If your local area has extensive golf cart paths, a cart of your own becomes an excellent mode of transportation when you’re traveling short distances and don’t want to burn gas. However, stock carts weren’t made to be road-ready, so you’ll have to install a few modifications to make it street legal. If you know how to make your personal golf cart street legal, you can convert it into a convent vehicle to help the environment and save you money.
Research Local Laws and Regulations
Every local area has its own rules for what qualifies a vehicle as street legal. The first thing you’ll want to do is search out your local regulations. Also, keep in mind that local codes overrule federal codes regarding what makes a vehicle legal in the eyes of the DOT. Once you have a clear set of parameters, you can use them as a guide to figure out what parts and modifications you’ll need.
Most local codes will require that vehicle at least have a minimum speed of 20 miles per hour. If your cart can’t reach a top speed of 20 mph, modify the engine or other parts to increase the speed. When making your speed enhancements, see if there are any codes about small moving vehicles in your area. Since carts classify as small moving vehicles, there will also be a limitation on how fast they can go (around 25 miles per hour).
Improve your vehicle’s road visibility for when you’re driving at night. You’ll need not only improved headlights but also brake and taillights. The best-LED light kit for your golf cart will be a deluxe set where the parts are already built to street-legal specifications. Also, make sure that the kit you buy matches your cart’s make and model; the fit can vary significantly between manufacturers.
Along with performance and lighting upgrades, there are a few safety features you’ll need to install. Your cart will be the smallest vehicle on the road and will be at a greater risk for accidents. Make a few adjustments to get the car ready. Get a windshield to protect the driver and passenger from road dust and debris. Get rear and side-view mirrors to help you stay vigilant on the road. And lastly—depending on where you live—install seatbelts.
Register It With DOT
Once you’ve made all of the necessary upgrades, the last step to take before taking your cart on the road is getting it registered with the Department of Transportation. Your cart can’t be taken out on public roads without registration.
Now that you know how to make your personal golf cart street legal, you can make the necessary modifications and then coast through your town in no time.