Ohio now allows low-speed vehicles, that are registered, to operate on streets or highway with an established speed limit not greater than 35 MPH and only upon such streets or highways where a local authority has granted permission for such operation. (the City, Village, or Townships must pass a resolution allowing the use of low-speed vehicles on the roadways).
Any applicant who wishes to register a low-speed vehicle must have a vehicle for inspection that meets one of the following definitions as set forth in Ohio Revised Code 4501.
"Low-speed vehicle" means a three- or four-wheeled motor vehicle with an attainable speed in one mile on a paved level surface of more than twenty miles per hour but not more than twenty-five miles per hour and with a gross vehicle weight rating less than three thousand pounds.
"Under-speed vehicle" means a three- or four-wheeled vehicle, including a vehicle commonly known as a golf cart, with an attainable speed on a paved level surface of not more than twenty miles per hour and with a gross vehicle weight rating less than three thousand pounds.
"Utility vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle designed with a bed, principally for the purpose of transporting material or cargo in connection with construction, agricultural, forestry, grounds maintenance, lawn and garden, materials handling, or similar activities.
"Mini-truck" means a vehicle that has four wheels, is propelled by an electric motor with a rated power of seven thousand five hundred watts or less or an internal combustion engine with a piston displacement capacity of six hundred sixty cubic centimeters or less, has a total dry weight of nine hundred to two thousand two hundred pounds, contains an enclosed cabin and a seat for the vehicle operator, resembles a pickup truck or van with a cargo area or bed located at the rear of the vehicle, and was not originally manufactured to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Steps of Application Process
The sheriff or chief of police in the community (city, village, township) provides the applicant a certificate of inspection regarding the inspection requirements of the Ohio Administrative Code (O.A.C.) Chapter 4501-30-02 Equipment to be inspected;
Go to the Clerk of Courts title office in any county. The clerk will verify that the inspection certificate accompanies the title evidence and the vehicle inspection requirements. If verified and everything else is in order, the clerk will issue the title;
Must have insurance; and
Take the title to a deputy registrar in that county. If all is in order, the deputy registrar will issue license plates.
To Obtain a Certificate of Inspections
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office is currently inspecting “street-worthy” low-speed vehicles. Ohio law allows the Sheriff to authorize such licensing in each county, as long as equipment standards are met on each vehicle. The vehicle being inspected must have the following equipment as required: properly working steering mechanism, headlights, brakes, brake lights, tail lights, turn signals, windshield, rearview mirror, and tires in safe condition. An Ohio operator’s license is required to operate the vehicle. Also, your vehicle must have a VIN (vehicle identification number). Please know where this is located on your cart and make sure it is clean and readable.
Vehicles may be inspected by a deputy at the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. This service is provided, at no charge, to all Athens County residents. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and present this license at the time of inspection. Inspections available by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 9:00 – 3:00. Appointments may be made by calling 740-566-4317. Each vehicle that passes inspection will be authorized to purchase a title and registration from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, along with Ohio license plates to make their vehicle street legal in those designated areas. These plates must be affixed to the vehicle in accordance with Ohio law.
For a detailed list of legal mandates that are necessary for registration, renewal, transmission of fees or inspection certificates, refer to Ohio Revised Code Section 4503.10. All vehicles presented for inspection must meet those standards set forth before being considered for inspection.
Low-speed vehicle drivers are required to follow the same rules as other drivers. For example, DUI laws and insurance laws apply to anyone driving on public roads.
Captain Aaron Maynard
Office: (740) 566-4317