How To Make A Go-Kart Street Legal In A Few Easy Steps!

  • By: Go Kart Picks
  • Time to read: 10 min.

Making a go-kart road legal can seem like a daunting task, but with just a few easy steps you can be on your way to the open road! In this blog post, we will go over the basics on how to make a go-kart street legal.

We will also provide some tips and advice on how to make the process as smooth as possible. So whether you’re just starting out with go-karts or are looking for a more efficient way to drive on public roads, read on for all the information you need!

What Makes A Go-Kart Legal For The Street

When driving any vehicle, public safety should be the primary concern. Go-karts don’t come with the basic safety features, and usually, they accelerate really fast and achieve great speeds. These are the reasons that go-karts aren’t safe for public street driving.

Law may differ from state to state of the US. Yet, there are classifications and regulations to determine the street-legality qualification process.

Your go-kart may be classified as an ORV, OHRV, or LS vehicle.

Depending on the go-kart’s classification, you will need to go through different requirements to make it street legal.

Keep in mind that go-karts don’t come with safety features like headlights, brakes, turn signals, etc.

Now it’s pretty obvious that you can’t place the engine of your lawn mower on a frame and drive it on the road.

So let’s go over how you can go about making go-karts street legal!

How To Make A Go-Kart Street Legal In A Few Easy Steps! PIN

You should have in mind that your go-kart has to meet specific criteria. Here below you may go through the list of requirements:

  • The go-kart should have 4 wheels
  • It has passed successfully all necessary safety test
  • It must have all the safety vehicle specifications
  • You need to register your go-kart to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.
  • The maximum speed shouldn’t exceed 25 mph
  • Your go-kart will be tested for speed limits
  • Go-kart’s weight should be below 3,000 pounds
  • Similar to all vehicles your go-kart must be registered with valid insurance
  • You must have a driver’s license
  • Your go-kart will be examined if it meets all the criteria by the authorities

With this little guide, we will attempt to guide you through the whole process. But, if you plan to drive your go-kart on a public street, then you should have all these details taken care of.

We wouldn’t suggest in any case to drive your kart on the streets if you don’t satisfy all of the above requirements.

Step 1: Necessary Kart Modifications To Satisfy All Requirements

Making the necessary actions & modifications on your kart shouldn’t be a burden for you. The right approach is to be conscious of safety when driving any vehicle on the public street.

The legal requirements only exist to ensure safety for every driver, including you. So, the go-kart should work properly and it’s maintained in the best possible condition.

Almost all go-karts don’t come with the required components to be driven on streets. You have to find a go-kart that has these parts, or you should install them afterward.

You, Will, Need the Following Parts and Requirements

For your go-kart to be street legal, you will need to make some modifications. The most important are: a horn, headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and reflectors. You will also need a license plate and registration.

Making your go-kart legal can be a fun project. It’s important to make sure all the parts are in working order and meet all the requirements. Head to your nearest go-kart shop to find the right parts of the following list and get started!

Mirrors: Mirrors on a vehicle serve a very important purpose – they allow the driver to see what is happening behind them. Without mirrors, it would be very difficult for the driver to know what is going on around them, which could lead to accidents.

Braking system: A go-kart is a vehicle, and as such, it needs a good barking system to keep the driver safe. A go-kart without a barking system is a danger to the driver and other motorists on the road.

Horn: A horn is a mechanism used to produce sound, typically a loud sound, from an electric motor or a compressed air motor. The sound is used as a warning, to indicate the presence of a vehicle, or as an invitation to cross the street.

Windshield: A windshield is a pane of glass or other transparent material mounted in a vehicle’s front window frame to protect the driver and passengers from wind, rain, snow, insects, and debris. Your kart also should be equipped with wipers.

Bonnet/hood: A bonnet is important for a vehicle because it helps protect the engine and other important parts from the elements. Without a bonnet, these parts would be exposed to the rain, snow, and other debris that can damage them.

Ordinary steering wheel: Avoid steering wheels that look like they belong in a race vehicle. It’s preferable if you have a wheel that’s the same size as a standard one. Make sure it’s one you’d find in a regular car.

Safety seat belts: The law requires drivers and passengers in any motor vehicle to wear seat belts. This is because they help keep drivers and passengers inside the vehicle in the event of a crash.

Seat belts also help to reduce the severity of injuries in a crash. Your kart should feature safety seat belts too if you plan to drive it on the street.

Proper tires: In order for go-karts to go on the street, they need to have proper tires. You can’t go on the street with regular tires that ensure the safety of the vehicle.

Lights: Your kart should have lighting system similar to other cars.

Bumpers: Bumpers serve as a cushion between the kart and another object. They are typically made of rubber or plastic and are placed at the front and rear of your vehicle.

Exhaust system: An exhaust system is a series of tubes that carries the exhaust gases away from the engine of a vehicle. It is required to control emissions and noise of your go-kart.

Speedometer: A speedometer is a device used to measure the speed of a vehicle. Similar to all other vehicles, go-karts should have a speedometer to measure how fast they go.

Safety triangle: All go-karts should have a safety triangle. It is a law in most states that go-karts must have one. It’s a kind of warning for other drivers that your vehicle can go faster.

Insurance: Making sure that your go-kart is street legal is important. This means that it meets all the requirements to be on the road, such as having vehicle insurance. This will help to keep covered under unpleasant situations while driving on the road.

Street go carts are go karts that meet the safety and performance standards of a street-legal vehicle. It isn’t an easy to task to make one.

In order for it to pass inspection from the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), it must also have all original parts that come with the go cart or those approved by law enforcement officials in your state.

In addition, if you live in an area where snow is common during winter months you will have to equip your go cart with adequate tires. This is important for your tires to provide traction on icy roads without sliding off.

After you complete this crucial first step, you may proceed to the next.

street legal

Step 2: Passing The Street Speed Test

You should check the kart’s roadworthiness before you get too far in this process. It’s not fun to get all pumped up for a speed test only to find out it’s unsafe.

Firstly, you need to ensure the kart is in good working condition before you begin any testing. If the kart is safe, it’s time to put it to the test! Have in mind that this will not be a high speed race. You only have to prove that your kart does not exceed the limit of 25 mph.

For the test you need to schedule an appointment with your local DMV. A law enforcement officer will inspect your kart to verify its safety. You can’t skip this step!

It’s important that your kart can’t go any faster than 25 mph. If it does, then your kart fails and can’t be registered. Make sure that your kart isn’t faster than this speed limit.

The speed limit only exists to avoid any risks from driving your kart on public streets. If you manage to pass this test, then it’s time to move on to the next step!

Step 3: Go-Kart Registration

You’ll need to register your go-kart with your local DMV to make it street legal. Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV), Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles (OHRV), and Off-Road Vehicles are the most common types of go-karts (ORV).

The classification of your car is determined by the city or state where you live. Inquire about your go-vehicle kart’s classification with your local DMV. Let’s check how to register a go-kart.

Requirements for Registration

Every vehicle comes with restrictions to be eligible for registration. The same stands for your kart too. Limitations for weight, number of wheels, maximum speed are some of these requirements that your kart should meet.

Here below you may check the main requirements:

All necessary modifications completed (Step-1)

Your kart should weigh below 3,000 lbs.

Your kart shouldn’t be able to exceed the speed limit of 25 mph

Your kart should have 4 wheels

Registration Documents

The go-kart legal registration process can be overwhelming. There are several documents you’re required to submit to your DMV in order to complete the process. The list of go-kart registration documents may differ from state to state, but below is a general list that you can use as a guideline:

Street Legal Go-Karts

You must provide the following go-kart road legal registration documentation:

  1. Valid go kart title or Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  2. Proof of insurance for go cart
  3. Copy of driver’s license
  4. State issued photo identification card
  5. Current vehicle inspection certificate
  6. Completed application form
  7. Signed statement by owner
  8. Owners ID issued by local the authorities

Process and documentation may vary from state to state and this is only a basic guide for you to have in mind.

If you’re preparing to go-kart on the street, it’s important to have all of your documents in order before hitting the road. This means having your registration and proof of insurance ready to go.

In some cases, you can register your go-kart through your state’s DMV website. Be sure to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) available when registering. The VIN can usually be found on the go-kart frame or engine.

Your proof of insurance will also be required. Typically, this document will list the go-kart as a type of vehicle. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your insurance company’s policies regarding go-karts, as some may not cover street go-karting.

When you go to the DMV to register your go-kart, you will be required to provide a number of documents. It’s important that you keep these documents safe and secure, as you will need them again when it’s time to renew your registration.

vehicle registration

Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

– Store all of your registration documents in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet or safe.

– Make copies of all of your documents and store them in another location, in case something happens to the originals.

– Keep your registration paperwork up-to-date and filed away neatly. That way, if you ever need to reference it, everything will be right at your fingertips.

Step 4: Arrange A Meeting With Notary Public

The process for this depends on your state, but you’ll need to provide documentation that shows how the vehicle was put together and built. You will then have it signed by an official notary public before taking ownership of it!

You may have to provide proof of evidence on how the kart was constructed. So, if you built it take some videos and photos of the various stages.

Remember that you have to prove to the authorities that your little vehicle is safe to drive on public streets. This isn’t to create another burden to you, it’s only a procedure to ensure everyone’s safety on the streets.

Step 5: Arrange All The Necessary Payments

After you have completed all of the other steps in this go-kart registration process, it’s now time to arrange the required payments. You’ll need to pay for a title, inspection, sales tax on the go-kart, and registration fees.

Once that’s done, you may submit your documentation and proceed with making your kart legal to drive on the public streets!

Read Also: Best Street Legal Go Karts For Adults

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the basics of how to make your go-kart street legal, it’s time to get started! Be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s specific requirements, as they may vary.

It would be perfect if you could find a go kart street legal kit but I haven’t found any worthy options. I own a shifter kart and researched how to legalize it, so I decided to write this little guide to help you out.

If you don’t follow all these steps you may wonder: where can I drive my go-kart legally? Well, you can drive it at the backyard of your house, in a kart track, and not on public streets.

Have all of your documents in order and be prepared for a meeting with an official notary public. Once everything is finalized, you can enjoy driving your go-kart on public roads!

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