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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Is a Golf Cart Street Legal in Indiana? What Drivers Must Know

Many people wonder if a golf cart is street-legal in Indiana. It's actually confusing because of the different traffic rules in different counties and cities, so it's wise to check out the local ordinances before driving a golf cart or low-speed vehicle on the city streets.

However, this blog should help people understand how and when to operate a golf cart anywhere other than a golf course. Let's learn more. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with other questions like can people with one eye drive in Indiana?

Differences Between Low-speed Vehicles and Golf Carts

Differences Between Low-speed Vehicles and Golf Carts

Low-speed vehicles and golf carts are similar in various ways, but it's important to note the differences between the two. Primarily, a golf cart features a slower maximum design speed at about 15 to 20 MPH.

Some newer golf carts and modified versions can go faster than this speed. Low-speed vehicles (LSVs) were originally set to go 20 to 25 MPH, but they can go as high as 35 MPH.

One other difference between these vehicle types is that low-speed vehicles come with a vehicle identification number, which the DMV requires for registration. Likewise, LSVs are automatically equipped with rear-turn signal lamps, headlights, seat belts, and mirrors, while golf carts do not contain these features. Plus, LSVs are permitted on roads with a 35 MPH speed limit.

Many states don't require golf carts to be registered or titled like LSVs. However, in some cities, golf carts are treated like LSVs and should be insured, titled, and registered like an automobile.

Golf Cart Laws in Indiana

The state of Indiana doesn't have specific golf cart laws; each city creates its own. Therefore, it's wise to check with that area. For example, Edinburgh is a medium-sized city, and golf carts get treated similar to automobiles. Therefore, a driver must have a valid driver's license and be 16 years of age or older.

If the golf cart is street-legal, one can drive it during daylight hours on the city streets. While driving the golf cart, the person should have their driver's license, proof of insurance, and an inspection sticker. Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are treated the same as those in a motor vehicle, which might result in serious charges. The best injury lawyer in Indianapolis has more information on this.

Registering a Golf Cart for City Streets in the State of Indiana

To register a golf cart in Indiana, drivers must have these things:

  • A slow-moving vehicle sign

  • Seat belts

  • A rearview mirror

  • Brake lights

  • Tail lamps

  • Headlights/headlamps

  • Liability insurance coverage

  • An amber or red flashing light

  • An inspection performed by the local police

Golf cart registration isn't possible in all cities, and drivers must follow all traffic regulations and the posted speed limit.

There could be liability dangers involved when underage drivers get into an accident while operating the golf cart as a motor vehicle. First, it's illegal for underage children to drive golf carts. Should an accident happen, the parents will likely be held liable for damages.

Low-speed Vehicle Laws in Indiana

Indiana law states that a low-speed vehicle must be street-legal if used on the roads. Therefore, it must be equipped with:

  • A valid registration sticker

  • Working headlamps

  • A VIN

  • A slow-moving vehicle sign

  • At least one rear tail light

  • At least one amber or red flashing light

  • At least one safety belt installed at every designated seating position

In a sense, the low-speed vehicle cannot go over 35 MPH on public streets.

The drivers of an LSV must have a valid driver's license and be 16 years of age. Similar to golf cart registration, there must be appropriate safety equipment on board, and drivers will require their registration information, proof of insurance, and their driver's license.

As with motor vehicles, drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a golf cart or LSV could face serious charges.

When Is It Illegal to Drive an LSV/Golf Cart?

Underage drivers cannot operate an LSV or golf cart in Indiana because it's illegal. If an accident happens, the parents of the minor child are fined and must deal with other repercussions. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with questions like is it illegal to drive with high beams on in Indiana?

Violations for Using Golf Carts Incorrectly

Violations for Using Golf Carts Incorrectly

It's important to understand that golf carts are different than an off-road vehicle. Therefore, violations could see heftier fines and impacts. These include:

  • $25 for a first ordinance violation

  • $50 for a second ordinance violation

  • $75 for a third ordinance violation

  • If one is cited for an ordinance violation more than three times, their registration is revoked, and the golf cart will no longer be allowed to operate on alleys, roads, or streets within Edinburgh.

  • Unregistered golf carts operated on roadways are considered a violation of state law. Therefore, Indiana traffic laws come into play, such as impoundment, towing, and the operator being taken to court for damages.

  • Any criminal or traffic violations, including an OWI, speeding, or failure to use a turn signal, are subjected to the same sanctions as operating a motor vehicle.

Why Doesn't Indiana Have a State Law Regarding Golf Carts?

Indiana doesn't have any state laws in place regarding golf carts or LSVs. The governor and other entities believe that each city has the right to provide laws or statutes. Therefore, each city or town is different, and it's wise for golf cart drivers to check the rules in each area they plan to drive.

For example, the City of Madison allows golf carts on city streets as long as they have a driver's license and are 16 or older.

Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys After Being Injured by a Golf Cart Operator in Indiana

Though golf carts might be allowed in a city or town, it's important to follow the rules of the road. In most cases, they are treated similarly to motor vehicles. If one is injured by a negligent golf cart driver, it's wise for them to contact a personal injury attorney like the ones at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. Request a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling.

Accident victims deserve to fight for compensation owed them from a negligent at-fault party. Don't hesitate to call and see if a case is possible.


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