Golf Carts on neighborhood streets.

With summer here, more and more golf carts are seen – not just on the course, but on neighborhood streets. But are they legal?

First of all, it is important to know that there is a distinction between golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSVs). An LSV is a street-legal, four wheeled vehicle with a top speed of 25 mph and a gross vehicle weight of 3,000 pounds. Most states allow LSVs to drive on roads marked 35 mph or less.

Low-speed vehicles must be registered with the county in which you reside. This means you must obtain a tag and have insurance just like a regular vehicle. The county will require these vehicles to have the proper safety equipment (seatbelts, side mirrors, headlights, tail/brake lights, turn signals and child restraints).

The vehicle must also be driven by a licensed driver. States also specify that a LSV cannot be driven on a roadway where it impedes traffic.

A golf cart has a maximum speed of 20 mph and it does not meet street legal specifications. Golf carts can be made street legal, but requirements differ from state to state. This biggest hurdle is that most states require head and tail lights as well as seat belts. 

Because golf carts don’t have the necessary safety features to make them street legal, they cannot be driven on public roadways in Alabama. It is also illegal to drive golf carts on sidewalks.

If you take the chance, and you or your teenager is involved in an accident on a neighborhood street in a golf cart, you may have no legal recourse to seek damages.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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