Pennsylvania Golf Cart Laws
Pennsylvania is an often underrated state that has many fun places to check out and unique vacation destination options for those who visit here.
For example, they have a series of laws and guidelines for golf cart use that make it a great place to visit.
They also allow you to use low-speed vehicles on many of their roads, as long as you follow proper state and federal guidelines for their use.
Federal Laws are Specific
The federal government does not require that golf carts get safety upgrades to be used on state or local highways.
Instead, they let the individual state dictate how they want to handle this aspect.
That’s because golf carts are not considered motorized vehicles by federal law.
This restriction occurs because these carts are not manufactured to travel above 20 miles per hour.
However, the federal government does restrict golf cart use on national and international highways.
They also ask that all low-speed vehicles possess a series of upgrades that make them safer.
That’s because these carts are capable of speeds of up to 20 miles per hour but no more than 25 miles per hour.
At this point, they are motorized vehicles and are subject to federal laws on their use.
These upgrades include enhancements like headlights, stop lights, turn signals, taillights, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and a vehicle identification number or VIN.
Once your cart possesses all of these features, it is no longer a golf cart.
Instead, it is a motorized vehicle and a low-speed vehicle and is subject to the rules that dictate their use.
State Laws on Golf Cart Use
Currently, Pennsylvania state law does not allow golf carts to be registered or driven on public state roads.
That said, they do not restrict counties or cities from allowing this usage on their roads within their limits.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to what your officials near you say to ensure that you follow all laws correctly and don’t run into any complications with your carts.
For example, you need to talk to the city about where and when you can use your cart.
Typically, they restrict you to daylight hours, which are defined as between sunrise and sunset.
They also usually only allow you on roads with a speed limit max of 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour.
The restriction here will vary by the city but never goes above 35 miles per hour anywhere in the state.
And in areas where you are allowed to ride golf carts on roads, you are usually limited in where you can go.
Some will restrict you to back streets, alleyways, or roads near golf courses.
By contrast, others restrict you only by the speed limit.
No matter what your limitations, though, you need to get a special permit from the city to ride your cart.
Thankfully, these restrictions aren’t as harsh on low-speed vehicles.
Proper Guidelines for Low-Speed Vehicles
When you upgrade your golf cart to a low-speed vehicle, you must follow a variety of laws set down by federal and state law.
For example, each low-speed vehicle must possess four wheels.
Any more or less, and it is considered unsafe.
Each cart must be capable of speeds of up to 20 miles per hour but no more than 25 miles per hour.
Higher speed rates make a cart a medium-speed vehicle.
And all carts must be certified to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
These include adding the upgrades mentioned previously, as a windshield and various lighting options.
Critically, you also need to make sure that your low-speed vehicle weighs 3,000 pounds or less.
Any more substantial, and it will fall under a different heading that can further affect how your vehicle rides.
You must also remember that all low-speed vehicles are now legally motor vehicles and not golf carts.
This point has been made before but must be emphasized.
Even if your car looks like a golf cart, it will not be treated that way by federal law.
Therefore, you can be ticketed by the state and county legal officials and must drive appropriately – usually, you are restricted to roads of speeds of up to 35 miles per hour or lower.
Therefore, you also need to register your cart and get a license for it.
Display this license on the vehicle to keep it legal.
You also need to have a valid driver’s license whenever you take one out on the road.
Then, you need to keep your insurance correctly up to date.
This step includes adding personal protection and property damage policies to your cart to avoid serious complications.
Talk to the proper state and local officials near you to learn more about how you can keep your low-speed vehicle legal.
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.