Iowa Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws

Last updated on September 17th, 2017

PLEASE NOTE: Golf Cart Laws may vary from City to City, so please be sure to check with your local municipality in regards to the laws in your area. We are in the process of gathering laws by municipality for you, however, this is a huge undertaking and does take time. Thank you.

This is an in-depth guide to Iowa Golf Cart & Low-Speed Vehicle Laws. We’ve created this guide to help you, the consumer, in determining Iowa’s laws.

Is this state Medium Speed Vehicle friendly? No state law is currently in place.

Is License and Registration a Requirement? For LSVs, yes. For Golf Carts, no registration is required, but the driver must have a valid driver’s license and the golf cart must be equipped with a slow-moving vehicle emblem and a bicycle safety flag.

General Federal Law for Golf Carts:

Under current NHTSA interpretations and regulations, so long as golf cars and other similar vehicles are incapable of exceeding 20 miles per hour, they are subject to only state and local requirements regarding safety equipment. However, if these vehicles are originally manufactured so that they can go faster than 20 miles per hour, they are treated as motor vehicles under Federal law.

The standard requires low-speed vehicles to be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers.

Find out more information on federal laws pertaining to golf carts and low speed vehicles here.

 

Iowa Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws

Guidelines for Golf Carts and PTVs (Personal Transportation Vehicles)

The state of Iowa has allowed incorporated areas to permit golf cart use on public roadways upon approval of their governing body. The Driver MUST possess a valid driver’s license.

NOTE:golf cart shall not be operated upon a city street which is a primary road extension through the city but shall be allowed to cross a city street which is a primary road extension through the city.

Golf Carts that are operated on city streets must display a slow-moving vehicle emblem and bicycle safety flag. Also, Golf Carts may only operate during daytime hours.

Golf Carts also must have adequate brakes and shall meet any other safety requirements imposed by the governing body.

 

Guidelines for LSV (Low Speed Vehicle)

  • Has four wheels.
  • Within one mile can reach a speed of more than 20 miles per hour (mph) but not more than 25 mph on a paved level surface.
  • Has a 17-digit conforming vehicle identification number (VIN) and a manufacturer’s certificate of origin clearly labeling the vehicle as a low-speed vehicle.
  • Must be certified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to be registered and operated on public streets, roads, or highways.
  • Not be operated on any roadway with a speed limit above 35 mph.

LSVs may look like a golf-cart to the casual observer, but is actually a motor vehicle requiring a valid driver license, registration, and insurance.

 

HELPFUL LINKS

www.legis.iowa.gov – Golf Carts
www.legis.iowa.gov – Low Speed Vehicles

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Disclaimer
Although each of these state guides gives a thorough approach to the golf cart laws in your state, it is recommended that you perform the research on your own and reach out to your local municipality.

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