Golf carts are still OK on West Plains roads, unless highways, with license

WEST PLAINS, Mo. - A recent change in a city ordinance does not ban golf carts on city streets. Instead, the police department says the change only emphasizes that people driving golf carts must have a valid driver's license and can't drive them on streets that are also state highways.

Here's a notice sent out by the West Plains Police Department on Wednesday:

We have received numerous calls from the public in reference to the operation of golf carts on city streets. So in hopes of clarifying the matter for our citizens I would like to explain current Missouri State Law in regard to those vehicles.

A golf cart, as we all know is a three- or four-wheeled vehicle primarily designed for operating on golf courses transporting people and equipment. The state’s definition is “ a ‘golf cart’ means a motor driven vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding 20 miles per hour”. (302.034.3 RSMo) The golf cart cannot be operated at any time on any federal or state highway, or cross any state or federal highway with a speed limit of more than 45 miles per hour.

The “golf cart” also has to have adequate brakes. So far, that is the only equipment requirement.

This definition was added to city ordinance recently, and has many concerned that West Plains was not going to allow operation of golf cart on city streets.

That is simply not the case.

This definition change was instituted so that the city could enforce driver’s license laws currently in effect under 302.080 RSMo.

This law basically states that all persons operating a motor vehicle on the roadways of this state have in their possession a valid driver’s license. This includes cars, trucks, 49cc scooters, and any other motor driven vehicle when used for transportation.

We hope this explains why the definition was added. Safe driving!

End of news release