Golf carts are great for riding around the driving range and carrying your golf clubs, but were they meant to be driven on public streets?
The issues of golf carts continue to catch the attention of Michigan residents and law enforcement as people use golf carts for more than getting around a golf course. In many communities, residences like to use a golf cart to drive to their boats and to get around their neighborhood.
In the past, communities where this is an active part of their culture found themselves driving golf carts. Moreover, the hope was that the police department would just turn their head the other way. Back in 2014, there was no way to drive a golf cart around on public streets in Michigan legally.
Current Michigan Golf Carts Laws
A law was passed in 2014 and current Michigan law has given freedom to the local towns or villages to determine if golf carts should be allowed on their streets. As a result, towns that have less than 30,000 residents can make this decision.
In a community like Mackinac Island, Michigan, gas powered vehicles have been forbidden for decades. The residents and tourists are used to the slow pace travel of horse-drawn carriages, electric golf carts might work.
Michigan law gives the freedom for the town to make the decision themselves. Make sure to check with your current city to see what their specific rules are regarding golf carts.
Making a Golf Cart Street Legal
According to the Michigan Vehicle Code, a golf cart must be street legal. This means that it must have all the upgrades to have the equipment required on the TR-54 Vehicle Inspection form for 4-wheel vehicles. This includes:
- Beam headlights
- High beam headlights
- Tail lights
- Break lights
- Turn signals
- Windshield wipers
- Seat belts
You can acquire a TR-54 form from the state police office or download it from the State of Michigan website. The golf cart must pass an inspection and be approved by a police officer. Additionally, a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance must be presented to the Secretary of State office to receive a temporary plate. Once a temporary plate has been issued, the golf cart will be examined by an inspector and attach a VIN plate. It will be titled as a “low-speed roadster.”
Golf Cart Manufacturers
The manufacturers of golf cards advise that their carts not be upgraded as they were not designed or constructed to be operated on streets or highways. They do not want the liability. That is why the title of a modified golf cart will state “assembled.”
While golf carts are allowed on public streets, it is important to remember and be aware of the rules that they must abide by. For example, golf carts are required to ride as close to the right side of the roadway as possible and they are not permitted on a pedestrian sidewalk. In addition, the minimum speed limit for a golf cart is 20 mph and they should not exceed 25 mph.
Seek Legal Advice
In conclusion, with the ability to make a golf cart street legal, it can give rise for traffic accidents and legal problems. If you have found yourself in the middle of a case, seek experienced professional help. It is our goal at The David J. Kramer Law Firm, PLLC to ensure that no individual has to experience any unjust consequences.