If you intend to drive a golf cart or an LSV in New Hampshire, it is important that you understand New Hampshire golf cart and LSV laws.
Golf carts were originally designed and manufactured for use on golf courses. The idea was to offer players the luxury of moving through the course in a cart, rather than walking from one hole to the next. Over time, people began to use them at resorts, gated communities and in enclosed spaces such as an office complex or the marina.
What is the Difference Between a Golf Cart and LSV?
A golf cart does not have or need a license plate or a tag. It is meant to be driven at a golf course or in neighborhoods, and has a maximum speed of 15-20mph. Since it is driven in a safe environment and at a low speed, it usually does not offer any safety features such as seat belts.
In contrasts, a Low Speed Vehicle or a LSV is designed for higher speeds. And this motorized vehicle can usually travel at a maximum speed of 25 mph. Some models of LMV can reach a speed of 35mph.
As the vehicle can travel at a faster speed than a golf cart, a LMV may be driven on roads where it meets the speed limit. And accordingly the government has laid down certain laws and restrictions pertaining to the use of LMVs.
In many states the LMV must be registered with the authorities and would need a tag or VIN number. It must also comply with the safety regulations that have been laid down.
Golf Cart Laws for the State of New Hampshire
There are many states that do not allow golf carts on public roads and this includes New Hampshire. If one wishes to drive a golf cart off the golf course or outside a gated community, it must meet the specifications laid down by the state.
Neighborhood Electric Vehicle
The state of New Hampshire does not define a golf cart in its motor vehicle code. A Neighborhood Electric Vehicle or a NEV is essentially a golf cart that has been modified so that it can travel at a higher speed. The NEV is also referred to as a LSV in other states.
New Hampshire DMV identifies a NEV as a four wheeled electrically powered vehicle that has a speed higher than 20mph and less than 25 mph.
New Hampshire golf cart and LSV laws state that a neighborhood electric vehicle or NEV can be driven on state roads with a posted speed limit of 35mph or lower.
However, they can cross roads that have a speed limit higher than 35mph. The vehicle must also comply with the safety regulations that have been laid down by the state. The relevant bill was introduced and passed in 2003.
Age of the Driver
In New Hampshire, an Off Highway Recreational Vehicle or OHRV, can be driven by minors over the age of thirteen years, who must have a safety certificate.
The minor driver must be accompanied by a licensed adult. The vehicle may not carry any passengers. They may also cross roads and drive on approved roads.
Drivers who are eighteen year of age and older, must have a license or safety certificate and are allowed to carry passengers.
NEV/LSV Laws in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire NEVs must meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. The vehicle should have a windshield that conforms to the standards set by the American National Standard Institute.
It must have a parking brake and seat belts for each seat in the vehicle. It should be equipped with headlamps, signal lamps in the front as well as the back, tail lamps and stop lamps.
In addition, the NEV must have reflex reflectors at the rear. A rear view exterior mirror on the driver’s side as well as an interior mirror is recommended.
Finally, the NEV must have a VIN that it can be identified with.
While one may drive a NEV at night, it is important that the vehicle headlamps and other lights are functional.
It is illegal to drive a NEV while one is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the driver is found to be intoxicated, it is likely that they will be given a ticket in accordance with the law of the state.
If you buy a NEV, you will need to register the vehicle with the DMV in your county. The vehicle must meet the regulations that have been specified by the state. For the safety of the driver and passengers, as well as other vehicles on the road, it is recommended that drivers keep to the posted speed limits, and drive safely.