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Street-Legal Carts

What’s the difference between a golf cart and a street-legal cart?

Golf carts are not designed to exceed 15 mph and do not have the safety features required for use on public roads. Street-legal carts, however, are equipped with safety features required by state and local laws for on-road driving.

Golf Cart vs. Street-Legal Cart

Feature/Benefit Golf Cart Street-Legal Cart
Feature/Benefit

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Golf Cart

Gas or Electric

Street-Legal Cart

Gas or Electric

Feature/Benefit

Primary Purpose

Golf Cart

For use on a golf course

Street-Legal Cart

For street use

Feature/Benefit

Speed

Golf Cart

Not to exceed 15 mph

Street-Legal Cart

At least 20 mph

Feature/Benefit

Driver Requirements

Golf Cart

License not required

Street-Legal Cart

Must be operated by licensed driver

Feature/Benefit

Can be driven on public road?

Golf Cart

Not unless it's converted to be street-legal

Street-Legal Cart

Yes, check local and state laws for any restrictions

Feature/Benefit

Safety Feature Requirements

Golf Cart

None

Street-Legal Cart

Headlights, tail lights, reflectors, turn signals, speedometer, mirror, horn, fenders, windshield, seat belts

About GEM Vehicles

GEM vehicles provide a more comfortable ride, with more standard safety features than a golf cart.

Is Polaris GEM street-legal?

Yes. GEM is the leader in the LSV (Low-Speed Vehicle) market, and GEM vehicles are street-legal in 47 states. An LSV is a vehicle class that has a maximum speed of 25 mph, and can legally be driven on most roads posted 35 mph or less.

About Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

Are GEM vehicles considered golf carts?

While it may seem like a golf cart, GEM has many additional features that make it so much more. GEM is equipped with safety features required to be classified as a low-speed vehicle, and some of our features go above and beyond the standard LSV requirements. For example, GEM vehicles are roof crush certified to SAE J2358 standards. It is also designed to with premium rider comfort and experience in mind.

 

About Low-Speed Vehicles

GEM vs. Golf Carts

GEM
  • Up to 6 forward-facing passengers
  • High-back seats, engineered with comfort in mind
  • Rules & regulations vary by state but street-legal in 47 states
  • Safety features come standard: 3-point seat belts, headlights, turn signals
  • Speed up to 25 mph
  • Must be operated by a licensed driver to be legal on public roads
Golf Carts
  • 2-4 passengers, sometimes rear-facing
  • Bench seating, typical
  • Generally not street-legal
  • No standard safety features
  • Speed unable to exceed 15 mph

Find Your GEM

GEM e2

This two-seat vehicle offers the smallest footprint and a tight turn radius for limited spaces.

GEM e4

Four forward-facing seats, three-point seat belts and plenty of legroom.

GEM e6

A spacious GEM with seating for six features enhanced suspension for a comfortable and enjoyable ride.