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614-583-5000 3600 Tremont Rd
Golf Cart

Under-Speed Vehicle/Golf Cart Regulations

In 2019, City Council passed legislation concerning under speed vehicles, including golf carts. These vehicles must meet various Ohio Department of Public Safety standards – such as having working lights, seatbelts, adequate brakes, windshields, and rear-view mirrors. The vehicles must be titled and registered in compliance with Ohio Revised Code 4511.215, must be inspected and approved for use on public streets by an authorized law enforcement agency and can only be used on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or under.

Initially, a five-day exemption period was included over the Fourth of July holiday. In October 2023, City Council approved Ordinance # 49-2023, removing the Fourth of July exemption period for non-street legal golf carts, with the exception of the Upper Arlington Civic Association’s use of golf carts for the Fourth of July Parade, and on any streets closed for a Block Party.

In short:

  • Licensed and inspected golf carts are always legal on UA streets, consistent with City Code.
  • Golf carts or any other under speed vehicles are not allowed on paths in public parks or on park fields.
  • Families and organizations that choose to rent non-street legal golf carts over the Fourth of July holiday period should be aware that any non-street legal golf cart is subject to being stopped, impounded and the driver ticketed if it is being driven on an open public road. This excludes the use of golf carts in the Fourth of July Parade and on any streets that are closed for a block party.

Here’s a breakdown of the requirements for owning/operating under-speed vehicles in Upper Arlington:

  • USVs can only be operated on streets with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less (the crossing of higher-speed streets at intersections is permitted). NOTE: Upper Arlington’s speed requirement is less than State code.
  • The owner of the USV must have it inspected and approved for use on public streets by an authorized law enforcement agency (be sure to inform them of UA’s additional seatbelt requirement).
  • USVs should comply with all Ohio Department of Public Safety requirements, and must include the following equipment:
    • Adequate brakes and braking system
    • Working brake lights
    • Warning/turn signals
    • Headlights and tail lights
    • Property working steering mechanism
    • Windshield
    • Rear view mirror
    • Appropriate tires for street use
  • Seatbelts are an additional requirement and must be located at each designated seating position.
  • Title and registration must be in compliance with Ohio Revised Code.
  • USVs must be operated within the State and Upper Arlington vehicular laws.

The Upper Arlington Police Division can perform these vehicle inspections. Please call the Police Desk, at 614-583-5160, during regular office hours before bringing your vehicle to the Police Station, in order to ensure that an officer will be available. Should you have your vehicle inspected by another agency with the intent to use it in UA, you must have safety belts included in your inspection, per City of Upper Arlington ordinance (not all agencies will perform these inspections).

With greater clarity on the laws and expectations for golf carts and other under-speed vehicles for the community, we hope the community can enjoy the benefits of this alternate mode of transportation in a safe and responsible way.

If you have any questions about this legislation or see an under-speed vehicle in our community that is clearly in violation of the requirements, contact our Police Division, at 614-583-5150.

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