Washington Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws
Last updated on May 30th, 2018
Last updated on May 30th, 2018
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 Washington Golf Cart & Low-Speed Vehicle Laws. We’ve created this guide to help you, the consumer, in determining Washington’s laws.
Is this state Medium Speed Vehicle friendly? Yes. They may be operated on roads with a posted limit of 35 mph or less; roads with a posted limit of 45 mph or less in island counties connected only by ferry.
Is License and Registration a Requirement? For LSVs, yes. For Golf Carts, no. Golf Carts are not licensable for street use.
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.
“Golf cart” means a gas-powered or electric-powered four- wheeled vehicle originally designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting purposes and has a speed attainable in one mile of not more than twenty miles per hour. A golf cart is not a nonhighway vehicle or off-road vehicle as defined in RCW 46.09.020.
No Drivers License needed to operate a golf cart, however the driver must be at least 16 years old and have completed a driver education course or have previous experience as a licensed driver.
Golf Carts may be operated on streets with a posted MPH of 25 or less and MUST BE WITHIN a golf cart zone that has been created through a city or county ordinance. Each golf cart zone will be clearly identified by signage at the beginning and end of the golf cart zone on a street or road that is part of the golf cart zone (RCW 46.08.175).
In some areas the following requirements/restrictions for operation of a golf cart may also apply – check with your local city or county to determine if this rule applies in your designated golf cart zone:
Golf Carts must also have the following equipment:
UPDATE (5/30/18): Citizens of Whatcom County please see our article on the 18th Month trial of allowing golf carts on designated city streets.
Low-Speed Vehicles are for use on roads with speed limits of 35MPH or less and must be registered with valid license plates. A driver’s license is also required.
The following is required for LSVs:
Medium Speed Vehicles are allowed on roads with speed limits of 35MPH or under and in accordance to state and local restrictions. NOTE: In San Juan County, NEV and MSV vehicles may operate on roads 45 mph or under.
The following is required for MSVs:
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.