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How to Legally Own and Operate a Golf Cart in Florida

Golf carts are popular throughout Florida’s residential communities. Golf-cart friendly neighborhoods like The Villages® and town centers throughout Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties make having a golf cart a comfortable and convenient way to get around town. However, improper use and lack of knowledge about legally operating a golf cart can lead to accidents and injuries. Here’s what you should know about owning and operating a golf cart and other low-speed vehicles in Florida. 

What is the Difference Between a Golf Cart and a Low-Speed Vehicle? 

Golf carts and Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs) are similar but have several differences in how they can be used on Florida roadways. FL statute 320.01(22) defines a golf cart as a vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course and other recreational complexes. Golf carts must have a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. Drivers must be 14 years old or older but do not need a driver’s license to operate the vehicle.

LSVs, on the other hand, are four-wheeled electric vehicles that operate between 20 and 25 miles per hour. LSVs are considered small cars, so they must be registered and titled with the state as well as carry the state-required minimum PIP insurance coverage. LSVs that are converted golf carts must be inspected and assigned a VIN by the state. LSVs can be driven on most Florida roadways with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. 

What Does a Golf Cart Need to be Street Legal? 

A “street legal” golf cart is an LSV. The LSV must be registered and insured to legally operate on public roadways with speed limits of 35 mph. A valid driver’s license is required to drive an LSV. Several safety features are also necessary for an LSV to operate on a public roadway. These include: 

● Turn signals 

● Headlights 

● Tail lights 

● Parking breaks 

● Rearview mirrors

● Seatbelts 

● A windshield

Is it Legal to Drive a Golf Cart on the Road? 

If a golf cart or LSV follows the above guidelines, it is legal to drive on public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less. Specific municipalities or communities may have their own regulations regarding golf carts, so check with your city’s guidelines before hitting the road. Signage should be placed throughout the area to alert drivers that golf carts may be in the roadway. Golf carts may cross over non-cart roads as long as they are traveling between two roads that allow golf carts.

Were You Injured in a Golf Cart Accident?

Improper operation of a golf cart or LSV can lead to severe injuries. Since golf carts do not need to be insured, accidents with injuries can come with high out-of-pocket costs. If you were injured during a golf cart accident, you might be entitled to compensation. At the King Law Firm, we can help you seek damages for medical expenses and other costs associated with the accident. Call us today at 352-269-1814 to discuss your case. 

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