I was having a discussion with a friend recently about what type of vehicles are or are not allowed on roadways in New York State. We were discussing more specifically golf carts, ATVs, electric scooters, go-carts and Gator-type utility vehicles.

I have seen a few of these types of vehicles on roadways in the past and often wondered if it's legal or not. I didn't really know, so I decided to check with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for some clarification.

Types of vehicle that the NYS DMV mentions that can't be registered or driven on sidewalks, streets or highways in the state include a mini-bike, off-road motorcycle (dirt bike), go cart or golf cart.

Now, the NYS DMV does note that vehicles that some types of low speed vehicles (LSVs) that look similar to a golf cart can be registered and driven on state highways. But the vehicle must meet these requirements - federal motor vehicle safety standard 500, the top speed performance must be certified by the manufacturer of the vehicle, and it must appear on the list of approved limited use vehicle.

According to the website Golf Carts.org, a golf cart is described as a gas or eclectic powered vehicle for transporting golfers, or recreational riders basically off road.

LSVs are four wheel low speed vehicles that don't go over 35 miles per hour, are less than 3000 pounds in weight, and must have certain items including upgraded brakes, headlights, turn signals, brake lights and seatbelts.

Golf Carts.org states that these type of vehicles can be driven on certain roadways, but must registered as passenger vehicles, and have automobile plates among other requirements.

According to the NYS DMV website, as of April 2020, bicycles with electric assist, otherwise known as e-bikes, and electric scooters, known as e-scooters are also allowed on certain streets and highways in the state.

An electric scooter is defined as a vehicle that has a handlebar, a floorboard or  seat, plus electric motor. An e-bike is a type of bicycle that has an electric motor and operable pedals.

The NYS DMW says neither can be registered, but does not specify what streets or highways are legal to operate these vehicles on. But the NYS DMV does mention that they can't be operated on a New York State public highway unless it has been designated and posted for ATV use.


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