A Guide to New Mexico’s Golf Cart and LSV Laws

by | Mar 17, 2024 | Injuries | 0 comments

If you find yourself walking away from a golf cart or low-speed vehicle (LSV) accident, you may ask yourself what New Mexico laws might help you recover. However, you may feel overwhelmed about the next steps you have to take in order to gain compensation, which is why Dominguez Law is here to help.

Our compassionate and aggressive lawyers with Dominguez Law can help you outline what action to take to facilitate a straightforward and speedy golf cart accident recovery. You can secure the legal representation you need to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the party liable for your most recent accident. 

Distinguishing Between a Golf Cart and an LSV

A person may own a golf cart without meeting as many of the legal stipulations that owning an LSV requires. For example, someone purchasing an LSV must register their vehicle, complete an inspection to verify its safety, and invest in vehicular insurance. LSV operators also have to have a valid driver’s license and license plate to operate an LSV.

LSV operators must also specifically invest in either PIP insurance or no-fault coverage comparable to the state’s minimum liability coverage if they want to legally operate their vehicles on the road. Moreover, specific state statutes require all LSVs in New Mexico to restrict operations to roads with posted speed limits of 35 MPH or less.

Golf cart owners, comparatively, do not have to license their vehicles, do not have to have licenses to operate their carts, and may use motorcycle insurance to protect them from injuries. Even then, golf cart owners are not legally required to purchase insurance to protect themselves or others while using their vehicles.

Golf Cart Laws in New Mexico

At first glance, it may seem like owning a golf cart in New Mexico comes with fewer restrictions than owning an LSV. This is not necessarily the case, though. Golf cart drivers in New Mexico must abide by the following laws to avoid tickets or, in some cases, misdemeanor penalties:

  • All golf cart drivers must be at least 15 years old
  • Golf cart operations are restricted to specific facilities
  • Drivers may only operate golf carts between sunrise and sunset
  • All golf carts must have safe tires and steering wheels
  • All golf carts must have up-to-date safety gear, including brakes
  • No one may operate a golf cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • No one may text and drive while operating a golf cart

New Mexico also states that parents who allow underage drivers to operate a golf cart must assume legal liability for the child’s behavior. If a child violates local golf cart or roadway laws, parents may open themselves up to lawsuits from injured parties.

LSV Laws in New Mexico

There are additional laws in place addressing New Mexico LSV ownership that you should consider before interacting with LSVs or their owners. For example, all LSVs must have up-to-date equipment before they operate on applicable roads. This equipment can include the aforementioned brakes, tires, and steering wheels, as well as the following:

  • Headlights
  • Seatbelts
  • Turn signals
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Horn

LSV drivers must also keep a copy of their vehicle identification number and license plate on their vehicle while operating said vehicle.

As is the case with golf carts, LSV drivers may not operate their vehicles at night and can face legal penalties if they are caught texting and driving.

Schedule a Free Golf Cart and LSV Accident Case Evaluation Today

The personal injury lawyers with Dominguez Law are here to help you overcome losses sustained in a recent golf cart and LSV accident. Our team can bring a comprehensive understanding of New Mexico’s golf cart and LSV laws to your fight for compensation. We can then use that knowledge to more effectively hold a liable party accountable for the negligence that led to your crash.

The sooner you get in touch with our attorneys, the faster we can tackle your case. You can call us at (505) 850-5854 or contact us online to book a free personal injury case evaluation. We also speak Spanish.