How to Make a Golf Cart Street Legal in Tennessee

How to Make a Golf Cart Street Legal in Tennessee

Golf carts are a convenient mode of transportation in many communities, especially for short distances. While they are typically used on golf courses, many individuals prefer to use their golf carts for other purposes, such as running errands or commuting within their neighborhoods. However, in order to legally operate a golf cart on public roads in Tennessee, certain requirements must be met. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making your golf cart street legal in Tennessee.

1. Obtain a Title: To operate a golf cart on public roads, you must first obtain a title from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. This requires submitting an application along with the necessary documentation, such as proof of ownership and identification.

2. Install Safety Features: Golf carts must be equipped with specific safety features to meet street legal requirements. These include headlights, taillights, turn signals, reflectors, rearview mirrors, a windshield, and seat belts. Ensure that these features meet the standards set by the Tennessee Department of Safety.

3. Purchase Insurance: Just like any other vehicle, golf carts must be insured to legally operate them on public roads. Contact your insurance provider to inquire about coverage options for your golf cart.

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4. Register the Vehicle: Once you have obtained a title and insurance, you must register your golf cart with the Tennessee Department of Revenue. This involves paying a registration fee, providing proof of insurance, and completing the necessary forms.

5. Obtain a License Plate: After registering your golf cart, you will be issued a license plate. This plate must be affixed to the rear of the vehicle and clearly visible.

6. Observe Speed Limits: Golf carts are subject to speed limits just like any other vehicle. It is important to familiarize yourself with the speed limits in your area and adhere to them while operating your golf cart on public roads.

7. Follow Traffic Laws: As a street legal vehicle, golf carts must obey all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, and using turn signals when required.

8. Stay on Designated Roads: Golf carts are not permitted on highways or roads with a speed limit exceeding 35 mph unless authorized by local ordinances. Stick to designated roads and be aware of any restrictions imposed by your specific municipality.

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9. Maintain your Golf Cart: Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the safety and longevity of your golf cart. Regularly check the brakes, tires, lights, and other essential components to ensure they are in proper working condition.


1. Can I drive my golf cart on any road in Tennessee?
No, golf carts are only permitted on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less, unless authorized by local ordinances.

2. Can I drive my golf cart on highways?
No, golf carts are not allowed on highways in Tennessee.

3. Do I need a driver’s license to operate a street-legal golf cart?
Yes, a valid driver’s license is required to legally operate a street-legal golf cart on public roads.

4. Can I drive my golf cart at night?
Yes, golf carts must be equipped with headlights and taillights for nighttime operation.

5. Do I need insurance for my golf cart?
Yes, you must have insurance coverage for your golf cart to legally operate it on public roads.

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6. Can I modify my golf cart to increase its speed?
Modifications to increase the speed of a golf cart may void its street-legal status. It is essential to comply with the speed limits set by Tennessee law.

7. Can children drive golf carts on public roads?
No, only individuals with a valid driver’s license are permitted to operate golf carts on public roads.

8. Are helmets required to operate a golf cart on public roads?
Helmets are not required for golf cart operators or passengers in Tennessee. However, it is recommended to wear helmets for safety purposes.

9. Can I carry passengers on my golf cart?
Yes, golf carts can carry passengers as long as there are designated seats and seat belts for each passenger.

By following these steps and adhering to the regulations set by the state of Tennessee, you can enjoy the convenience of operating your golf cart on public roads. Remember to prioritize safety and maintain your golf cart to ensure a smooth and legal ride.