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Street Legal Golf Cart Tires Guide

Garia NEV with Street Legal Golf Cart Tires

A Garia NEV sporting a DOT approved street legal tire

If you intend to drive on the public streets then it must be fitted with street legal golf cart tires. More and more used carts are finding their way onto city streets with an increasing number of local authorities passing legislation to allow Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs). There are certain items that have to be fitted to a road going vehicle in order to comply with highway safety regulations, one of which are street legal tires.

DOT Approved Cart Tires

In order for a tire to be classed as “street legal” it has to be USA Department of Transport (DOT) approved. A DOT cart tire is the only tire that is allowed to be used on highways and are mandatory on street legal carts.

As a golf car driven on the public roads will usually be traveling at sustained higher speeds than a vehicle used on the course, street legal tires have to built to more exacting specifications. Street tires may also feature improved treads that offer more grip and be better able to deal with water during rainy conditions.

DOT Approved Street Legal Golf Car Tire

A DOT Approved Street Legal Tire

DOT Cart Tire Types and Sizes

DOT tires designed for golf carts are usually available in both a 4 ply and 6 ply construction. The advantage of 6 ply tires is that they last longer and are more puncture resistant then 4 ply tires. Most people tend to buy 4 ply tires for a vehicle that they use on the golf course and 6 ply for a street legal cart.

Street tires are available in a large number of wheel sizes that are fitted to all popular models of E-Z-Go, Club Car and Yamaha carts. The standard sized tire for a golfing cart is around 18″ tall, 8″ to 9.5″ wide & fits on an 8″ or 10″ wheel. When replacing a tire check the sidewalls as the size is usually printed there and you will know what size of street legal tire to order.

The standard sized street tires should fit most carts without modification but some tires will foul on the bodywork. If this is the case then a suspension lift kit must be fitted to the cart to provide the necessary clearance to avoid damage to both the tire, and the body.

Street legal DOT cart tires are

  • available in sizes for all cart wheels
  • feature longer lasting 6 ply construction
  • work just as well on the cart path as the city street
  • are legally required for street driving
  • are a similar price to non-street legal tires

Whether you drive your cart on the street or just on the golf course, when replacing your tires you should consider those which are DOT approved. They are legally required for a street legal cart, but also suitable for normal use, at a similar price to non-DOT approved tires. If you always go with DOT tires and if you decide to use your cart on the street some time in the future, you won’t have to go to the expense of buying brand new tires to be able to do so.


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