Georgia golf cart laws distinguish between golf carts and low-speed-vehicles (LSVs). There are different sets of rules concerning who can operate each type of vehicle and how each vehicle must be equipped when driven on state roadways.
Georgia golf cart laws, as well as the state’s LSV laws, are written to maintain the highest levels of safety for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
What is the difference between a Golf Cart and LSV?
The Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Department of Transportation will approve the use of low-speed-vehicles (LSVs) on roadways with speed limits of 35 mph and below. However, any LSV must meet multiple requirements in order to be registered in the state. See the list below to learn about all the requirements for registration.
In general, LSVs need to have more equipment than a golf cart. The key distinction is that a golf cart cannot have the ability to travel above 20 mph and must weigh less than 1,300 pounds.
The Differences Between Golf Carts and LSVs Under Georgia Law
Georgia law GA Code § 40-6-331
Municipalities have the option to pass an ordinance in order to allow golf carts to ride on the roads. In addition golf carts must include the following…
Golf Carts Must:
- Have a system for braking to handle the total weight of passengers riding
- Include a device for “reverse warning”
- Have tail lamps
- Include a horn and restraints for hips
- Must have a gross weight under 1,300 pounds
- Must not be able to reach speeds over 20 mph
- Feature a windshield, turn indicators, braking lights and headlights if operated between sunset and sunrise
- Yield right of way to all non-golf-cart-using parties (pedestrians and bicycles)
Low Speed Vehicles Must:
- Be capable of reaching speeds between 20 and 25 mph
- Include rear and front turn indicators
- Have headlamps
- Have a VIN (vehicle ID number)
- Include a driver-side exterior mirror
- Include an outside or inside mirror on the passenger side
- Have at least three reflex reflectors (one on rear and one on each side)
- Have stopping lamps as well as tail lamps
- Include a windshield and a parking brake
- Have seat belts for every seat
- Never be used on any road with a posted speed limit over 35 mph
Low Speed Vehicle Laws in Georgia
Georgia LSV drivers must be 16 or older and hold a valid state-issued driver’s license. LSV drivers must carry a license with them while operating the vehicle. Finally, the vehicle must be registered in the state and insurance must include liability coverage for property damage and personal injury.
LSVs are prohibited from operation on roads after sunset. All drivers must carry their license and proof of insurance while driving the LSV, not have any alcoholic beverages in the vehicle, not drive under the influence of alcohol, and must obey all the laws that standard-size motor vehicles are subject to. When any passenger or the driver is involved in an at-fault accident, the driver is the liable party for any injuries that result.
Golf Cart Laws in Georgia
To drive a golf cart alone, a person must have a driver’s license or a valid permit. Anyone over the age of 12 can drive a golf cart as long as that person is accompanied by a licensed driver 18 years old or older.
Golf carts are not to be operated after dark unless they are equipped with the required nighttime equipment (windshield, turn indicators, brake lights and headlights). No alcohol can be carried in the golf cart if it is on a public roadway. The licensed driver/operator or the licensed driver/operator accompanying a youth must have the license available for inspection if stopped by law enforcement personnel.=
When a non-licensed driver operates a golf cart and is accompanied by a licensed driver, the licensed driver is the responsible, liable party in the event of an accident.
Section 40-6-144 of the Georgia Code
We should mention the law states, “No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized driveway”. This excludes multi-use paths. Sidewalks are designed for pedestrian travel only. Powered golf carts can raise unwanted safety issues when it comes to interactions between pedestrians or cyclists, this also applies to vehicles entering/exiting access points along the roadway where motorists may not be anticipating a golf cart to be present.
What you need for the DMV to Register a LSV in Georgia
The owner of a low-speed vehicle can register it with the state of Georgia as long as the owner is a licensed driver and has liability property damage insurance and personal injury insurance, and proof of ownership of the vehicle.
Golf carts operate at 20 mph or under, while LSVs can travel up to speeds of 25 mph. LSVs must have a full array of safety and operational equipment, while golf carts can get by with much less equipment. Additionally, golf carts can be operated by drivers as young as 12 who are accompanied by a licensed driver. Those with a license and who are insured may drive a LSV. LSVs may be registered with the state, but golf carts do not undergo registration.