Utility Vehicles & Side-By-Sides Now Street Legal In Vermilion

An amendment to the Vermilion Golf Cart Ordinance passed a third reading at the Vermilion City Council meeting on October 1, 2018. The amendment adds motorized utility vehicles and side-by-sides to the ordinance, making them street legal if they are compliant with the State of Ohio’s requirements for motor vehicles and are inspected by the Chief of Police.

An ordinance has been in effect in Vermilion since 2011 that allows golf carts to be driven on roads with speed limits no greater than 35 miles per hour. The ordinance is similar to Ohio law which also allows golf carts on roads with speed limits 35 miles per hour and less.

The owner or operator of any golf cart, motorized utility vehicle, or side-by-side must pay an inspection fee to the Vermilion Chief of Police. If the Chief of Police or designee determines that the vehicle complies with requirements, the owner or operator receives a certificate of compliance entitling them to operate the vehicle on the streets within the City of Vermilion. Proof of liability insurance is also required.

Owners of golf carts, motorized utility vehicles, and side-by-sides must also comply with all requirements of Ohio law regarding proper title, registration and license plates prior to operating the vehicle on any street within the City of Vermilion.

Golf carts, motorized utility vehicles, and side-by-sides are not permitted to travel on any city street where the speed limit is greater than 35 mph. They are permitted to cross intersections with higher speeds, so long as they remain on a street that has a speed limit of 35 mph or less. When exiting 5150 Liberty Avenue, they can only make a right onto Liberty Avenue.

Operators must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.

Also discussed at the Council meeting was possible age restrictions prohibiting children eight years and younger from riding on golf carts, but the ordinance's amendment did not concern safety restrictions. If Council chooses to add age restrictions to the ordinance, a separate amendment would need to be passed.

Under state law, any child who falls under the child restrain criteria set by Ohio R.C. 4511.81 is prohibited from being a passenger in a golf cart operated on any city street, right of way or public area (children who are up to 4 years old, and less than 40 pounds, who are required to be in a child safety seat - or any child who is 8 years old or less and under 4'9" in height who is required to be in a booster seat).