Minnesota Golf Cart Laws
The Land of Lakes is a popular destination for many tourists due to its natural beauty, the Mall of America, and much more.
If you plan on visiting this state or already live here, you may want to understand the rules and regulations that dictate golf cart and low-speed vehicle use.
Doing so can help you better understand what to expect from this state.
Pay Attention to Federal Laws
Currently, the federal government does not allow golf carts or low-speed vehicles on any of their roads.
They also restrict these carts from any international highways.
The fear with these carts is that they don’t drive fast enough and may get into grave danger.
For example, a cart may interfere with regular highway traffic and cause dangerous accidents.
Furthermore, the federal government has specific rules on what qualifies as a low-speed vehicle.
While they don’t regulate golf carts, they do expect and demand that all golf carts used as low-speed vehicles possess these traits.
For example, federal guidelines state that all low-speed vehicles must possess:
Seat belts for each rider
A vehicle identification number or VIN
In Minnesota, the laws regarding low-speed vehicles follow these basic guidelines.
However, they are more specific in spirit than listed here.
These changes will be noted below.
For now, though, it is essential to know that you must meet basic safety standards.
Most golf carts, as manufactured, will not meet these standards without upgrades.
Thankfully, state law currently allows riders to upgrade their golf carts to turn them into low-speed vehicles.
Before discussing that fact any further, however, you must know more about what Minnesota does and does not allow.
They have regulations very similar to other states, but with tweaks that may make them just a little different than what you may expect.
State Guidelines for Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles
Currently, Minnesota lets its local governments decide if and where they want golf carts to be used on roads.
The state, however, does not allow golf carts on its streets.
That’s because they consider them mostly a local issue and know that they will only ride on slower roads more prevalent in local districts.
Pay attention to which routes are owned by the state to avoid any conflicts in this scenario.
Just as importantly, note where and when different cities allow you to ride their roads.
Some will limit you to particular areas. Others have a more open and free policy.
For example, some may let you ride on highways if you have headlights.
However, others may restrict you to daytime use – defined as between sunrise and sunset – and won’t allow you to ride at night even with lights.
This latter ruling is counter to the state law, which states that carts can ride at night as long as they have lights.
However, the state also limits golf cart use in two other situations.
First of all, you cannot ride in bad weather – snow, rain, etc. – unless an ordinance by the city allows you to do so in emergencies.
Also, you cannot ride if you cannot see other people or vehicles from 500 feet away.
Remember: some cities may have stricter rules that dictate your driving behavior even more.
So pay attention to what you are allowed to do and make sure that you pay attention to your driving.
Like with high-speed vehicles, you can be quickly ticketed for breaking traffic laws.
You can also experience hefty fines and other problems if you aren’t careful with your behavior.
Other Legal Factors to Consider
When riding golf carts on Minnesota roads, you must pay attention to a variety of factors.
First of all, your cart must be capable of 25 miles per hour but cannot exceed 25 miles per hour.
Any faster and these carts are considered medium-speed vehicles.
Currently, Minnesota allows medium-speed cars to travel on roads of 35 miles per hour or less.
The same holds true of low-speed vehicles.
Your cart must also have a VIN paired with a manufacturer’s certificate of origin.
Then, it must be appropriately registered and operated on the streets.
Importantly, you must also make sure that your cart weighs less than 3,000 pounds.
Any more substantial, and it may have to be reclassified as another vehicle type.
And make sure that any upgraded golf carts are adequately inspected to avoid any legal concerns.
Please remember: a low-speed vehicle is not a golf cart or vice versa.
Though the terms “golf cart” and “low-speed vehicle” were used interchangeably, here, a golf cart upgraded to be a low-speed vehicle is no longer considered a golf cart.
Therefore, it is now subject to all laws that regulate low-speed vehicle use.
These guidelines do not apply on private roads, however.
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.