Wisconsin Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws

Last updated on September 14th, 2017

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

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.

 

Wisconsin Golf Cart & Low Speed Vehicle Laws

Guidelines for Golf Carts and PTVs (Personal Transportation Vehicles)

In the eyes of Wisconsin State Law, a golf cart is a vehicle whose speed attainable in one mile does not exceed 20 miles per hour on a paved, level surface, and that is designed and intended to convey one or more persons and equipment to play the game of golf in an area designated as a golf course. (Statute 23 Section 33)

Golf cart laws vary statewide. The state gives local jurisdictions the responsibility to allow or disallow golf cart use on public roadways. If your local jurisdiction does allow golf cart use on public roadways, here is what you can expect the law to be as stated in Statute 349 Section 18:

  • Golf Carts may only operate on roadways with a posted speed limit of 25 mph or less that is located within the territorial boundaries of the municipality, regardless of whether the municipality has jurisdiction, for maintenance purposes, over the highway.
  • Golf Carts may CROSS state trunk or connecting highway if the state trunk or connecting highway has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.

SIDE NOTE: The department shall permit the use of golf carts by persons age 16 and over in Governor Tommy G. Thompson Centennial State Park and the Peshtigo River State Forest. The department shall promulgate a rule that specifies when and where golf carts may be used in the state park and the state forest. The rule shall allow golf carts to be used for at least the same hours and in at least the same places as golf carts were used in the state park and the state forest before they were acquired by the state. (Statute 27 Section 17)

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)
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 3,000 pounds.
  • 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.
  • A biennial fee of $23 is required for LSVs

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

docs.legis.wisconsin.gov – Golf Carts
docs.legis.wisconsin.gov – Low Speed Vehicles Operating on Highways

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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