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Golf carts not allowed on streets in Highlands

There has been an ongoing question regarding the legality of driving golf carts on NC State maintained roads and the streets of Highlands NC.

Golf carts are NOT LEGAL to be driven upon Highlands’ streets and North Carolina state roads/highways. Golf carts are designed to be used on a golf course and are not manufactured to exceed 20 mph. The NC Dept. of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV) of Macon County will not provide a license plate for this type of vehicle.

Low-speed vehicles are manufactured to have greater speeds than 20 mph but less than 25 mph. A modified Utility Vehicle (MUV) is a vehicle that is manufactured for off-road use that can exceed 40 mph with a length of 110 inches or greater and 58 inches or greater in width. A MUV does not include an all-terrain vehicle, golf cart, or utility vehicle. Low-speed and Modified are allowed on state and local streets where posted speeds are less than 35 miles per hour. However, they must be registered through NC DMV. A license plate will only be issued if the vehicle has headlamps, stop lamps, tail lamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, wipers, speedometers, and seat belts, and a vehicle identification number (VIN).

Please be aware that traveling on our roadways while driving these vehicles is extremely dangerous. Many curves are difficult to see within longer distances. You are taking a risk when traveling at a lower speed amongst cars that may be traveling at greater speeds. We understand there are lower posted speeds within the city limits of Highlands; however, some individuals may not obey posted speed limits. We urge you to consider different modes of travel.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lt. Leah McCall at 828-526-9431 or me at 828-482-2249


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