Indiana Golf Cart Laws
Indiana is an interesting state in many ways because the northern section is very Midwestern while the south part is almost Southern in its culture.
As a result, the laws and rules of this state can vary in unexpected ways.
For example, their golf cart laws are fairly easy to understand but can be quite restricting.
As a result, you need to pay attention to them if you live in this state or plan on visiting.
The Federal Law Affects Indiana in Some Ways
Currently, federal law does not dictate where golf carts can go on state or city roads in any state.
However, the national government does state that golf carts and other low-speed vehicles cannot drive on federal or international laws.
These regulations are put into place to make golf cart use on these roads universal.
These laws also help to protect against many types of dangers.
Once a golf cart meets certain specifications, though, it may be considered a low-speed vehicle.
As manufactured, though, golf carts are not considered low-speed vehicles.
As a result, many states have laws and regulations put in place both for golf carts and low-speed vehicles.
Indiana is one that allows the use of both types of vehicles in specific circumstances.
Understanding these is critical for your legal protection.
Guidelines for Indiana Golf Carts
Current state law in Indiana limits golf cart registration.
Golf carts that are not designated as low-speed vehicles cannot be registered but can be driven on some public roads.
Indiana ordinance states: “A city, county, or town may adopt by ordinance traffic regulations concerning the use of golf carts or off-road vehicles, or both on a highway under the jurisdiction of the city, county, or town.” – Ordinance can be found here
What this means is that most cities, and not the state, control whether you can and cannot use golf carts on public roads.
As a result, the rules are often quite different from one town to the next.
For example, the city Knox does allow golf cart registration and requires a placement of a Knox Golf Cart Permit on the driver’s side of the golf cart.
Once you do this, you can drive a golf cart on roads within Knox’s city limits – even state-owned roads.
Another city that allows the use of golf carts is Noblesville.
They have a city ordinance that allows golf carts to operate within subdivisions and neighborhoods that allow it.
Not every place in the city is safe for cart use in this way.
As a result, you need to pay attention to city maps and talk with local authorities to figure where and when you can ride golf carts on roads in this city.
However, Indiana also has broad rules and regulations for golf carts that have been converted into low-speed vehicles.
These vehicles are, as mentioned previously, those that can travel at least 20 miles per hour but not faster than 25 miles per hour.
Indiana follows federal guidelines for these rules with only a minimum of deviation.
As a result, you need to check with your area to see where you can ride.
Classification of a Low-Speed Vehicle
If you want to upgrade your golf cart to a low-speed vehicle, you must do it according to appropriate rules and regulations.
For example, all low-speed vehicles in Indiana need four wheels.
This shouldn’t be a problem for most golf cart owners.
You may want to upgrade the tires, though, to ensure that they are as strong as possible for your driving and carting needs.
When upgrading your cart, you need to make sure that it can’t drive faster than 35 miles per hour.
This restriction is slightly different than in other states that want it to max out at 25 miles per hour.
That said, you cannot drive your cart on public roads faster than 25 miles per hour.
However, you can go faster on private roads, as these are owned by a private citizen.
Likewise, your cart must weigh less than 3,000 pounds and feature the following upgrades: headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and a vehicle identification number or VIN.
The VIN is obtained at the local DMV when a specialist examines your cart and decides if it qualifies as a low-speed vehicle.
Registration of your vehicle then requires you to have a title and to obtain a license for your cart.
Place this license on the back of your cart or the front to make sure that you are properly labeled.
Just as importantly, you need to have a valid driver’s license when riding a cart in Indiana.
Remember: golf carts that are low-speed vehicles are no longer golf carts but a motor vehicle that can be ticketed and treated in the same way, legally, as a normal automobile or car.
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.