Do Golf Carts Need a Title?

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A golf cart driving down the street with a registered title

Have you ever wondered if golf carts have titles like cars do? Maybe you’ve even wondered more about what a golf cart is if not just used for golf. Believe it or not, many people use golf carts as a mode of transportation off the green. 

These mini-vehicles are popping up everywhere across the nation, and if you’re considering acquiring one, there are a few things you’ll need to know.

For example, what classifies as a golf cart, and does it need a title? And what are the legalities of driving one on the street? 

Keep on reading for the answers to those questions and more.

What Is a Golf Cart?

A golf cart, also referred to in technical terms as a low-speed vehicle (LSV), is similar to any other vehicle in that it has brakes, tires, wheels, and a place to sit. It can be electric-powered or gas-powered. 

However, most golf carts only average about 12 to 14 miles per hour, meaning you can’t drive them on major thoroughfares. And unlike cars, you can’t legally drive them on the streets in a few states. 

While this is so, most states allow you to drive them on roads. But each state and community will have varying laws on how and when it is legal to use these.

Do Golf Carts Have Titles?

One of those varying legalities involves golf carts and titles. Most golf carts will not have a title because the manufacturer does not build them for legal street use. 

If the state you reside in allows for street driving, you can convert the golf cart into an LSV.

This means that it now has to have many of the same things that a car does, including, but not limited to, lights, blinkers, street-legal tires, and more. 

So, do golf carts have titles when you can drive them legally on the street? Yes. You’ll need to acquire an actual title for the golf cart. Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for all the pertinent information.

Close up of a title for a golf cart

Does a Golf Cart Have a VIN Number?

Some pertinent information your DMV will need includes a Vehicle Identification Number. Golf carts not manufactured for legal street use won’t come with a VIN. Instead, they’ll have a serial number.

Before you can get a title for your golf cart, you’ll need to get a VIN. Since most golf carts initially start out with only a serial number, bring your cart to a dealer with a manufacturing license.

The dealership will ensure your golf cart is street-legal and put a VIN on it.

Keep in Mind: Do You Need a Special License to Drive an RV? Let’s find out!

Can Golf Carts Be Tracked?

People can track any golf cart with a VIN or serial number. A vehicle identification number will show the year, the manufacturer, the make and model, and the specifications unique to that vehicle. 

A serial number on a golf cart shows the model, model year, and unique number assigned to that vehicle. 

Unfortunately, these nifty little vehicles are becoming quite popular with thieves. So your best bet may be to install a GPS tracking system on your golf cart.

These devices can give you real-time alerts and notifications no matter where it ends up. 

Do You Need a License for a Golf Cart?

You have a VIN and a title, but you’ll probably also need a driver’s license. While every state and municipality differs, most places will require a driver’s license for anyone driving a golf cart on the street. 

Check with your local DMV to learn more about your driver’s license and age requirements before heading out on your golf cart. 

Can I Drive a Golf Cart Around My Neighborhood?

You now have a golf cart, VIN, title, and driver’s license. You’re all set to drive around your neighborhood. Or are you? That answer, yet again, depends on the community, the town, and the state where you live. 

Many smaller neighborhoods will allow a golf cart on the street without any of the above documents.

However, many will not. You must check with local laws and ordinances before heading out for a drive, even if you have made your cart street-legal.

Speaking of local laws and ordinances, if your state allows driving a golf cart on the road, those laws probably come with requirements before it is considered legal. 

These may include the title and VIN, but your cart may also need a horn, speedometer, proper tires, seat belts, windshield wipers, working lights, blinkers, and mirrors.

You’ll also need a lighted license plate. And your cart needs to go at least 20 miles per hour, but not over 25. If it goes faster than that, it will need additional safety adaptations to keep you safe on the road.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a title for your trailer, all hope is not lost. Here’s How to Get a Title for Your Trailer!

A parked golf cart with a registered title

How Fast Do Golf Carts Go?

Most golf carts average a speed from 12 to 14 miles per hour. This means you’ll be limited to streets with a speed limit of no faster than 25 miles per hour. So don’t make plans to drive your golf cart across the country. 

Just because a golf cart needs a title and all the other requirements to make it street-legal does not mean it’s the same as a car.

So, golf carts may be a little slow, but you may want to know the fastest a golf cart has ever gone. We did, too. The world record for the fastest golf cart is 120 miles per hour, but that was with a lot of upgrades.

And finding one that goes this fast may be next to impossible. You’ll probably have to build a custom golf cart to beat the world record. But to just cruise around your neighborhood, your local golf cart manufacturer will do just fine.

Friends driving their golf cart at a fast speed after finding out if their golf carts needs a titles

Know What’s Legally Required Before Buying a Golf Cart

Before you go buy a golf cart for street use, know the legal requirements. You may have to spend a little extra money to get a title, license, and VIN for your golf cart and do any safety upgrades. 

But once you do, you can use it to greet your neighbors and drive short distances without putting wear and tear on your pricier transportation modes.

So, go ahead, and find that perfect golf cart that fits your needs. 

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