There are golf carts, and then there are street legal golf carts (although in the industry, we refer to these efficient vehicles as golf cars). So what’s the big difference? Quite a bit. Regular golf carts are designed specifically for the green; a place where you rarely see or pass full-sized motor vehicles. Street legal golf carts were made for more. Whether you’re looking to cruise the neighborhood or take a short drive, these special vehicles offer a more environmentally (and money) friendly alternative to getting you from point A to point B. These vehicles are a rising trend among suburbs and large neighborhoods because they can be used both privately and on public roads with a speed limit at or below 35 miles per hour.
What is a Street Legal Golf Cart?
So what is a street legal golf cart, exactly? And how does it differ from your regular golf cart? Street legal golf carts include several built-in features added to make it suitable for use on low speed streets, such as those within your neighborhood or even on public highways. In order to qualify as “street legal,” your golf cart (or “golf car”) must adhere to Florida’s laws. These rules are the same ones applied to Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV’s) and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV’s).
What are the Florida Laws for Street Legal Golf Carts?
Keep in mind that the laws for street legal golf carts or street legal golf cars can vary from state-to-state. Whether you’re a Florida resident or a tourist, you must abide by the particular laws and regulations established by the state in which the street legal golf cart is used. You will know if your golf cart qualifies as a street legal vehicle or is suited for street use if it meets the definition below.
Street legal vehicles are defined by Florida Statute 320.01(42) as “any four-wheeled electric vehicles whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour.” This includes Low Speed Vehicles such as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV). Golf carts that are not considered low speed vehicles are prohibited from operation on roads with a few exceptions detailed in s. 316.212. As with motor vehicles, low speed vehicles are subject to a license tax, which is the same as that prescribed in Florida Statute s. 320.08- for non-electrically powered vehicles.
Street legal golf cars are limited to a maximum speed of 25 mile per hour and typically can reach an average driving range of 60 miles per charge. A hybrid between a golf cart and an on-road vehicle, street legal golf cars have several required features:
Requirements for Street Legal golf carts in Florida include:
- Head Lamps/Stop Lamps
- Turn Signal Lamps
- Tail Lamps
- Reflex Reflectors
- Parking Brakes
- Rear-view Mirrors
- Seat Belts
- Vehicle Identification numbers