Are Golf Carts "Street Legal" in Fla?

There is a lot of confusion regarding Florida's regulation of "low speed vehicles" and golf carts on streets and roads throughout the state. This article attempts to answer the more common scenarios but is by no means a full and comprehensive authority on the subject. If you want to know whether you are permitted to drive your vehicle on a particular road or street, you should consult a local attorney who is familiar with the law governing your area.

First, it is important to distinguish a "low speed vehicle (LSV)" and a golf cart. LSV's are any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph but less than 25 mph and comply with federal safety standards. They look like golf carts, but have safety equipment (headlamps, turn signals, mirrors, etc.) that make them safer on the roads. Florida Statute § 316.2122 governs their use. You have to register an LSV and hold proper insurance for it. Once you have that, they are "street legal" on roads that have a 35 mph speed limit or less UNLESS a governing body prohibits them from specific streets. However, you must have a valid driver license to operate LSV's in Florida.

Golf carts aren't so lucky. Florida Statute § 316.212 prohibits their operation EXCEPT in certain circumstances. First, if the road is part of the State Highway System, you probably can't drive on it except to cross the road. There are some exceptions, but you shouldn't plan on it. "Which roads are part of the State Highway System?" you ask. Check out this map to give you some clue.

If the road is a county or city road (NOT part of the State Highway System), counties, cities, and municipalities are authorized to permit golf carts on certain roadways IF 1) it is safe and 2) the city or county posts signs allowing their use. You can also cruise on some State Park Roads with a speed limit of 35mph or less. Golf carts must meet other safety standards to be considered "street legal" as well. And finally, you must be over 14 years of age to operate a golf cart on any road regardless of whether it is a city, county, or state road.

As you can see, the key question is whether the vehicle is an LSV or a golf cart. Once again, this is just a primer and not meant to address specific situations. Every city and county have unique laws that may outlaw LSV's or golf carts entirely or place more restrictions on their use even though permitted.

If you have any specific questions for your jurisdiction, give us a call.

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