If you don’t utilize your golf cart to its full potential, check out these tips to modify it to be street legal to figure out parts you need to add.
For a cart to be out on the street, you’ll need to install a proper light kit. Most stock carts will only come with headlights, so you’ll also need to get taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. You can often buy the lights in a kit to save money. These kits will sometimes include a horn.
Not only do lighting modifications make the vehicle legal, but they significantly improve the nighttime driving experience. Also, lights are an essential safety tool to ensure that cars on the road can identify you.
You’ll also need to install mirrors to help identify oncoming traffic. Golf cart-specific side mirrors and rearview mirrors are available that can easily be clipped on and adjusted to the driver’s preference.
For a car to be street legal in most states, it must have a minimum speed of 20 or 25 mph. If your cart is teetering on the edge of this requirement, you can often gain one or two mph from an upgrade of your stock tires. Larger tires with better tread will give your cart a better grip, allowing it to move forward with greater momentum. However, when installing larger tires, you’ll most likely have to pick out a lift kit for your golf cart to account for the extra height.
The requirement for seat belts will vary from location to location. Since you’ll be traveling at fast speeds, without doors, and around larger vehicles, there is a severe risk of injury in the case of an accident. So, even if your state doesn’t require seat belts, they are a worthwhile investment in your safety.
Outside of part modifications, there are some other state requirements to make any golf cart street legal. First, like every other motor vehicle, it must be registered, have a license, and, in some cases, insurance. Also, depending on the state, you’ll have to install special reflective tape or a “low-speed vehicle” sign to warn surrounding cars.
By utilizing these tips to modify a golf cart to be street legal, you can build a fun vehicle for the whole family to enjoy all over town.