What could be better in Seven Lakes than taking your cart down the street for some ice cream in the summer, or out on the road to go visit your neighbor down the street? Unfortunately, not all golf carts are street legal. You might have heard the term “street allowed,” which we’ll explain here. While it might sound like a good story to tell people later on, getting pulled over in a golf cart is far from a fun experience.
North Carolina has some of the most specific rules for golf cart use in the nation, and this specificity continues with its low-speed vehicle use as well.
You also need to have a valid driver’s license, a registration, a license, and Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage insurance coverage.
To be legally operated on the roads, your cart must be equipped with headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, seat belts, a windshield, horn, and DOT-approved tires. Your cart must also have a VIN and registration, and the driver must possess a valid driver’s license.Street legal carts are allowed to operate on roads that have a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or slower.
Technically classified as a Low Speed Vehicle, or LSV, your cart is allowed to cross a street that has a higher posted speed limit, but you may not drive it on these streets. Street allowed carts are not allowed on public streets, but certain communities have petitioned to allow carts within certain municipalities, which means golf carts are welcome on the streets in places like Pinehurst, and Wrightsville Beach. Each community may have specific restrictions, so be sure to check in with the local government.
If you plan on using your golf cart behind the gates, then you should be fine with a golf cart that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a street legal cart. NC statutes “§153A-245, “§ 160A-300.6. allows a municipality/county to regulate golf carts on any street with a speed limit 35 mph or less and the operator must be 16 or older.