Texas Golf Cart Laws
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t several coherent guidelines that you can consider before you start riding your cart.
Fully understanding these laws can help you better grasp where you can take your cart, how you can ride it, and the different steps that you must take to ensure that it is safe to use and ride on all Texas roads where it is allowed.
Federal Guidelines to Consider
Currently, federal guidelines do not dictate how golf carts are used or manufactured in states.
That’s because the NHTSA does not consider vehicles that cannot top speeds of 20 miles per hour as motorized vehicles.
This loophole allows states and cites to create different laws that dictate how carts are used on their property.
Therefore, you need to talk to local and state officials to see what you can anticipate when attempting to ride carts in Texas.
That said, you can upgrade golf carts to make them low-speed vehicles that are capable of traveling between 20 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour, maximum.
At this point, you must upgrade your cart to make it qualify for this status.
And the federal government sets these regulations, though they allow states to adjust any elements that they don’t control.
No state law can attempt to change that of the federal government, or they will be struck down in federal courts.
For example, the federal government requires that all golf carts and low-speed vehicles include headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and a vehicle identification number or VIN.
And Texas is one of the many states that allow cities and towns to dictate how they use carts.
Understanding this information will help you fully understand the proper ways to use your golf cart.
Texas Law on Golf Cart Use
Currently, Texas law classified as a golf cart as a vehicle that has no less than three wheels, a maximum speed of 15-25 miles per hour, and a classification for use on golf courses.
Typically, you’re going to find golf carts that have four wheels – though available, three-wheel carts are rare – and shouldn’t have a hard time finding one that can travel up to 20-25 miles per hours.
This status does not go against federal law because the golf cart will not have the upgrades mentioned above.
Currently, Texas law does not require golf carts to have registration of any kind to operate on roads.
However, there are still rules that dictate where and when you can take golf carts out on streets.
For example, you can typically drive golf carts in master-planned communities that contain a uniform set of restrictive rules for their operation.
If you live in such an area, talk to your community manager to learn more about these guidelines and what you must do to follow them.
Drivers can also take their golf carts on private beaches and other private roads and areas without restriction.
However, if you choose to public roads, you can only travel during the daytime – between sunrise and sunset – and just two miles from where you usually park your cart.
This distance will be gauged by registration officials and is included on your driving permit.
You can also only travel on roads of no more than 35 miles per hour but can cross intersections in appropriate areas.
And all cities can allow golf cart use in their city limits. All carts must be insured and need headlights, taillights, parking brakes, mirrors, reflex reflectors, and a slow-moving vehicle emblem.
These lights typically allow you to travel outside of daylight hours, though restrictions may apply based on your city or community.
So, as always, talk to local officials about this aspect.
Low-Speed Vehicle Use in Texas
If you upgrade your cart to reach speeds of 20-25 miles per hour, it is considered a low-speed vehicle.
However, you can also improve its maximum speed to 35 miles per hour to create a medium-speed vehicle.
These carts are usually treated the same by Texas law, beyond the roads on which they can drive.
Often, medium-speed cars can take off on faster ways, though this again varies by the area.
As mentioned above, all vehicles of this type need specific upgrades to make them legal for the road.
You also need to use your VIN to title, register, and license your cart.
At this point,k your vehicle is now considered road-legal, and you can take it out just about anywhere you want.
Make sure that you possess evidence of ownership, a completed Form 130-U, and the proper insurance option.
These policies include private injury protection and property damage coverage.
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.