Golf car statutes
Golf cars are defined under ANSI/NGCMA Z 130.1 as a vehicle used to convey a person or persons and equipment to play the game of golf in an area designated as a golf course. To qualify as a golf car the vehicle’s average speed shall be less than (24 km/h) 15 MPH on a horizontally level surface, 0.5% grade (0.3 degrees) comprised of a straight course composed of a concrete or asphalt surface that is dry and free from loose material or surface contamination with a minimum coefficient of friction of 0.8 between tire and surface.

Golf cars should be further distinguished from “golf carts,” pull carts or “trolleys” as they are called in the U.K. That is, a “cart” is not self propelling; a golf “car” is, by definition, self-propelled, either by an electric motor or an internal combustion engine. However, many persons, including those employed within the golf industry persist in erroneously referring to golf cars as “golf carts” and golf car paths as “cart” paths.

If a vehicle is capable of 15 MPH or more under the foregoing circumstances, it does not constitute a “golf car.” It will be considered either a Personal Transport Vehicle, (“PTV”), or a Low Speed Vehicle, (“LSVs”).

A PTV is defined in ANSI/NGCMA Z135 as a self-propelled vehicle with a minimum of 4 wheels, capable of a maximum level ground speed of less than 32 km/h (20 mph), maximum rated pay load capacity of 545 kg (1200 lb), maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 1,135 kg (2,500 lb) and capable of transporting not more than four persons, operating on designated roadways or property where permitted by law, or the applicable regulatory authority.

LSVs are the subject of AAMVA model legislation drafted by its Legal Services (LS) Committee and already the subject of legislation in a majority of states. Low Speed Vehicles or “LSVs” are defined in Section 1.1 of FMVSS 500, 49 CFR 571.500. Low speed vehicle means a 4-wheeled motor vehicle, whose speed attainable in 1 mile (1.6 km) is more than 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour) and not more than 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour) with not more than a 1 percent gradient in the direction of testing and not more than a 2 percent gradient perpendicular to the direction of testing.

A Utility and Transportation Vehicle means a light transportation vehicle other than a golf car, PTV or LSV, primarily intended to transport material loads or people. Not included in this category are ATVs, Recreational Off Highway Vehicles as defined in ANSI/ROHVA 1-2014, Recreational Powered Scooters and Pocket Bikes as defined in ASTM F2641-08, or vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling, or unmanned automatic guided vehicles.

ILTVA® was actively involved in the development stages of FMVSS 500, the NHTSA regulation pertaining to Low Speed Vehicles (“LSVs”) to ensure the regulation did not purport to regulate golf cars which are not motor vehicles as defined under federal law.
Personal transport vehicles

In 2004, ILTVA® added the sponsorship of the ANSI sanctioned standard establishing safety and performance specifications for the design and operation of Personal Transport Vehicles, (“PTVs”), ANSI/NGCMA Z135. ILTVA® perceived the need to prescribe safety specifications for vehicles that basically are built on golf car chassis but are capable of exceeding the permissible speed limitation of up to 15 MPH. Both original manufacturers of golf cars and after market vendors sell products that enhance the speed capability and safety of vehicles that were originally designed as golf cars.


Please complete the form below to receive your free download of the Standards for Golf Carts and PTV’s

Standards Interpretation

All requests for interpretation of a Standard for which ILTVA is the Accredited Standards Developer, must be in writing and addressed to ILTVA c/o the Secretary, . The request for interpretation shall be in the following format:

– Subject: Cite the applicable paragraph number(s) and provide a concise description.

– Edition: Cite the applicable edition of the pertinent standard for which the interpretation is being requested.

– Question: Phrase the question as a request for an interpretation of a specific requirement suitable for general understanding and use, not as a request for approval of a proprietary design or situation. The inquirer may also include any plans or drawings that are necessary to explain the question; however, they should not contain proprietary names or information.

Note: The word, “shall,” is to be understood as denoting a mandatory requirement. The word “should” denotes a recommendation.

If the request does not conform to the required format, the Secretary shall reply to the person requesting the interpretation, informing the requester to revise the request to conform to the required format and that it will not be considered further until it conforms.

Upon receipt of a conforming request for interpretation, ILTVA’s Engineering Specifications Committee shall render a written interpretation by consensus vote and furnish the interpretation to the Secretary. The Secretary shall forward it to the person requesting it.

The ESC’s interpretation shall be final and conclusive unless the person requesting it serves written notice of appeal upon the Secretary within 30 days from receipt of the interpretation in accordance with the appeals policy adopted by ILTVA.

Interpretations of the Standards have been rendered and are available by contacting .
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