How to Make a Street Legal Golf Car

Updated April 17, 2017

You nearly have to take out a loan to fill your vehicle up at the gas pump these days. People are trying to get around those high prices with purchases of hybrids and economy cars. Still, others are getting very inventive with street legal golf cars. Most of them are electric, costing just pennies to run rather than the “over four dollars a gallon” gas price. They are registered with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) as low speed vehicles, running no more than 25 miles per hour. Used primarily as around-town driving, they are only allowed on streets with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.

Purchase a golf cart. It may be new or used. If you don’t have a great deal of mechanical knowledge, a used golf cart should be checked out by a mechanic. Starting out with a well cared for, sound cart will make the job of bringing it up to street standards easier.

Prepare your golf cart with the necessary changes. According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards all low speed vehicles must be equipped with the following: * headlights * stoplights * turn signal lights * parking brakes * tail lights * windshields * seat belts * rearview mirrors * vehicle identification numbers * reflex reflectors * must carry a certificate as a low speed vehicle * must not weigh more than 908 Kilogram

Testing your low speed vehicle is a requirement. All vehicles must be tested according to the general test conditions of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Contact your local DMV for an appointment. This includes testing under: * ambient temperature (between 4.44 degrees C and 40 degrees C) * wind speed of 11.2 miles per hour * pavement friction under the standard test method * lane width is not less than 11.5 feet

Charge your golf car before taking it for certified testing. Battery powered golf cars must be at 95% to maximum charge, as per the manufacturer’s suggestion, before certified testing is to take place. Some states require slow moving vehicles to display a reflective triangle on the back of it. Check with your local DMV for regulations in your areas.


Insurance generally costs about £19 per month for a golf car. Street legal golf cars can be purchased pre-equipped and certified. New manufacturers are coming out with low speed vehicles that have different looks such as the Zenn and the Gem.


You must check with your local DMV for local and state requirements and testing of your slow speed vehicle.

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About the Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.