Golf Carts

Rules and Regulations

The intention of the City of Pontiac Golf Cart ordinance is to allow golf cart operation on the City streets with a speed limit of 35 Miles per Hour or less for golf carts that have been modified to the equipment specifications of a Low Speed Vehicle as defined by 49 CFR 571.500. ALL GOLF CARTS MUST BE REGISTERED AT THE PONTIAC POLICE DEPARTMENT. All operators must have a valid driver's license. It is ultimately your responsibility to learn those differences and verify compliance with the appropriate statute and ordinance. 

Some Common FAQ's

Golf Cart Registration (PDF)

Registration is $35 per year payable to the City of Pontiac

Attached are a number of helpful resources to assist your compliance. Please, again, understand this is not an all encompassing list of resources as you will see state laws reference federal law and reference NTHSA, ANSI and other codes and specifications. For your convenience the following are attached:

Golf Cart City Ordinance

Illinois Operation of Non-Highway Vehicles on streets 625 ILCS 5/11-1426.1

Code of Federal Regulations on low speed vehicles Title 49 CFR 571.500

Code of Federal Regulations on windshields Title 49 CFR 571.205

**** Note: A golf cart is NOT a neighborhood vehicle. A neighborhood vehicle IS also a “Low Speed” vehicle defined by Illinois and separate from a FEDERAL Low Speed vehicle. A Neighborhood Vehicle has a VIN and requires license plates from the state.

An inspection by the Pontiac Police Department is required and will be useful in determining the proper required equipment but in no manner does it exempt you from your legal obligation to certify that your vehicle meets ALL requirements to include all sub referenced sections of the aforementioned laws. To make it quite clear, it is YOU that is certifying compliance, not the City of Pontiac.

View an inspection checklist of required equipment (PDF)

You are required to obey all traffic regulations and carry insurance proof with you at all time.


Registration expires every March 31st , is the $35 fee pro-rated after April?
Sorry, no.

My cart is street legal in another city, is it legal here?
Maybe, above there is a checklist. The cart needs lights, signals, mirror among others but it must also have a DOT approved windshield with the AS rating stamped on it, not a fold down Plexiglas that comes with most carts.

Where can I drive?
Any city street with a speed limit of 35 MPH or less. This is basically all streets within the city.

Where can I not drive?
State highways 23, 66 and 116 or streets with a speed limit of more than 35 MPH. You can only cross a state highway at an intersection, short jogs and any driving on the highway is illegal.

Where and how can I cross Howard St?
You can cross Howard St. within the city limits at any intersection. State law prohibits crossing a highway where the speed of the highway is 45 MPH or more unless controlled by traffic lights. We currently have no place where that applies except by Wal-Mart and there is no way to legally get to that point by cart.

Can I cut through parking lots?
You can enter parking lots the same as a vehicle would. State law forbids using parking lots to avoid traffic control devices.

I was told a cart should be driven on the roadway like a bicycle, is that true?
No, a golf cart should be driven on the road like an automobile. Driving to the extreme right and waving automobiles past is dangerous to other drivers and the cart occupants. Since carts are required to have a top speed of only 25mph, we recommend avoiding main arteries at their busy times of the day.

What is the penalty for violating traffic laws and city regulations in a golf cart?
You may be subject to Illinois traffic citations, City ordinance violations and or revocation of your carting privileges.

Got a question? Email Pontiac Police Department

Thank you and enjoy your golf cart experience

Brad Baird
Assistant Chief