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Off-Highway Vehicles

Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs), also known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), and golf carts are regulated by state and federal laws. Registered, titled and insured NEVs may be legally driven at a maximum speed of 35 mph on public roads with a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less, unless a city or county ordinance prohibits their operation. The TxDMV does not title or register golf carts. Golf cart owners who received a title before the law changed on September 1, 2009, are not required to return their titles to the TxDMV. For Driver License requirements to operate any of these vehicles, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Low-Speed and
Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

A vehicle is classified as an LSV or NEV if it has:nev

  • a normal maximum speed of 20-25 mph (LSV) or 20-35 mph (NEV),
  • seat belts,
  • head and tail lights,
  • a windshield,
  • a parking brake,
  • turn signals,
  • rear-view mirrors,
  • brake lights,
  • reflectors, and
  • a valid 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).


To title and register your LSV or NEV, take the following to your county tax assessor-collector office:

 

Golf Carts

A vehicle is classified as a golf cart if it:golf

  • has no less than three wheels,
  • has a maximum speed of between 15-25 mph, and
  • is manufactured primarily for operation on golf courses.


TxDMV does not register or title golf carts.

Registration is not needed to operate your golf cart on a public road. State law allows for use of golf carts with a slow-moving vehicle emblem in the following situations:

  • in master planned communities with a uniform set of restrictive covenants in place,
  • on public or private beaches,
  • during the daytime and no more than two miles from where the owner usually parks the golf cart and for transportation to or from a golf course, or
  • to cross intersections, including a road or street that has a posted speed limit of no more than 35 miles per hour.


A city can pass a local ordinance allowing for the use of golf carts on certain roads. The road must be within the boundaries of the city and have a speed limit of 35 mph or lower.

In these cases, the golf cart must be insured and have the following minimum equipment:

  • headlamps,
  • tail lamps,
  • reflectors,
  • parking brake,
  • mirrors, and
  • a slow-moving vehicle emblem.


The state, a county, or a city may prohibit golf cart operation on all or part of a public road in the interest of safety.

All-Terrain
Vehicles

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are regulated by state and federal laws.atv

A vehicle is classified as an ATV if it:

  • is equipped with a seat or seats for the use of the rider and a passenger, if the motor vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger,
  • has three or more wheels,
  • is not more than 50 inches wide,
  • is designed for off-highway use, and
  • is not designed by the manufacturer for farm or lawn care.


ATVs may not be driven on public roads unless the driver is:

  • a farmer or a rancher traveling no more than 25 miles,
  • a public utility worker, or
  • a law enforcement officer.


ATVs driven on a public road must have a triangular orange flag on top of an eight-foot pole attached to the back of the vehicle.

To be operated on public property, ATVs must have:

  • a brake system,
  • a muffler system,
  • a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester,
  • head and tail light, and
  • an Off Highway Vehicle decal issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Utility-Type & Recreational
Off-Highway Vehicles

Utility-Type vehicles (UTVs) are defined as Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), which are generally used for maintenance, hunting or recreation. They are required to be titled but may not be driven on public roads.

A ROV is a motor vehicle that is:rov

  • equipped with a seat or seats for the use of the rider and a passenger or passengers, if the vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger or passengers,
  • designed to propel itself with four or more tires in contact with the ground,
  • designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use and
  • not designed by the manufacturer for farm or lawn care.

 

ROVs may not be driven on public roads unless the:

  • vehicle is owned by a state, county or municipality and operated on a public beach or highway to maintain public safety and welfare,
  • driver is a farmer or a rancher traveling no more than 25 miles,
  • driver is a public utility worker, or
  • driver is a law enforcement officer.


To be operated on public property, ROVs must have:

  • a brake system,
  • a muffler system,
  • a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester,
  • head and tail light, and
  • an Off Highway Vehicle decal issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

ROVs may be eligible for a title exemption if it is primarily used for farming or lawn care use by the owner.
To qualify for a title exemption, the customer must complete Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Used for Farming or Lawn Care, Form VTR-329, certifying the ROV will be used primarily for farming or lawn care.

VTR-329 Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Used for Farming or Lawn Care

ROVs that do not qualify for a title exemption include any model with multiple rows of seats (even if it includes a cargo box). For example, vehicles commonly used on the grounds of large apartment complexes and living communities do not qualify for a title exemption.

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