The 2019 Guide to Street Legal Go Karts

Go karts are great fun. They can be driven out on a race track, an outdoor track, and small kids’ karts can even be driven around your driveway. Majority of go karts however aren’t street legal. The use of a go kart on public roads can land you in big trouble if the kart isn’t street legal.

It is possible to convert your go kart in order for it to be street legal, this will make life a lot easier if your favorite off road trial is just down the road from your house. Let’s take a closer look at what it means for a go kart to be street legal, and let’s also explore different modifications that you can do at home in order to make your go kart street legal.

Are go karts street legal?

Stock standard go karts aren’t street legal. Go karts aren’t designed and manufactured to be street legal and majority of them are missing a few key components that would make them roadworthy.

The safety standards of street worthy go karts are strict, but these standards can be met with a few minor adjustments and some elbow grease. The biggest problem facing drivers that want to make their go karts street worthy is the fact that they need a title/VIN number in order to register the kart, obtain license plates, and insurance for the kart.

How to make a go kart street legal

Making a go kart street legal is no easy task, but it isn’t impossible. If your go kart was built in your garage out of scrap metals getting it to be street legal will be very daunting. High end go karts that resemble a mini jeep or a batmobile will have a much better chance at becoming street legal.

In order for a go kart to be street-legal it needs to be roadworthy and it also needs to have all of the correct paperwork. Strict safety features need to be adhered to in order for a go kart to be roadworthy, these features include a seat belt, horn, lights and a host of other factors that we will discuss in detail below.

The last piece of the puzzle is to obtain the correct paperwork, this includes a title/VIN number, license plates and insurance. You can either do this on your own or you can employ the help of a professional to assist you with this process. Dirt Legal specializes in helping go kart owners obtain all of the correct paperwork in order to get their go kart street legal.

Common missing items on go karts that are required for it to be street legal

In terms of design a few key components are generally missing that are required in order for your go kart to be street legal. These key features include but aren’t limited to:

Seat belts
Horn
Headlights
Taillights
Turn indicators
Windshield with wipers
Side and rear-view mirrors
Speedometer
Odometer

Majority of the above features are safety features, the addition, these safety features aren’t just for your own safety, but it is also to ensure the safety of your fellow motorists out on the road. The above-mentioned parts/items can be bought on Amazon, in some cases you might have to modify your go kart in order to install these components.

In the US road laws are determined by the state. Make sure that you do the necessary research about what laws/rules you have to comply with according to the state that you plan to drive your go kart in.

Going to the DMV

Once your go kart has been modified you will need to take it to the DMV in order for it to be inspected. Your go kart won’t be street legal unless it passes the test at the DMV. Keep the following in mind before going for the test at the DMV.

1. Make sure that all of the necessary safety features mentioned above have been added and are functioning properly

2. Test the speed of your go kart – in order for a go kart to be street legal it can’t have a max speed that exceeds 25 mph

3. Place a reflective triangle on the back of your go kart to warn motorists that you are driving around in a low speed vehicle

Final thoughts

The thought of a street legal go kart is very “cool”, but it will take some time, effort, and money in order to get your go kart street legal. Keep that in mind before attempting the entire process. If you do however decide to try and get your go kart street legal stay patient. It will take some time and everything might not be correct at first, but with some perseverance you will be able to hit the road legally with your go kart.

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