Golf carts are increasingly common on neighborhood streets and community roads.

However, golf carts must follow state laws to be allowed on the road.

Golf carts can become expensive issues for the owner without understanding these rules.

You first need to know the definition of golf carts and low-speed vehicles and what licenses are required for each type.

What is Indiana’s definition of a golf cart?

In Indiana, according to code 9-13-2-69.7. Sec. 29-7, a golf cart is:

a four (4) wheeled motor vehicle originally and specifically designed and intended to transport one (1) or more individuals and golf clubs for the purpose of playing the game of golf on a golf course.

The 2020 Indiana Code describes how golf carts cannot legally be driven on any street or highway with a speed limit above 35 miles per hour without appropriate licensing.

It is also important to note that golf carts included in this definition are electric and gas-powered engines

Therefore, it does not pertain to other off-road vehicles.

NEVs, the new kids on the block

NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), including street-legal electric golf carts, are legal to operate in low-speed communities.

Street-legal electric golf carts are registered the same as cars.

They can carry several people while saving you money on operating expenses.

Despite the speed of your golf cart, it is crucial to follow the posted speed limits, as many county roads, public roads, city streets, and specific subdivisions reflect different laws.

What is a low-speed vehicle?

A red 2022 EZGO Express Gas S4 with a street-legal package.

E-Z-GO Express Gas S4 with street-legal package

Low-Speed Vehicles or LSVs have four wheels propelled by an electric motor of no less than 750 watts and can go up to 25 miles per hour.

All LSVs must have headlights, taillights, brake lights, blinkers, a windshield, seat belts, and a parking brake.

Also, they must be tagged and titled just like any other vehicle registered in the state of Indiana.

In addition, LSVs must follow particular requirements regarding safety and equipment standards, lighting specifications, and braking performance.

With golf carts and LSVs, there is a difference in term usage.

In many cases, people use these two terms interchangeably. Still, it’s more correct to classify a street-legal golf cart as a low-speed vehicle.

 In contrast, those that can go more than 25 miles per hour are best classified as neighborhood electric vehicles.

Golf carts and LSVs are legally defined by federal law.

In the end, while there are some definite differences between golf carts and LSVs, both can be driven on roads where speed limits do not exceed the posted limit by more than 15 miles per hour.

Street Legal in Indiana

A 2022 red EZGO Express L6 at Carts & Parts. 2022 EZGO Express L6

Indiana’s laws for low-speed vehicles require the driver to have a valid driver’s license operating on public streets.

Another essential requirement is to have a golf cart registration according to Indiana laws.

This means you must have a vehicle identification number (VIN), a valid driver’s license, and other requirements, such as inspection and insurance.

You will also need a license plate to be displayed on both the front and back of the golf cart.

Additionally, the letters and numbers on your plate must align, be visible, and be easy to read.

Indiana laws vary from city, county, or town, so you will need to check your local ordinance traffic regulations to ensure that you comply with the following and much more.

• Seat belts

• Rearview mirrors

• Insurance

• Headlamps

• Break lights

• A slow-moving vehicle sign

• Vehicle identification number

• Golf cart registration

• Parking brakes

• Turn signal lamps

Lighting

Indiana golf carts need headlights, taillights, brake lights, and signal lamps to be considered street legal. 

There are several options for lighting we can introduce you to in our golf cart shop.

Signal lamps

Turn signals serve as an essential function of letting other drivers know what direction you are turning.

To be street-legal in Indiana, turn signals must meet the following requirements:

  • Lamp units are visible from the front and rear
  • Lamp units are amber to the front and red to the rear
  • They must flash at a rate of 60p/min (for a total of 120 flashes per minute)
  • Lamps must be on the same side as the turn direction.

Headlamp beam

In addition to having both a headlight and taillight, Indiana law requires that low-speed vehicles have one or more headlights.

Therefore, when making your golf cart street legal, these lights must meet the following requirements:

• A minimum of two headlamps, or one on each side of your vehicle.

• An upper beam of at least 500 candlepower, which means that it can cast light to more than 100 feet in front.

• Turn signal lamps in the front.

• A taillight containing a red light source visible from 500 feet to the rear of your golf cart.

Red rear taillight

The rear of your golf cart or LSV must have a red light that is visible at all times.

Whether you are making your golf cart street legal or want to ensure that you have a taillight, the red light must meet the following criteria:

• The taillight lens must be at least two square inches in size.

• The lens of the light must be red, transparent material.

• The light must be placed in the center of the rear end.

Indiana golf car laws

To operate a golf cart on public roads, you must title and register it as a low-speed or neighborhood electric vehicle.

In some cases, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles may require an inspection for your golf cart before you can get it appropriately titled and registered as an LSV.

In that case, be sure to follow all state regulations regarding the inspection process.

Understanding golf car laws in Indiana will help keep everyone safe when driving these fun and versatile vehicles.

Golf carts street legal perks

There are some definite advantages to owning a street-legal golf cart.

Driving a golf cart through city streets with ease, especially in a recreational area, can be a fantastic experience.

As with any other vehicle, there are safety concerns to consider when operating a low-speed vehicle.

Safety laws

Whether driving a low-speed vehicle or street legal golf car, you must consider bicycles, pedestrians, and other motor vehicles when traveling through an area with mixed traffic.

Other safety laws to pay attention to are those regarding drinking and driving.

If you are caught operating an LSV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the penalties are the same as those for a regular motor vehicle.

Do your research

If you decide to make your golf cart street legal, be sure that you do some research to ensure that it is legal in your area.

Since each city and town has different street-legal golf car laws, you will want to be sure that you follow all of the rules and regulations that apply to your area.

While it is legal in some areas, you will want to ensure that your community allows street-legal golf carts.

This will ensure that you don’t waste your time and money getting a golf cart ready for the road when it will not be legal to drive.

Some states, such as California, have strict laws concerning the operation of an LSV.

In contrast, other areas have no requirements for operating a golf cart.

Before deciding to get your golf cart ready for the street, be sure to take time to learn about the rules and regulations.

Controversies Driving Your Golf Cart on the Road

Calls for the use of golf carts on public roads have risen as their popularity has grown in recent years.

The debate surrounding this issue has raised many questions about safety, feasibility, and legality in many jurisdictions.

As with any vehicle on public property, proper registration and insurance are required in most places.

However, because they are relatively slow vehicles that can carry only a small number of people at one time (and usually do not require an enclosed cabin), many states allow them to operate on the roads.

When allowed, golf carts usually need to adhere to specific guidelines such as wearing a reflective warning device, using headlights in low-light conditions, and not exceeding 35 miles per hour.

In most places, drivers must have a valid driver’s license and a special endorsement on that license for drivers of golf carts or off-road vehicles (ORVs).

There are many reasons why some areas allow only limited use of golf carts on public roads.

One reason is safety: A lack of protection from other vehicles means that occupants of golf carts might not fare well in accidents with cars or trucks.

In addition, drivers without proper training may be unable to safely navigate around obstacles on their path.

For example, several injuries have stemmed from collisions between golf carts.

Good News! Introducing the 2022 E-Z-GO Liberty, Street Legal, and Ready to Go

A silver 2022 E-Z-GO Liberty Elite Lithium golf cart for sale at Carts & Parts in Union City, IN. 2022 E-Z-GO Liberty Elite Lithium

The E-Z-Go Liberty is the newest golf cart model to join the world of street legality.

It can be driven on public roadways equipped with traffic signs and speed limit signage.

The Liberty is a game-changing vehicle that takes everything to the next level.

Its four forward-facing seats provide a spacious and secure second row that will give your passengers a whole new perspective.

It’s powered by a maintenance-free Samsung SDI lithium battery system that will propel your next adventure.

It is also equipped with maintenance-free batteries with an unbeatable 8-year warranty.

Other features include:

Optional mount accessories 

The Liberty offers an optional hitch-mounted storage receiver that is perfect for hauling your gear around.

With the Liberty, you can keep your cart organized and tidy with our 4-bag holder, which mounts easily to the back of the cart.

Standard premium interior 

The Premium Interior comes with lighted cupholders, an up-scale steering wheel, land individual key switch, a glove box door, floor mats, and a shelf.

Unmatched handling and control 

Liberty’s enhanced wheelbase gives you more stability and maneuverability when turning.

The front-wheel-drive and a regenerative braking system effectively blend power and capability. At the same time, the rear suspension makes for a smoother ride.

The green choice

This first-of-its-kind vehicle has 0% emissions, making it the most eco-friendly golf cart on the block. 

The All-New E-Z-GO® Liberty. Pushing Everything in a New Direction.

Are you ready to join the street-legal trend?

Driving street-legal golf carts and LSVs can be convenient to get around the city, county, or town.

However, if you are based in Indiana, you should check with your city’s laws to ensure that your golf cart is street legal.

Remember that you need to follow your local area’s laws to ensure your golf cart is legal and safe.

If you have questions regarding ensuring your golf cart is street legal or are looking into converting one into a low-speed vehicle, contact Carts & Parts at (937) 459-8891 today.

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. We are located at 1035 N. Columbia St. Union City, IN 47390.

Carts & Parts is the go-to source for golf carts and parts. We’re proud to offer service, golf cart rentals, accessories, and financing to the residents of Ohio, Indiana, and beyond.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to establish a basic understanding of golf cart laws, not to be construed as legal advice. Please contact your attorney or local law enforcement agency for legal clarification in your area.