August 4, 2011

Reminder: Golf Carts not legal on roadways or bike paths

The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind Monroe County residents that unregistered golf carts – those  that do not have a license plate issued by the state of Florida - cannot be legally operated on the streets, roadways, or highways of Monroe County.

“We are having some problems with people operating unregistered vehicles, in particular golf carts, in some of our upper Keys neighborhoods,” Captain Don Fanelli, Commander of the Upper Keys Sheriff’s Office Patrol District, said. “There are a few, limited areas that allow this  but if you don’t live in one of these areas, it is illegal,” he said.

Golf carts, which cannot be registered in the state of Florida, should not be confused with “Low Speed Vehicles” or LSVs, which can be legally registered and can be operated on roadways with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or under. All the requirements of operating a vehicle apply to these vehicles, including having a driver’s license and all required safety equipment. See the definition of an LSV, and the requirements under Florida State law, listed below.

Captain Fanelli is particularly concerned about people allowing their children to operate the vehicles.

“There is NO motorized or electric vehicle that a child can operate on a roadway without a driver’s license,” he said. Again, with the exception of some gated communities which may allow this.

The bottom line: unless a person lives in a community which has made a particular exception for golf carts, they cannot be used on a street, roadway, highway, bike path or right of way legally. If you do live in such a community, you cannot operate the vehicle outside of that community. 

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