Montana Golf Cart Laws
The large state of Montana has many wide-open spaces and beautiful scenery.
It also possesses a myriad of rules and regulations dictating how golf carts and low-speed vehicles are used.
If you own one of these carts and plan on using it in this state, read on to learn more.
Federal Regulations Control Many Elements of Your Low-Speed Vehicles
First of all, you’ll need to know how the federal government manages this situation and any regulations they put in place.
Federal laws and guidelines on golf carts and low-speed vehicles aren’t unusually strict.
That’s because they mostly consider this situation a state issue.
That said, they do require that any car that rides between 20 miles per hour and no faster than 25 miles per hour to have many safety upgrades.
These help to protect the safety of your vehicle and ensure that you don’t experience any problems.
For example, each cart needs headlights, stop lights, turn signals, taillights, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts for anyone on the cart, and a vehicle identification number or VIN.
The latter element is something that you can get granted to a cart or which is given to the cart when manufactured.
It is necessary for keeping a cart legal and capable of registration.
Beyond these demands, the federal government allows state and local governments to decide how they want to handle low-speed vehicles.
Typically, each state handles this approach slightly differently.
Some have relatively strict regulations that dictate where and when golf carts and low-speed vehicles can ride.
Others are more laid back or lenient about this factor.
Montana is no different than other states.
State Laws on Montana Golf Cart Use
Currently, Montana does not allow golf cart or low-speed vehicles to travel on their highways.
This restriction is similar to the federal ones – you cannot drive on any national, international, or state highways in Montana.
However, the state recognizes that many cities may want to give their citizens this benefit.
So they allow municipalities to create their own rules and regulations for golf carts and low-speed vehicles.
However, they do ask that all these regulations include a few essential points.
First of all, anybody operating a golf cart or low-speed vehicle in Montana needs to have a valid driver’s license.
Carts must also pass all safety regulations required of low-speed cars and must also have a horn.
Golf carts are typically exempt from titling, registration, and liability under Montana state law.
That said, upgrading your cart to a low-speed vehicle takes it out of the classification of a cart and into that of a motor vehicle.
At this point, your cart must ride only on streets of 25 miles per hour or less, possess a license plate, have four wheels, a speed limit between 20-40 miles per hour, and an electric motor.
Gasoline motors are not currently allowed on low-speed vehicles in Montana.
Importantly: a driver’s license is not enough to ride a low-speed vehicle in this state.
Instead, you need to be a specialized low-speed restricted driver’s license.
Talk to your local authorities to learn more about this process.
Typically, you are required to pass a variety of different tests that ensure you are capable of handling the demands of this vehicle.
Doing so helps to make sure you get the best results.
Legal Elements for Medium-Speed Vehicles
Unlike many states, Montana also has rules and regulations for medium-speed vehicles.
These are any vehicle designed to hit a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour.
All of the safety protection measures required by the state and federal government also apply to these carts.
However, there are other laws that you must take into mind if you upgrade your cart or low-speed vehicle to hit these speeds.
Though not drastically different, you must pay attention to avoid legal troubles.
First of all, medium-speed vehicles can only travel on roads with posted speed limits of up to 45 miles per hour or lower.
It may be possible to cross faster state roads but only at approved checkpoints temporarily.
And like low-speed vehicles, you need an electric engine to be road-legal.
Gasoline engines are still not allowed on these carts.
Thankfully, most of these electric motors are usually strong enough to handle this demand without difficulty or strain, causing any breakdowns.
And all medium-speed vehicles must weigh no more than 5,000 pounds or less to operate.
Any heavier and they fall into a different classification and must be treated as such.
Talk to your local authorities about any other regulations that they may put in place for the operation of these vehicles.
Usually, they simply follow the state laws but may have stricter rules.
For example, some may limit transportation to specific roads rather than allowing them free reign through a municipality.
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.