Arkansas Golf Cart Laws
With a generally warm climate and an interesting centralized location, Arkansas is a beautiful state that has many unique benefits for those who live there.
One of these benefits includes the well-maintained streets that run through each city and throughout the state.
This state currently allows upgraded golf carts to ride on these streets but only if properly upgraded and maintained.
That makes it crucial for potential cart riders and owners to take these elements into mind when upgrading a cart.
The State of Current Federal Golf Cart Law
Federal law on motor vehicles has a unique loophole that makes golf cart use possible across the country.
Currently, NHTSA rules and regulations are interpreted to mean that the federal government can control and manage any vehicle that is designed to drive above 20 miles per hour.
This means that they can create laws for vehicles such as motorcycles, semi-trucks, and most normal cars.
As a result, any vehicle that is designed for speeds below 20 miles per hour are only managed by state and municipal governments rather than federal rules.
As a result, vehicles such as golf carts and other types of slow personal vehicles don’t have the strict federal guidelines put in place to manage other vehicles.
This loophole allows modified carts to fall only under state control.
For example, golf carts and other low-speed vehicles can be upgraded to drive faster than their initial speeds.
Some carts may even top 25-35 miles per hour with the proper modifications.
However, that federal loophole means that only states and local governments manage how they operate.
That makes understanding the differences between these rules very important to grasp for any cart driver.
Most are typically quite straight and simple in design, which ensures an easier understanding for most people.
Arkansas Guidelines for Golf Cart and Transportation Vehicles
Arkansas’ rules and regulations for golf carts are designed to cover a broad array of different vehicles.
These personal transportation vehicles include any vehicle designed to transport at least one person but which is not classified as a medium- or high-speed vehicle.
Golf carts fall under the heading of low-speed vehicles, as they will never have the power to travel much faster than 25 miles per hour.
Upgrades that make them faster are often illegal in most states and can be quite dangerous as well.
Interestingly, Arkansas’ state government has given authority to cities regarding the use of golf carts and other types of personal transportation vehicles (PTVs) or low-speed vehicles.
This ruling allows cities to dictate if golf carts can ride on public streets and what streets on which they can or cannot ride.
However, state and federal highways and roads are strictly forbidden for golf carts.
As a result, golf carts can ride only on local or city roads. Make sure to check a road’s designation before riding.
If a city allows a golf cart to ride on their roads, you must make sure that it is road ready and capable of hitting certain speeds.
You must also follow all state and federal restrictions when riding. As a result, you cannot ride faster than a road’s speed limit allows.
You also cannot drink and drive golf carts or you run the risk of prosecution.
Most municipalities restrict golf carts to speeds of 25 miles per hour or lower.
They also limit carts to roads that have maximum speed limits of no more than 35 miles per hour.
The Definition of a Cart
When a golf cart is upgraded to a low-speed vehicle, it is designed to meet a variety of standards that make it ready for the road.
For example, all low-speed vehicles need headlamps, stop lamps, turn signals, tail lamps, rearview mirrors, seat belts for each rider on the cart, and a Vehicle Identification Number.
A VIN can be obtained at the local DMV or from other state officials in your city.
And carts are defined, by Arkansas law, as having: four wheels; the ability to hit more than 20 miles per hour within one mile; inability to reach speeds over 25 miles per hour; registration from state officials as a motor vehicle; insurance coverage protecting the driver and the cart; an appropriate driver’s license for any driver; and other legal specifications that help to make the cart safe and appropriate for the road.
All of these upgrades must be done either by the cart owner or by professionals who can handle them appropriately.
Any changes must be approved by the local DMV officials to ensure that they pass state laws.
Take your cart to a nearby DMV office and showcase your upgraded cart to them.
If they approve it, you can get a VIN and registration for driving it.
If they do not approve it, you must perform any upgrades that help to make it road-ready and safe for drivers like you.
Federal Golf Cart Laws
Even though our guides are thorough and researched, it is highly recommended that you perform your own research and check with your local municipality on rules as well.