Golf carts are vehicles made for the golf course, but some of us prefer to use golf carts as our primary mode of transport. As a golf cart owner, we want to know whether you should get a title for your new vehicle. So, do golf carts have titles?
Golf carts do not have titles because they are not classified as road vehicles. Therefore, there is no such thing as a golf cart title. If you upgrade or modify your golf cart, you might be required by the state to apply for a tile because your golf cart is now a Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV).
The question of titles for golf carts is a bit complex because it depends on your state of residence. Additionally, if you’re looking for a golf cart, you might also be interested in golf cart batteries for sale.
In this article, we will first learn what a title and LSV are and then learn golf cart laws in various states. Specifically, whether you need a title for your golf cart or not.
What is a Vehicle Title?
If you are a car owner, a vehicle title is not new to you. Nevertheless, all car owners in the United States require a document to verify that they are the rightful owner of their vehicles. This verification document is called the Certificate of Title.
The Certificate of Title is a document with all the owner’s details and the vehicle details. You can apply for a vehicle title at your local DMV at a small fee depending on where you live.
What is a Low-Speed Vehicle?
A low-speed vehicle is a street-legal, electrical car with a top speed of 25mph and a maximum weight of 3000 pounds or 1400 kilograms. A typical golf cart has a maximum speed of 15-20mph, 2-4 seats, and some space for your luggage.
For a golf cart to be considered an LSV, you will need to add the following:
- Turn signals
- Brake lights
Besides the above modifications, the engine power and cart batteries are the main difference between a regular golf cart and an LSV.
Remember: an LSV has a maximum speed of 25mph, so changing the engine of your golf cart will make it faster and thus qualify it as an LSV.
With all the above information in mind, let’s look at what various states say about golf cart titles.
Note that federal laws are strict regarding LSVs and other vehicles. But when it comes to golf carts, each state has its own rules to ensure everyone is safe on the roads.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Arizona?
The state of Arizona requires all golf cart owners to register their vehicles at the DMV and have valid insurance. Additionally, your cart must have a valid Vehicle Identification Number found on every purchased golf cart.
If your cart does not have a VIN, one can be created for you.
In Arizona, all golf cart owners need liability coverage of $10,000 and bodily injury of at least $15000.
You are allowed to get more policies but ensure that you meet the required minimums if you want your cart to be road-ready in Arizona.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in North Carolina?
If you want your golf cart to be street-ready in North Carolina, you must add a few more modifications. These include:
- State inspection sticker
- Liability insurance
- License plate from the North Carolina DMV
- You must have a current and valid driver’s license
- You must ensure your cart follows the child restraint laws
If you have a bill of sale for your golf cart, you must apply for a vehicle title at the Nort Carolina License Plate office.
To be eligible for a title, you will need your bill of sale and insurance information. In addition, cart owners who bought their vehicles from a dealer will need to show the certificate of origin of their golf cart.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Florida?
Florida defines a golf cart as a vehicle with a speed of 20mph, manufactured for use on the golf course or for recreational purposes. Therefore, if your golf cart falls under this category, you are not obligated by Florida state law to register or title your golf cart.
Additionally, you can drive your golf cart on a highway in Florida, but only if it divides a subdivision, golf course, or trailer park. Otherwise, you can only drive your golf cart on neighborhood roads.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Texas?
In Texas, golf carts fall under Unique Vehicles, off-highway vehicles, and neighborhood electric vehicles.
Golf carts in Texas are only eligible for a golf cart license plate, and the Texas DMV does not register or title golf carts. You must go to your county tax assessor/collector’s office to get your golf cart license.
In Texas, golf carts with license plates are allowed on the roads but only in specific circumstances, including:
- Private or public beaches open to vehicle traffic
- Cross intersections with a speed limit of 35mph
- Highways with a speed limit of 35mph and must not travel more than 2 miles from their original location
- Planned communities with restrictive covenants with county or municipality approved plates
Finally, all Texas golf carts on public roads must display a slow-moving vehicle symbol.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Alabama?
It is illegal to drive unmodified golf carts on public roads and sidewalks in Alabama. All golf carts are restricted to the golf course and private property.
In Alabama, you will pay a $700 fine (or more) if you are caught driving a golf cart on a public road or sidewalk!
If you have upgraded your golf cart to an LSV, you are required by Alabama state law to register and title your vehicle at your local DMV. You will need the following documents:
- A completed application form
- Sales tax form
- Certified safety certificate
- Proof of liability insurance
- VIN or a manufacturer’s state of origin certificate
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Illinois?
Driving your golf cart on public roads in Illinois is illegal unless you have upgraded it to an LSV. However, if you must take your golf cart on the road, you must have a valid driver’s license and put a low-speed vehicle sign on your cart.
If you own a modified golf cart, the law requires you to title, register, and get a license plate for your cart.
You can also apply for a VIN, and you will need to have liability insurance for your golf cart to be street-legal.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in South Carolina?
All golf cart owners in South Carolina must have a permit and insurance and be registered at the South Carolina DMV. The registration is required for proof of ownership and will cost you $5 to do it.
A South Carolina golf cart permit is valid for five years, and you must put it somewhere visible on your golf cart. A validation permit is valid for 12 months, but you don’t need one if you don’t pay property taxes for your cart.
You can only drive your golf cart in South Carolina during the day on secondary streets with a speed limit of 35mph. There are particular rules regarding the distance you can travel with your golf cart in specific locations. They include:
- You must stay within four miles of the address on your registration certificate
- You cannot go beyond four miles of the entry and exit of a gated community
- You can drive your golf cart on an island inaccessible by a bridge to other vehicles
Note that these rules might change depending on the county, but they cannot reduce the distance to any lower than two miles.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Washington?
In Washington, golf carts are not non-highway or off-road vehicles meaning you do not require a driver’s license to drive one. However, you need to be above 16 years, completed a driver’s education course, or have previous driving experience.
The state of Washington also has designated golf cart zones because it is the best way to visit the most breathtaking views in the northwest. Like other states mentioned above, you are only allowed to drive your golf cart at specific times in Washington:
- During the day
- 30 minutes before sunrise
- 30 minutes after sunset
You must always have your golf cart decals displayed in a golf cart zone for proper identification.
Finally, like many other states which permit golf carts on specific roads, if you decide to upgrade your cart to an LSV, the federal and state laws regarding LSVs in Washington will apply. This means you have to register your vehicle at your local Washington DMV.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Louisiana?
Louisiana is one of the strictest states regarding golf cart laws. It is illegal to drive your golf cart on any public road or street in Louisiana unless it is a parish road that has the proper signage from the municipality that such activity is permitted.
Additionally, any golf cart that operates on a parish road must be registered by the State via the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles.
Your golf cart must be registered as an off-road vehicle, and you must display the proper signage as issued by the office of motor vehicles. Furthermore, all golf carts must have liability insurance, and drivers must own a valid driver’s license.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Ohio?
Ohio permits the titling and license plating of golf carts, but you must undergo and pass a safety inspection first. The examination is usually done by local law enforcement, who will give you a certificate upon completion.
You will need this safety certificate and a completed BMV 3774 application form for your cart to be registered successfully. Like all other cars, you must also have liability insurance for your golf cart.