What’s the difference between a Golf Cart and a Street Legal Golf Cart, also known as a (LSV)?

The major difference: one requires insurance, and the other doesn’t. Here in Florida, golf cart insurance isn’t mandatory. It’s a different story for street-legal golf carts, also known as low-speed vehicles (LSV). LSVs are distinct from golf carts and must meet specific requirements, including minimum liability insurance.

Low-speed vehicles (LSVs) are a popular form of transportation in Florida. These vehicles, which include golf carts and other motorized transports, offer an economical way to get around town or on the golf course. If your golf cart satisfies the criteria of being street-legal, has a state-assigned VIN, and is capable of speeds exceeding 20 mph, it may be classified as an LSV and require insurance. Even if golf cart insurance is not obligatory, it is still a smart investment as it can offer financial protection in the event of an accident.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s break it down.

Types of Low-Speed Vehicles and Requirements for Operation

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a golf cart is classified as a motor vehicle intended for sporting or recreational purposes on golf courses with a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. They can also be driven on designated roads

Low-speed vehicles, on the other hand, fall under a separate category. LSVs possess a maximum speed exceeding 20 mph but must not exceed 25 mph. These vehicles are eligible to be driven only on roads where the speed limit is at most 35 mph. Their policy guidelines are also different.

Some golf carts may have been transformed into LSVs, making it difficult to differentiate the two at first sight. However, once your golf cart is authorized for street use, you will need golf cart insurance.

Rules for Operating a Golf Cart (non-street legal) in Florida

In Florida, registering or titling golf carts is not mandatory, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles does not require personal injury protection or property damage liability coverage to operate them. However, operating a golf cart in Florida does require compliance with local regulations. The approved roads designated for golf cart use may vary by county. Typically, golf carts aren’t permitted to cross county roads or state highways. However, there are some exceptions, such as when the road or highway intersects a golf course or mobile home park. Also, no driver’s license is necessary to operate a golf cart in Florida. However, the operator of a golf cart must be able to drive on designated public roadways and comply with the relevant local regulations.

Are golf carts street-legal in Florida?

Depending on the community, the regulations that are applicable to golf carts in Florida may differ. However, just low-speed vehicles meeting specific requirements can be categorized as “street legal.” LSVs are approved to be used on public streets with a maximum posted speed limit of 35 mph or less and can cross a road where the speed limit is higher. The driver must carry a valid driver’s license at all times.

How can you make a golf cart street-legal in Florida?

To convert a golf cart into a low-speed vehicle (LSV) that can be driven on Florida’s public roads, it must undergo an inspection by the Florida Motorist Services Regional Office. This inspection is necessary to ensure that the converted golf cart includes essential safety equipment such as a windshield, driver-side and interior rear-view or passenger-side mirrors, headlamps, front, and rear turn signals, parking brake, seatbelt for each seat, reflex reflectors as well as tail lamps and stop lamps.

Once the converted golf cart has passed inspection, it will be assigned a vehicle identification number (VIN). After that, you’ll need to apply for title and registration, submit various forms and documents, including a certified weight slip for the converted golf cart, and pay the relevant fees. Once the converted golf cart is designated as a street-legal, low-speed vehicle, it’s necessary to obtain insurance. In Florida, LSV insurance is required, including a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 personal damage liability coverage, in compliance with the state’s no-fault law.

Benefits of Insuring Your Golf Cart or LSV

There are many benefits to insuring a low-speed vehicle (LSV). Not only does it provide financial protection in the event of an accident, but it also ensures that your vehicle meets all state requirements and is legally allowed on public roads. Insuring an LSV can also provide peace of mind when driving, as you know that any potential damages or medical bills will be taken care of by your insurance policy. Additionally, having an insurance policy for your LSV may qualify you for discounts on parts and repairs at certain dealerships. With all these advantages, getting golf cart insurance is definitely worth considering if your vehicle qualifies as an LSV under state law.

What is Covered by Low-Speed Vehicle Insurance Policies in Florida?

Including a golf cart in your current homeowners’ insurance policy is a possible solution, but there could be restrictions to the coverage. For instance, the policy may not cover you if you operate the golf cart beyond your immediate community. Additionally, it may not provide coverage for your medical expenses or third-party injuries.

Opting for a dedicated golf cart or LSV insurance policy would offer more extensive protection, including medical payments coverage, liability coverage, collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and comprehensive coverage for damages resulting from instances like robbery, vandalism, flooding, wind, and fire.

As mentioned, however, if you have an LSV that meets the “street-legal” requirements, it is necessary to obtain dedicated insurance coverage for this vehicle. You can either add the vehicle to your auto policy or get a separate stand-alone policy. Either way, the policy must include a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 in personal damage liability coverage in compliance with the state’s no-fault law.

Contact First Beaches Insurance for more questions about your golf cart or LSV coverage.