Missouri Golf Cart Laws
Residents and vacationers in Missouri may be interested in riding golf carts or low-speed vehicles on the many roads in this state.
Thankfully, there are many areas where you can do just that.
However, a large number of local jurisdictions don’t allow this activity.
Therefore, you need to understand the federal, state, and local laws that dictate golf cart and low-speed vehicle use near you.
Grasping the Federal Law
In Missouri, state officials have mostly gone along with the federal guidelines for low-speed vehicles and golf carts.
Right now, there are no federal rules that control golf cart use.
Authorities consider these carts to be too slow for their regulations.
The only restriction put in place is the inability to drive them on federal or international highways.
Other than that, the state has total control over cart use.
The same is mostly true for low-speed vehicles.
However, the federal government does take a stronger hand with these carts.
If your car was manufactured to go over 20 miles per hour – or is a slower vehicle properly upgraded to reach these speeds – it falls under federal law as a motor vehicle.
As a result, they must be updated to include a variety of protective elements.
For example, all low-speed vehicles must have headlights, taillights, stoplights, turn signals, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts for each rider, and an appropriate vehicle identification number or VIN.
All of these upgrades are required for low-speed vehicles operated in any state of the country.
However, states can tweak these rules in a few ways.
For instance, some states have gotten the need for windshields waived, though this is quite rare.
Others have made the rules more strenuous as a way of protecting their citizens.
The federal government mostly doesn’t care as long as a state meets their basic minimum requirements.
At this point, they can make the laws stricter if they want them to be more robust.
Missouri Rules on Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles
Missouri state laws state that municipalities, like cities, towns, and villages, and regulate how they want carts to be used.
They do have a few restrictions in place, however.
For example, golf carts cannot ride on a state or federal highway unless crossing them.
And these roads can be no faster than 45 miles per hour.
This loophole is allowed because the cart would be strictly riding on the crossing route, rather than the potentially faster federal or state highway.
Golf carts must also be upgraded to have better braking systems – a state requirement – and must also follow any safety upgrades requested by the local authorities.
Remember: golf carts are not low-speed vehicles by definition.
So, local governments can decide what, if any, updates need to be made.
Most will ask for lighting upgrades and even windshields.
And they may limit your travel from between sunrise to sunset.
As for registration, golf carts are exempt.
Again, that is because they do not meet the federal guidelines for a low-speed vehicle.
While some states do ask for registration these carts, Missouri does not.
However, your cart cannot travel over 20 miles per hour at any time and must be on the extreme right of the road.
The roads on which they can drive is usually limited, too, depending on the local government.
As for low-speed vehicles, Missouri is more strict.
They ask that each cart has the upgrades mentioned above in the federal law section.
However, they also request that a cart not top speeds of 25 miles per hour.
They also want exterior mirrors on the driver side and either an interior mirror or an exterior passenger-side mirror.
Low-speed vehicles cannot travel on highways with a speed limit above 35 miles per hour.
However, they can cross state and federal highways in the same way as golf carts.
Other Laws to Consider
Keep in mind that low-speed vehicles need not pass state inspection to be registered.
However, you do need a VIN to register the cart and a license to display somewhere on its body.
This license helps to make it easier for the authorities to track ownership and makes your cart appear safer and more legal.
Drivers must also possess a valid driver’s license at all times.
There is no minimum age, as such, for driving a cart.
However, as you must possess a license, you will be limited in that way.
Typically, this means you have to be at least 16 years old to drive a cart but can ride on one at any time, as long as the driver is fully licensed.
Remember: you also need personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance on your cart.
These policies help to keep you from financial injury in case of a severe accident.
Federal Golf Cart Laws
www.moga.mo.gov – 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.
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