Wisconsin Golf Cart Laws
Wisconsin’s many large cities are contrasted by beautiful landscapes and a unique geographical position that allows easy access to Michigan’s gorgeous upper peninsula and areas like Minnesota and Chicago.
And their many roads often connect these areas with ease and simplicity.
Therefore, those who want to ride across the state on a golf cart or low-speed vehicle must fully understand the laws that control their use.
Doing so will ensure that you keep your cart use as legal as possible.
Federal Rules That Wisconsin Follows for Golf Carts and LSV
All states must follow federal rules regarding golf cart and low-speed vehicle use.
Wisconsin is no different.
Therefore, riders in this state must understand what guidelines the state starts with before they create their laws.
Typically, the federal government does allow states to make these rules more restrictive or to add extra elements that they do not have specific requirements for controlling.
For example, the federal government states the full right to control the use of golf carts in their jurisdiction.
That’s because the feds do not consider golf carts to be motorized vehicles due to their slow rates of speed.
A typical golf cart cannot pass 20 miles per hour, as manufactured.
Though they can be upgraded to drive faster, if they do, they are legally low-speed vehicles.
Therefore, Wisconsin and every other state in the country must create laws that control golf cart use and the safety requirements necessary for making them road-legal.
Typically, many states also grant control to municipalities within their boundaries.
This includes allowing them to set laws and guidelines for cart use on their roads and those byways within their jurisdiction.
Remember: federal and international highways are not safe for golf cart usage and are, therefore, banned from these roads.
Just as importantly, any cart that you want to upgrade to a low-speed vehicle must pass several safety upgrades to keep them safe for the road.
These include headlights, stop lights, turn signals, taillights, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and a vehicle identification number or VIN.
These necessary upgrades can be made stricter by the state, though most follow them to the letter to create a coherent and consistent level of safety throughout the country.
Wisconsin Golf Cart Laws
Wisconsin state law defines a golf cart as a vehicle “…whose speed attainable in one mile does not exceed 20 miles per hour on a paved, level surface, and that is designed and intended to convey one or more persons and equipment to play the game of golf in an area designated as a golf course.”
Understanding this facet will make it easier for you to figure out whether your cart is considered a golf cart by the state or a low-speed vehicle.
According to Wisconsin law, municipalities or cities can grant the right to drive golf carts on roads.
However, if they do give this right, they must follow specific control laws created by the state.
These include riding only on roads with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour within the municipality’s jurisdiction.
Golf carts may also be used in Governor Tommy G. Thompson Centennial State Park and Peshtigo River State Park by all people over the ages of 16.
Remember: your city may have more restrictive laws or guidelines for golf cart use within its borders.
Therefore, you need to talk to your local officials to see what they do and do not allow for a city.
You may run into strange situations, such as one suburb allowing golf carts being near one that does not.
Even if other areas near the suburb that bans golf cart use allow cart use, you cannot ride on a connecting road to them from your city.
Therefore, comprehensive research is necessary here.
Wisconsin Low-Speed Vehicle Guidelines
All Wisconsin motor vehicles must follow federal guidelines of safety and manufacturing.
This includes adding all of the elements listed above in the previous section, such as headlights and taillights.
However, Wisconsin also adds a few other restrictions on low-speed vehicles and golf carts upgraded to meet this standard.
For example, they must have four wheels to be considered street legal.
And all low-speed vehicles must be registered to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and registered to operate on roads within the state.
All low-speed vehicles must also possess a license plate, as they are considered a motor vehicle in the same manner as an automobile.
Drivers must also pay a $23 biennial feet for low-speed cars to keep them legal while operating on the road.
Importantly, a low-speed vehicle operated within Wisconsin state limits must also be no more than 3,000 pounds.
And they cannot travel on any road with a speed limit above 35 miles per hour.
Make sure to talk to your city, though, as their rules and regulations may vary depending on the needs of their citizens and what their local legislature decides that they want.
Federal Golf Cart Laws
docs.legis.wisconsin.gov – Golf Carts
docs.legis.wisconsin.gov – Low-Speed Vehicles
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.