Did you know, while golf cart batteries work similarly to a car’s battery, their maintenance, requirements, and standards are different. Research indicates it is not a wise choice to manipulate car batteries to fit into a golf cart.
Although golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSV) look similar, they are different. Unmodified golf carts can reach speeds of 15 to 20 MPH, while low-speed vehicles can reach speeds of 20 to 25 MPH. Also, low-speed vehicles have safety features that golf carts don’t have.
- Brake lights
- Turn signals
- Seat belts
- Rear and side view mirrors
- Advanced braking system
It is these safety features that make low-speed vehicles DOT and DMV approved, and the lack of them causing golf carts to not be approved.
What Are the Alabama Golf Cart Laws?
Because golf carts don’t have the necessary safety features to make them street legal, they cannot be driven on public roadways in Alabama. It is also illegal to drive golf carts on sidewalks. If a person is caught driving on an Alabama roadway in a golf cart that hasn’t been modified to include the necessary safety features, and if it is not registered, the driver can be fined up to $700.
Golf carts are only legal when driven on a golf course or on private property.
What Are the Low-Speed Vehicle Laws In Alabama?
Low-speed vehicles can be driven on designated roadways in Alabama as long as the driver meets certain requirements.
First, the LSV must have all of the necessary safety features, and they must be in proper working order. Also, the driver must be a licensed driver who is at least 16-years-old. If an underage child or an unlicensed driver is caught driving an LSV on the road, the owner will be fined.
Not only does the driver need to have a valid driver’s license, but they also need to have the LSV registered with the DMV. To legally register an LSV, the driver will need to purchase liability insurance. When the owner is driving their LSV, they must always have their driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance with them. If a driver is caught on a public roadway without the necessary documentation, they will be fined.
According to the state statute, low-speed vehicles can only be driven on public roads with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less. Whether the driver is allowed to cross the highway would depend on the city where they live, as the ordinance varies from city to city. Regardless of where the driver lives, low-speed vehicles are only allowed to be driven during daylight hours.
The rules of the road for low-speed vehicles are the same as they are for cars. It is illegal for the driver to drink and drive their LSV. It is also illegal to drive a low-speed vehicle while under the influence. If a person is caught drinking and driving their LSV, they will be arrested and charged with a DUI.
If an underage and unlicensed driver is involved with an accident while driving the LSV, their parents would be held responsible for the damages that they caused. Since a child won’t be listed as an approved operator on the owner’s liability insurance policy, the parents would need to cover the cost of the damage out of their own pocket.
What Do I Need To Register a Low-Speed Vehicle In Alabama?
To register a low-speed vehicle in Alabama, there is certain documentation that is required.
- The completed application form
- The Manufacture’s State of Origin/Certificate which includes the vehicle’s identification number (VIN)
- Sales tax form
- Certified safety certificate
- Proof of liability insurance
If a person wants to drive on Alabama roads, they should buy an LSV. Golf carts can be driven on these roads; however, it would cost more money to modify the golf cart than it would to purchase an LSV.
If the driver doesn’t want to be fined up to $700, they should stay off the road with the golf cart and buy an LSV instead.