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Ohio Golf Cart And LSV Laws

Please Note Before Reading: Golf Cart Laws may vary from City to City. Please make sure to check with sources from your local municipality regarding the laws of your area. It is always best practice to check with the city or area before using your golf cart.

Owning and operating a golf cart or LSV in Ohio offers a unique mode of transportation. Golf cart operators frequently drive on golf courses, residential areas, and certain public roadways. Ensuring your golf cart is street-legal under Ohio law requires attention to safety features, licensing, and operational guidelines. The Ohio golf cart laws play a crucial role in this process. Following these laws ensures that all golf carts in Ohio meet state safety and operational standards.

Regarding golf cart laws in Ohio, it can come with some confusion immediately. It leaves you with many questions before you buy a golf cart. In this article, we hope to provide answers to help you make an informed decision on purchasing a golf cart in Ohio. Subsequently, we provide some useful links at the end of this article that can help point you in the right direction based on your municipality.

Fortunately, it is legal to own and operate a golf cart in the State of Ohio. You may also be able to purchase and own one. However, this comes with a few conditions we will need to go over. Ohio has requirements for your golf cart to do particular things. Can I use my golf cart for road use in Ohio, or can I own a golf cart in Ohio or even the requirements for golf cart ownership in Ohio?

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Key Steps to Legalize Your Golf Cart for Street Use

To make your golf cart street-legal, you will need to follow some essential steps. First, check if your jurisdiction allows golf carts to operate on roads legally. You will need to have the golf cart registered and with a title. Following this, you may need to have your golf cart inspected by your local Police or sheriff before getting approval.

Before inspection, you must know that a permitted golf cart can only operate on a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less. A golf cart driver must be 16 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.

You will need to bring the following with you to register your golf cart:

  • A completed inspection from local law enforcement
  • Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle form
  • Proof of ownership ex.
  • 1. Manufacture Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • 2. Assigned title from this state or another
  • 3. Bill of sale from a retail business or individual,
  • 4. Sworn statement of ownership
  • 5. Other evidence required by law of another state from which the vehicle was brought into the State of Ohio
  • Sales tax on Purchase Price
  • Payment for title fees, including a lien holder notation (if needed)

These are just the requirements and steps to start the process. There will be standards around your purchased golf cart to pass inspection and approval with the State of Ohio. To be street legal, it makes sense for your golf cart to operate safely for you and other road drivers.

Required Equipment for Operating a Golf Cart on Ohio Roads:

  • Adequate brakes and braking system
  • Equipped with working:
  • 1. Brake Lights
  • 2. Head Lights
  • 3. Tail Lights
  • 4. Warning Devices (Alao known as turn signals)
  • A properly working steering mechanism
  • A windshield to prohibit injury from any debris from the roadway
  • A rearview mirror to reflect the operator a view of the public street or highway to the rear
  • Appropriate tires that are free of major bumps, bulges, breaks, or any condition that would cause unsafe conditions
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What Is An LSV?

An LSV is a Low Speed Vehicle that is street legal has a minimum speed of 20-25mph and can be legally driven on most roads posted 35mph or less depending on your state. It is a small, low-speed car. For Ohio, your golf cart must meet LSV standards.

LSV Guidelines

  • Reaches speeds of 20 MPH to 25 MPH.
  • Has a vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Headlamps
  • Front and rear turn signals
  • Taillamps
  • Stop lamps
  • Reflex reflectors, red – one on each side and one on the rear
  • Exterior mirror on the driver’s side and an interior mirror or exterior mirror on the passenger side
  • Parking brake
  • Windshield
  • Seatbelt for each designated seat
  • Not be operated on any roadway with a speed limit above 35 mph.

Please make sure to discuss this with local law enforcement and view this code from the State of Ohio as well.

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Do You Need License and Registration

For a golf cart to be an LSV or Street Legal Golf Cart, yes you do. You will need a license and registration in order to operate your golf cart on the road.

You must be at least 16 years old to operate a golf cart legally on the road. As stated above, you must have a license to operate a motor vehicle in the State of Ohio to legally operate on secondary highways and streets.

Making Your Golf Cart Street-Legal in Ohio

Ohio mandates several steps to drive golf carts on public streets legally. These steps emphasize the importance of understanding golf cart laws in Ohio. Initially, it’s imperative to verify that your local jurisdiction permits the operation of golf carts and LSVs on public roadways. This requires registering your vehicle, obtaining a vehicle identification number (VIN), and passing a golf cart inspection by law enforcement. Everything must follow the State of Ohio golf cart laws.

The golf cart regulations in Ohio specify that golf carts and LSVs are designated as a low speed motor vehicle when they have a top speed of 20 to 25 mph. They cannot be operated on roads with speed limits greater than 35 mph. For golf cart operation on Ohio streets, the driver must possess a valid driver’s license. They must also adhere to all golf cart rules and regulations applicable to motor vehicles.

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LSV (Low Speed Vehicle) Guidelines

LSVs are similar to golf carts but are designed to reach slightly higher speeds. They also come with more safety features for legal operation on public streets. Like golf carts, LSVs must adhere to golf cart regulations in Ohio. They must have a VIN, headlamps, front and rear turn signals, tail lamps, stop lamps, parking brakes, and seat belts. Importantly, they must not be driven on roads with speed limits greater than 35 mph.

Legal Requirements for Golf Cart and LSV Operation

To legally operate a golf cart or LSV on Ohio roads, the driver must meet the golf cart law requirements: being at least 16 years old and holding a valid driver’s license. Following the Ohio golf cart law relating to LSVs and golf carts, obtaining license plates and meeting insurance requirements are mandatory. This safeguards against potential legal issues and ensures coverage in the event of an accident.

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The Evolution of Golf Cart Use in Ohio

Before January 1, 2017, the operation of golf carts within community limits required specific ordinances to be passed. However, changes in golf cart laws in Ohio have facilitated broader use than passenger vehicles. This allows golf carts in Ohio to be driven on roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. As long as they adhere to specified golf cart rules and regulations.

Insurance and Registration

Liability insurance is a necessity for Ohio golf cart owners. This is especially true for those intending to navigate public roads. This requirement underscores the importance of treating golf carts with the same responsibility as other motor vehicles. Highlight the importance of adhering to speed limits to ensure the vehicle is equipped with the necessary safety equipment.

Required Equipment and Safety Features

For a golf cart to be considered street-legal in Ohio, it must be equipped with many safety features. These include efficient brakes, brake lights, headlights, tail lamps, and turn signals. These golf cart regulations also demand a functioning steering mechanism, a rear view mirror, and a windshield to protect against debris. As well as safe tires, and seat belts for each passenger. Adhering to these golf cart laws aims to minimize the risk of a golf cart accident. It also ensures the safety of golf cart drivers, passengers, and other road users.

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Before January 1, 2017, for golf carts to be used within community limits, an ordinance had to be requested and passed in your cities. Before 2017, there were only eight communities allowing golf carts to be operated on public roads, secondary highways, or streets. As of January 1, 2017, Ohio passed a law allowing golf carts to be driven on any road with speeds of 35 mph or less. You will also only be allowed to be it at speeds of 20mph or lower. Check ODOT for more information.

Golf Cart Insurance Coverage

Liability insurance is required in the State of Ohio for Golf Cart Ownership. This is especially if you want to drive your golf cart on main roads.

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Resources and Further Information

For those looking to delve deeper into the specifics of golf cart laws and golf cart regulations in Ohio, resources such as the BMV’s list of approved jurisdictions for golf cart use, federal laws regarding golf cart inspections, and local government guidelines offer valuable information. Ensuring compliance with these regulations promotes safety and enhances the enjoyment and utility of golf carts across Ohio.


The legal landscape for golf carts in Ohio emphasizes safety, responsible operation, and compliance with state and local regulations. By understanding and adhering to these requirements, enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of golf cart use on golf courses, in trailer parks, and on certain public roads. Hartville Golf Carts is here to help. If you need any further questions answered, we would be happy to point you in the right direction. Contact us today for questions or give us a call.