If you’re going to be purchasing a golf cart or LSV and you live in Michigan, you should be aware that there are specific laws when it comes to driving one. Here is everything that you need to know so you’ll be able to enjoy your vehicle instead of worrying about breaking Michigan golf cart laws.

What is the Difference Between a Golf Cart and LSV?

Although golf carts and LSVs are similar, there are also many differences. One difference that makes LSVs Secretary of State (SOS) and DOT approved and not golf carts is the fact that LSVs typically have a faster speed. Vehicles, regardless of type, are treated as regular motor vehicles if their maximum speed exceeds 20 mph, and LSVs are sometimes 25 or even 30 mph. Some other differences are that golf carts don’t have to be registered, while LSV are required to be. LSVs must also have a vehicle identification number (VIN), insurance, and be equipped with many safety features, which are listed below.

What are the Golf Cart Laws for Michigan?

Michigan law requires drivers to be a minimum of 16 years old, with a valid driver license to drive a golf cart. For golf cart drivers living in a town with 30,000 or fewer residents, a golf cart may be driven on regular roads. Although the golf cart does not have to be registered in these areas, the municipalities may require that the cart is registered in order to be properly maintained. A fee will not be charged. Not all towns with fewer than 30,000 residents will allow golf carts to be ridden on public roads, so drivers should find out the requirements of their specific area.

If a golf cart driver is found to be under the influence of alcohol, or open containers are found inside the cart, the situation will be treated in the same manner as drivers of a regular motor vehicle, and drivers may be immediately arrested, depending on specific circumstances.

Underage drivers are strictly prohibited from driving golf carts, as there are liability issues that must be taken into consideration. First of all, golf carts are not required to have the safety features that LSVs must have, so therefore if an accident were to occur, there is a greater likelihood of serious injury or even death of children younger than 16.

What are the LSV laws in Michigan?

In order to legally drive a LSV in Michigan, drivers must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver license, liability insurance and a 17-digit conforming vehicle identification number (VIN). The vehicle must also contain the following:

  • Headlamps
  • Taillamps
  • Seat belts for each seat
  • Turn signals
  • Reflex reflectors
  • Parking brakes
  • Rear view mirrors
  • Windshields
  • Vehicle identification numbers

LSVs can be driven anytime, with no regard to the time of day.

If a driver is stopped and found to be under the influence of alcohol, or open containers are found inside the vehicle, then the person will be treated in the same manner as if driving any type of motor vehicle, and serious consequences could result.

Underage individuals are strictly prohibited from driving LSVs for many reasons. One main reason is due to the possible liability if an accident were to occur. An underage driver isn’t able to be insured, so should an accident occur, the illegal driver will not be covered.

Learn more at Michigan Department of Transportation.

What you need for the Department of Motor Vehicles to Register a LSV

In order to register a LSV in Michigan, a valid driver license, VIN and liability insurance is needed.

Golf carts and LSVs can provide practical transportation in certain situations. Not only can these vehicles be convenient, but they can also be fun. As long as you adhere to the laws of Michigan when driving one, you can enjoy driving in yours as often as you desire.


Michigan Department of Transportation

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)