Low Speed Vehicles & Golf Carts in Roseville

Updated January 09, 2023

Using Golf Carts, Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) in Roseville

The police department has received several phone calls recently regarding small electric vehicles including golf carts, Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) - also known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV) – being driven on roadways and trails in the City.

Golf carts differ from LSV/NEVs in several ways and are defined differently in the California Vehicle Code (CVC). 

A “golf cart” is a motor vehicle

  • having not less than three wheels in contact with the ground
  • having an un-laden weight less than 1,300 pounds
  • is designed to be and is operated at not more than 15 miles per hour
  • is designed to carry golf equipment and not more than two persons, including the driver.

A “low-speed vehicle” is a motor vehicle

  • that has four wheels
  • can attain a speed, in one mile of more than 20 miles per hour and not more than 25 miles per hour, on a paved level surface
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 3,000 pounds
  • has a 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN)

A golf cart cannot be considered an LSV/NEV (even if modified); however, an LSV/NEV can be used as a golf cart on roads designated for operation of golf carts by ordinance or resolution by a local authority, and they must follow all the rules applied golf cart operation on those roads.

Currently, the only roads designated for golf cart use in Roseville are within Sun City Roseville.  This is due to legislation passed in 1994 that established a Golf Cart Transportation Plan Agreement between Del Webb, the developer of Sun City, and the City of Roseville.  Golf carts are not legal to drive on any other public street in Roseville.  Within Sun City, golf carts must be registered with the police department, display a permit, and follow other specified rules.

LSV/NEVs may look similar to a golf cart but they are a motor vehicle requiring the driver to have a valid and unexpired driver’s license, must be registered with the California DMV, and be insured. They also must be certified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Federal law only allows LSV/NEVs to be operated on roadways with speed limits of 35 MPH or less. Per state law an LSV/NEV can cross directly over a road with a speed limit over 35 MPH if, at the intersection, the road it is crossing from and to both have a speed limit of 35 MPH or less.

An LSV/NEV is subject to all provisions applicable to a motor vehicle, and the driver of an LSV is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle.  The LSV must follow all the rules of the road that apply to vehicles and drivers including yielding right of way when appropriate to other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Roseville does not currently restrict LSV/NEVs from being used on public streets in Roseville as long as the law is followed. LSV/NEVs or golf carts cannot be driven on any of the trail systems in Roseville.

Key points:

LSVs can only be operated on streets with a speed limit of 35 MPH or lower

LSVs can only be driven by a licensed driver

LSVs must be currently registered with the DMV

LSVs must be insured

LSVs cannot be driven on any trail system in Roseville