Ohio Golf Cart Laws
Ohio is often a popular tourist destination due to beautiful landscapes and attractions like Cedar Point.
And if you live or vacation here, you may see people on the roads in golf carts from time to time.
What kind of laws regulate this usage?
Can you get a golf cart and take it to the road as well?
Before you try to join in the fun, you will need to understand the federal, state, and local rules for golf carts.
Current Federal Guidelines
When operating a low-speed vehicle in any state, you need to make sure that it follows the strict federal guidelines.
Currently, the federal government does not have laws on golf carts – they do ban them from any national highway but do allow states and local governments to decide whether or not they want golf carts on their roads.
They also let these groups determine what laws will dictate their use.
Therefore, you need to understand the federal guidelines for low-speed vehicles before you try to ride any modified golf cart on Ohio roads.
That’s because many states will limit the golf cart use to modified versions that suit federal and state laws.
For example, these golf carts must be capable of driving faster than 20 miles per hour before they will be considered a road-ready low-speed vehicle.
The federal government also requires you to enhance your cart with a multitude of safety features before it is considered a low-speed vehicle.
These include headlights, taillights, stoplights, turn signals, reflex reflectors, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, parking brakes, and a vehicle identification number or a VIN.
Once you properly prepare your carts in this way, they may be ready to ride.
That said, your ride will also be subject to any laws put forth by the state regarding golf cart use.
For example, the state can set the roads on which carts ride or create stricter regulations for low-speed vehicles.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to this factor and reach out to your local and state governments to learn more and to keep your carts safe and road-legal at all times.
Ohio State Laws
Currently, Ohio allows drivers over the age of 16 with a valid driver’s license to drive golf carts on roads of 35 miles per hour or under.
These are considered secondary highways and not main roads.
The distinction is easy to understand – any route with speed limits above 35 miles per hour is no longer considered secondary.
As a result, you can usually operate on these roads without much difficulty.
Typically, though, Ohio also allows individual towns to decide when and where golf carts can ride.
This helps to ensure that cities can avoid inappropriate use and keep their streets safe.
For example, some towns may want to ban golf cart or low-speed vehicle use ultimately.
They are allowed to take this step by state law.
Many larger cities do not allow these vehicles because they often disrupt traffic.
And even in cities that do not ban golf carts, you may be required to stick to certain roads.
Municipalities may ban travel on specific high-traffic roads that would otherwise qualify — for example, a route through downtown maybe only 25 miles per hour.
And yet, the city bans travel on it because they don’t want to clog up the main thoroughfare with golf carts and low-speed vehicles.
Make sure to talk to your local governments about these restrictions before you ride any carts.
Other Restrictions to Consider
Ohio state law also has many other restrictions on golf cart use that you must consider before you take to the road.
For example, you will need to get a complete inspection of the vehicle by local law enforcement officials.
These professionals can help to check your cart for any severe problems and will strive to ensure that you are road-ready and legal with your low-speed vehicle.
This inspection includes checking for the safety upgrades required by the federal government.
You will also need an appropriate working steering mechanism and suitable tires that are not cracked, bulged, or bumped in any severe way.
These last two factors are not demanded by the federal government but are asked for by the state as a way of keeping their carts safer to ride.
Your cart must also have Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability insurance, as well.
These policies help to protect you in case of an accident. And remember – your cart must travel faster than 20 miles per hour but now faster than 25 miles per hour.
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.