to be converted into an LSV by meeting certain criteria that we explain later.
Currently, 47 states allow these types of vehicles to be driven on public roads, as seen below, although every states requirements may vary slightly. There are plenty of reasons why it would be great to be able to drive either of these machines on public roads in the states that allow it, but how do you do it legally?
STAY SAFE OUT THERE
First off, it’s important to consider the safety implications of driving a golf cart or LSV on a public road. The most obvious difference between a normal car and a golf cart is collision protection… or the lack thereof. What’s more, a cart can’t maneuver like a full-fledged automobile – turning, stopping, and starting all take more time than they do in a car, so planning is critical. Because of this, the law says to steer clear of major thoroughfares and to not drive at night. It’s both the law and good etiquette to hug the shoulder and give right-of-way to more capable vehicles. Stick to less populated roads and keep a close eye on other drivers. As awesome as your buggy may be, there’s no way it will win a fight against a BMW.
KEEP IT LEGAL
Though your local Johnny Law might be in the habit of turning a blind eye to golf carts and LSVs, it’s always best to ensure you’re completely legal when you’re on the road so that you’re protected in a worst-case scenario.That means getting a title and plate, and possibly insurance, as well as some basic bolt-on parts. Unless your neighborhood says otherwise, without these basic things it's not legal to drive a golf cart (and possibly an LSV) on the road where you live.If you’re already legal, don’t do anything in your golf cart that you wouldn’t do in your car. That means you shouldn’t hop the curb to get over to the McDonald’s parking lot after accidentally turning into Arby’s, because “it’s a golf cart, it won’t hurt the grass”. If you’re not legal yet, we can help.
WHAT PARTS MAKE A GOLF CART STREET LEGAL?
Many golf carts already have the raw materials needed to satisfy your local city ordinances: headlights, tail lights, blinkers, lap belts, mirrors, reflectors, a horn, and a windshield are standard on today’s most popular models. If you have a factory LSV you probably have most of those already, but if you don’t, don’t worry: you can probably install them quicker than you can play your local back nine.
The big-ticket items for legalizing a golf cart or low-speed vehicle are a license plate, registration, and a title. Without these things your cart might attract the attention of Johnny Law. But how in the world do you get a license plate for a golf cart or LSV? That’s where we come in. We specialize in securing titles and registrations for oddball vehicles like ATVs and dirt bikes, and it’s no trouble for us to make a golf cart or LSV legal both quickly and cheaply. You don’t even need to have an MSO, Title, or VIN number – just a bill of sale will do. Contact us to learn more about our process and how you can drive your cart on the road legally with the help of Dirt Legal.
Ready to get started? Just select the service you need in the drop down menu. You can either choose to just receive a Title and VIN, or a Title, VIN, license plate and registration. There will be no inspections necessary no matter which one you choose. You can simply bring the title we provide you to your DMV and you will receive a license plate on the spot!
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By Justin Dake