Golf Cart Inspections

Please note: There is a $10 cash inspection fee.

An applicant who wishes to register a golf cart or other Under Speed Vehicle (USV) must proceed as described below. A USV is a 4-wheeled vehicle other than a truck that either is originally designed and constructed with a top attainable speed of 20 mph or less, or is not originally designed and constructed for operation on a street or highway. Most golf carts are USV’s.

Steps of Application Process

  1. The sheriff or chief of police of the jurisdiction where the vehicle is to be used should send a letter to:
    Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Deputy Registrar and Title Support Section
    P.O. Box 16520
    Columbus, OH 43216
    The letter must certify that he or she has a program of inspecting golf carts and other USV’s
  2. The sheriff or chief of police in the community (city, village, township) provides the applicant a certificate of inspection regarding the inspection requirements of the Ohio Administrative Code (O.A.C.) Chapter 4501:2-1
  3. Go to the Clerk of Courts title office in any county. The clerk will verify that the inspection certificate accompanies the title evidence and the vehicle inspection requirements of O.A.C. 4501:2-1. If verified and everything else is in order, the clerk will issue the title.
  4. Obtain Insurance
  5. Take the title to a deputy registrar in that county. If all is in order, the deputy registrar will issue license plates
  6. Operate the golf cart or other USV in accordance with O.R.C. Chapter 4511 and with the equipment required by O.R.C. 4513
Note: If USV’s are operated only on private roads, the operational equipment and registration requirements would generally not apply. All motor vehicles operated on public streets and highways are subject to inspection by O.A.C. 4501:2-1 through 4501:2:1-21. The obligation of the political subdivision that undertake motor vehicle inspections are contained in part O.A.C. 4501:1-03.

Ohio Revised Code Concerning Golf Carts & Under Speed Vehicles
  • Requires valid driver’s license for any operation of a motor vehicle on public or private property – ORC 4507.02A(1)-4510.12A(1)
  • Must show proof of insurance – ORC 4509.101A(1)
  • Must be equipped with rear tail lights (only 1 required). ORC 4513.05
  • Must have a light to illuminate license plate and make license plate legible from a distance of 50 feet. ORC 4513.05
  • Must have at least 1 working brake light. ORC 4513.071
  • Must have 2 headlights. ORC4513.04
  • Must have a horn. ORC 4513.21
  • Must have a rear mirror. ORC 4513.23
  • Must have a windshield (glass or safety glass). ORC 4513.24
  • Must have directional signals. ORC 4513.261
  • Must have brackets for mounting 2 license plates (front and rear). ORC 4503.21
After Acquiring a License
Once licensed, golf carts and other USV’s may only be operated on public streets in unincorporated areas. They may not be operated in incorporated areas unless the incorporated areas have an ordinance allowing their use on public streets. They also may not be operated on any public street or highway where the posted speed limit is higher that 35 miles per hour. ORC 4519.40.