Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Dear Trooper Kathy: My dad is getting old and does not drive a car because he cannot see very well. His driver's license has been taken away. He likes to go up town in the morning to meet with some of his friends for coffee. He says that he can take his old golf cart. He wants to go pretty early and it is still dark and the golf cart doesn't have lights. We are very concerned about this. Can Dad drive the golf cart around town?
Trooper Kathy Says: Minnesota State 169.045 states that a city may by ordinance authorize the operation of motorized golf carts (or four-wheel ATVs on designated roadways within their jurisdiction. There is an 800-cubic centimeter limit to the engine and a total weight of 600 pounds to the ATV). A permit may be granted to operate the golf cart on the designated roads. The permit may be good for not more than one year and renewed annually thereafter. The permit may be revoked at any time if there is evidence that the person cannot safely operate the vehicle. The ordinance may require a certificate signed by a physician stating that the applicant is able to safely operate a golf cart on the road.
The vehicle then can only be operated from sunrise to sunset and not in inclement weather or when visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog, or other conditions or at any time when there is insufficient light to clearly see persons and vehicles on the roadway at a distance of 500 feet. The driver of a golf cart under such a permit does have all the rights and duties of drivers of other vehicles. In other words, traffic laws still apply to him too.Ê The driver under such a permit is not required to have a driver's license but is required to have insurance, a rear view mirror, and a slow moving vehicle sign.
The governing body of any county, home rule charter or statutory city, or town may by ordinance authorize the operation of motorized golf carts, four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, or mini trucks, on designated roadways or portions thereof under its jurisdiction. Authorization to operate a motorized golf cart, four-wheel all-terrain vehicle, or mini truck is by permit only. For purposes of this section, a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle is a motorized flotation-tired vehicle with four low-pressure tires that is limited in engine displacement of less than 800 cubic centimeters and total dry weight less than 600 pounds, and a mini truck has the meaning given in section Mini truck.
If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please e-mail her at
. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement.