New Florida Laws and Requirements for Street Legal Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles

New Florida Laws and Requirements for Street Legal Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles

When it comes to operating a golf cart, Low-Speed Vehicle, (LSV), or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, (NEV), on Florida’s public roadways, there are several unique things about each that you should know.

Under Florida law, each has a different definition that relates to their legal use on public roads.

A golf cart is defined as “a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” It is illegal to operate a golf cart on public roads, with a few exceptions. You can operate a golf cart on a county road if the county or local municipality has designated the road as legal for golf carts, you are crossing a State Highway System road, the road is the only route is the only available public thoroughfare and traffic of all vehicles is deemed safe for allowing the interaction with golf carts.

In October 2023, Florida amended their regulations and state statutes to update laws regarding operation of a golf cart on public roadways. Some key new regulations require that persons 18-years old or below must hold a valid drivers license or learner’s permit. The old law allowed 14-year olds to operate a golf cart on the road. Another key update allows a recognized Florida “water control district” to designate a specific road as legal for golf cart use, providing it is approved by the local governing county.

Taking Your LSV On The Road

If you own a newer model neighborhood electric vehicle that is properly equipped and registered with the state, your options are greater than with a standard golf cart.

Florida defines an LSV as “any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour, but not greater than 25 miles per hour.” Just as with a passenger vehicle, it needs to be titled and registered with the state, meaning it must have a valid Vehicle Identification Number, (VIN), display a valid registration sticker and carry PIP, (Personal Injury Protection), and PDL, (Property Damage Liability), insurance.

In order to be legally allowed on the street, your LSV must have received a Vehicle Identification Number from the state or manufacturer and must have:

• Front and rear turn signals
• Headlights
• Taillights and stop (braking) lights
• Red reflector tape or decals on the sides and rear
• DOT approved seat belt for each passenger seat
• Driver’s side exterior rearview mirror, interior overhead mirror, and passenger side exterior mirror
• DOT approved windshield
• Parking Brake

An LSV may be legally operated on streets with a speed limit of 35-miles per hour or below, unless crossing a roadway with a higher speed limit. But be aware that local county or municipality authorities may enact certain restrictions as to which roads are legal for low speed vehicles.

Coastal Carts converts a standard golf cart to an LSV for our customers by equipping them with all of the items required and then registering them with the state. If you are considering buying a cart from a private party that has been converted to an LSV, understand that the date on which the cart was registered and titled is not the cart’s manufacture date. This can be important in determining the actual age of the cart. Also note that the process for transferring ownership of a registered LSV is the same as transferring ownership of any other titled motor vehicle.

Jerry McTear is the owner of Coastal Carts and has seen accelerated interest from customers looking to use a low speed vehicle as a substitute for the family car. “Whether you live in a large, golf-centric country club community or intend to use your LSV to go down the road to pick up groceries or a bite to eat, people love the ease of use and other benefits of today’s personal transportation vehicles,” he said.

Since 1992, Coastal Cart’s team of dedicated golf cart and EV experts have been helping our customers in choosing the ideal cart for their needs. We carry carts from Yamaha®, Tomberlin®, ICON®, and EPIC Carts®, each offering extensive lines of different models and configurations designed to meet any requirements from a casual round of golf to transporting multiple passengers in style and comfort or commercial and industrial use.

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