The City of Valparaiso has passed an ordinance allowing golf carts to be operated on designated City public rights of way, to include residential roadways. “The safety of those driving golf carts and those sharing the roadways is our paramount concern here. We’ve created this ordinance to maximize safety and provide the protection needed for those exercising this privilege,” said Valparaiso Police Chief Jeff Balon. “We expect those driving golf carts to drive responsibly and abide by traffic laws, including the use of seat belts,” he said.
The ordinance defines golf carts as a vehicle designed for golf course use and strictly prohibits the use of all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, go-karts and any motorized vehicles with an engine in excess of 150 cc. Golf carts are also limited to a seating capacity of six passengers. According to the ordinance, golf carts are limited to residential roadways and prohibited from major thoroughfares, except to cross. Golf carts may not be operated on sidewalks, pathways or bike lanes. They must be operated following all rules of the roadway, traveling to the far right of permitted roadways.
Further, to ensure safe vehicles, golf carts must be registered with the Valparaiso Police Department and subject to an annual safety inspection at the Valparaiso Police Department. The annual fee for the golf cart permit sticker will be $50, with a $25 annual renewal. To be registered, the golf cart must have a windshield, seatbelts, an operating horn, headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, a rearview mirror, roof canopy and roof-mounted amber or yellow solid light. Owners must also show proof of liability insurance for registration. Golf carts may be driven only by licensed drivers.
For complete regulations, including parking restrictions and traffic enforcement, see the complete ordinance and a map of roadways for golf cart use here. Golf cart registration begins on September 7, 2021. Those interested in registering a golf cart may initiate the process and schedule an inspection by calling the Valparaiso Police Department at (219) 462-2135 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.