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USA: Status of State Licensing / Registration of LSV’s More

Status of State Licensing / Registration of LSV’s

Low speed vehicles are treated in the same manner as other motor vehicles. Alabama has for decades required that vehicles, including electric golf carts, operating on public streets and highways be titled, registered and insured.

The State of Alaska has passed LSV legislation and we are in the process of locating detailed information about the laws enacted.

Arizona will register low speed electric vehicles if certain National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines, as defined in Arizona Revised Statute 28-101.32 are met. The vehicles will be subject to registration on an annual or biennial cycle and the usual vehicle license tax and fees.

Any vehicle that meets federal highway safety standards for operation on public streets and highways may be registered. If a licensed vehicle is operated on a public thoroughfare, and is not capable of operating at speeds consistent with the prevailing traffic flow, the operator would be in jeopardy of receiving a citation.

California DMV registers LSVs for on-road use if the vehicle is going to be operated on public streets. LSVs must meet applicable federal safety standards and be certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB has granted Quovis an exemption. LSVs are registered as passenger vehicles and issued automobile plates. Owners of registered LSVs must comply with financial responsibility laws and a driver license is needed to operate the vehicle. LSVs are restricted from roadways where the speed limit is greater than 35 mph. Manufacturers are required to affix a decal to the vehicle indicating that the maximum speed is 25 mph and that it may be a hazard on the roadways if it impedes traffic. The dealers are also required to have the new owner sign a statement acknowledging they understand the information on the decal. The dealer retains the original statement and provides the new owner with a copy.

Colorado does register LSV’S. Colorado Revised Statute 42-1-102(58) states “motor vehicle includes a neighborhood electric vehicle.” NEVs cannot operate over the state highway system, and are permitted but not required to display the slow moving vehicle emblem. Each local law enforcement agency has the authority to regulate the operation of neighborhood electric vehicles on streets under their jurisdiction. The vehicles must have a 17 digit VIN. Colorado does register NEVs and they have a special license plate that states that the vehicle is a “Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.”

Connecticut does not license or register LSVs. It is possible to register a golf cart, but not primarily for road use. We intend to submit legislation at some point in the future concerning low speed vehicles.

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles submitted legislation to the Delaware General Assembly for consideration. Hopefully, this legislation will pass this legislative session. Delaware currently has no laws restricting LSVs as long as the vehicles meet all federal motor vehicle standards for passenger vehicles.

District of Columbia
The District of Columbia has passed LSV legislation and we are in the process of locating detailed information about the laws enacted.

FLORIDA Florida allows LSVs to be operated on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less. LSVs are subject to the same license tax, registration, insurance and drivers license requirements as other vehicles. Counties, municipalities and the state Department of Transportation may prohibit LSVs on roads under their respective jurisdictions if such prohibition is necessary in the interest of public safety. Florida statute also imposes certain restrictions on the imposition of insurance surcharges on EVs.

Governor Roy Barnes (D) signed HB1389 into law on April 25, 2002. The measure allows LSVs to be operated on roadways with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less and requires the operator of LSVs on highways to display an amber strobe light so as to warn approaching travelers to decrease their speed because of the danger of colliding with such vehicle. Such amber strobe light shall be mounted in a manner so as to be visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet from the front and rear of such vehicle.

Hawaii registers LSV’s for use on public roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. The vehicles have a special license plate indicating they are electric vehicles. Hawaii also offers small financial incentives. Vehicles with the special license plate are exempt from payment of parking fees, including those collected through parking meters, charged by any government authority, other than a branch of the federal government, when being operated in this State. For a period of five years, beginning July 1, 1997, the motor vehicle registration fee and other fees, if any, assessed upon or associated with the registration of an electric vehicle in this State, including any fees associated with the issuance of a license plate, are waived.

Idaho’s Division of Motor Vehicles has adopted a position that low speed and slow speed vehicles will not be titled or registered. This policy was developed based on current statutes and with public safety in mind. The DMV has received very few inquiries for these types of vehicles and it is their position that until such time that legislation is passed that clearly defines both the operational and geographical limitations for LSVs, the DMV cannot title or register them.

Illinois has passed LSV legislation.


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