North Carolina Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws

Last updated on December 18th, 2018

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

Is this state Medium Speed Vehicle friendly? No State Law is Currently in Place.

Is License and Registration a Requirement? For both LSVs and Golf Carts, Yes. Liability insurance is also required.

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.

For more information on the federal laws pertaining to golf carts, please click here.

 

North Carolina Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws

Guidelines for Golf Carts and PTVs (Personal Transportation Vehicles)

You may only operate a golf cart during daylight hours. If your golf cart has two (2) headlights and two (2) taillights, it may be operated ANYTIME

A permitted golf cart may be operated ONLY on a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less. They may, however, cross an intersection where the speed limit is ABOVE 35 MPH.

The driver of the golf cart must be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license. Driver must have with them the following:

  • The registration certificate issued by the department
  • Proof of liability insurance for the golf cart
  • Their driver’s license

See the official documentation for golf cart laws here.

UPDATE 12/18/18: Washington, NC is now Golf Cart Friendly

Guidelines for LSV (Low Speed Vehicle)

  • Reaches speeds of 20 MPH to 25 MPH.
  • Has a vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Headlamps
  • Front and rear turn signals
  • Taillamps
  • Stop lamps
  • Reflex reflectors, red – one on each side and one on the rear
  • Exterior mirror on the driver side and an interior mirror or exterior mirror on passenger side
  • Parking brake
  • Windshield
  • Seatbelt for each designated seat
  • Not be operated on any roadway with a speed limit above 35 mph.

Any person operating a low-speed vehicle (LSV) must have in their possession a valid driver license. An LSV must also be registered and insured with Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability.

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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