If you’re going to be purchasing a golf cart or low speed vehicle (LSV) soon and you live in Missouri, then you need to know the applicable laws. Here is an overview of all of the Missouri golf cart laws so you can keep your experience fun and legal.

What is the difference between a Golf Cart and LSV?

There are many similarities in golf cart and low speed vehicles, yet there are differences as well. The first difference pertains to speed. Golf carts typically have a slower maximum speed than LSVs. Golf carts were initially unable to go faster than 20 mph, but due to modifications and different guidelines, some can go as fast as 35 mph. Anything on four wheels that runs by gas or electricity with a speed of greater than 35 mph is categorized with regular motor vehicles.

On the other hand, LSVs typically have a higher maximum speed and drivers are required by law to be 16 or older and have a valid driver license. LSVs must also be insured, titled and registered, and should come equipped with  a complete list of safety features. These safety features will be listed below.

What are the golf cart laws for Missouri?

Golf cart drivers must be at least 16 years old and possess a valid driver license. However, these vehicles are prohibited from being driven on roads in some Missouri cities, although each municipality has its own set of laws. Therefore, it is imperative that you check with your specific city before operating a golf cart on public streets.

The operation of a golf cart by a child age 15 or younger is strictly prohibited. Since golf carts aren’t registered, financial responsibility doesn’t apply. However, if a person 15 or older is stopped for illegally operating a golf cart on Missouri roads and alcohol has been consumed or open bottles of it are present, the person may be ticketed, and if he or she has a valid driver license, it could possibly be revoked.

Not only is it dangerous and illegal for underage persons to operate a golf cart, but should an accident occur, the person is not liable for any damage, although his or her parents are. In addition, underage drivers are also inexperienced and there will therefore be a higher likelihood of accidents.

What are the LSV laws in the state?

In Missouri, LSVs are treated in the same manner as a regular car or truck and must be registered, licensed and titled. Drivers must hold a valid driver license and a vehicle identification number (VIN) must be presented at the time of titling/registration. In order to be titled, LSVs must be equipped with the following: headlamps, tail lamps, turn signals, rear view and side mirrors, stop lamps, and proper reflectors.

Drivers caught under the influence of alcohol or possessing open containers inside their vehicle will be treated in the same manner as drivers of regular cars and trucks.

Underage drivers caught illegally operating LSVs will be treated in the same manner as if it was a regular vehicle. They will not be held liable for any possible damage, although their parents will be.

Learn more at Missouri Department of Transportation.

What You Need to Register a LSV in Missouri

In order to register your LSV in Missouri, simply visit your local DMV and present your VIN, driver license, insurance and bill of sales, as you will be required to pay taxes and fees based on the value of your LSV. If your LSV is over 2 years old, then it must also be inspected prior to registration.

Using golf carts and LSVs can provide great convenience and even fun, but you must ensure that you’re operating your vehicle legally to avoid any consequences. As long as you’re operating the vehicle within the guidelines of your municipality, then you should be able to enjoy a carefree ride any time you like.


Missouri Department of Transportation

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)