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How to make my go kart street legal

Updated April 17, 2017

People usually drive go karts around a private track or in the backyard but, if you want to cruise around town or on the open road, you will have to make some additions. Most states have created laws for vehicles that travel at low speeds to make them "street legal." In order to drive on city streets, a vehicle needs to meet these requirements. The requirements and safety measures may vary from state to state.

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  1. Add the proper safety gear to your go kart. Install headlights, indicators, a windshield, tail lights, safety belts, brakes, a parking brake, rear view mirrors, number plates, a speedometer and an odometer.

  2. Test the speed of your go kart in order for the vehicle to be considered safe to drive on streets. Schedule an appointment with the DMV to have your go kart's speed tested and verified. Before he authorises you to take the speed test, a law enforcement officer will check for the installation of the proper safety equipment on the vehicle. He will then administer the speed test if you've passed the initial inspection. If the go kart surpasses 25 miles per hour as its top speed, it will fail the test. If the go kart has all the proper safety additions and passes the speed test, the inspector will deem street legal.

  3. Fill up the go kart's gas tank before taking your test to make sure that your engine runs smoothly during the test.

  4. Place a reflective triangle piece on the back of your go kart after you pass the test. This alerts other drivers that you have a slow speed vehicle. Purchase insurance for the vehicle as well.

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About the Author

Michael Cantrell is a freelance writer and musician from Piqua, Ohio. He has been writing professionally since 2007. In 2008, Cantrell was a full-time employee with an SEO company named Words You Want. He has a diploma from and is currently attending Edison Community College with a major of criminal justice.

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