About low-speed vehicles

A low-speed vehicle is an electric, four-wheeled vehicle that is smaller and lighter than a regular car. Low-speed vehicles have a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour.

A neighbourhood electric vehicle is considered a low-speed vehicle if it meets the requirements in Ontario. Golf carts typically don’t meet the requirements for low-speed vehicles.

Safety

While low-speed vehicles have similar features to a car (seat belts, a steering wheel, pedals and speedometer), they have fewer safety features and do not meet the same safety standards.

The standards for low-speed vehicles are set out by the federal government. If you are buying a low-speed vehicle, you should confirm that it meets the federal standards. Only low-speed vehicles that meet the federal standards and have a compliance label can participate in the pilot program.

About the pilot program

The pilot program was launched in 2017 and will run for 10 years.

The pilot program allows low-speed vehicles that meet certain requirements to be used on roads in Ontario with a maximum speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour. Municipalities must pass by-laws to allow low-speed vehicles on roads. People interested in using an LSV should check with their local municipality to find out if LSVs can be used.

The municipal guidelines document outlines best practices for municipalities participating in the pilot program.

After the pilot program

We will use the information gathered from municipalities during the pilot to help determine if low-speed vehicles will be allowed permanently in Ontario and what the rules will be. Municipalities are also required to provide information about any collisions to the province.

Insurance and registration

In addition to meeting the requirements under the pilot program, low-speed vehicles must have insurance and be registered through ServiceOntario.

To register a low-speed vehicle, you will need:

  • a completed and signed Low-Speed Vehicle Registration Declaration form. The form states that you acknowledge:
    • the low-speed vehicle pilot program
    • the operating requirements under the pilot program
    • that low-speed vehicles have fewer safety features than a passenger car
  • proof of insurance that meets the requirements of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act and that provides coverage for:
    • liability (minimum $1 million)
    • medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits (minimum $65,000) for non-catastrophic injuries and $1 million for catastrophic injuries

Take the form and proof of insurance with you to any ServiceOntario location to register your low-speed vehicle.

Requirements

Driver requirements

You must have a full G driver’s licence or higher.

Vehicle requirements

Low-speed vehicles allowed under the pilot must have:

  • an odometer
  • a speedometer
  • a windshield defrosting and defogging system
  • headlights
  • turn signals
  • mirrors
  • a parking brake
  • seat belts (Ontario’s mandatory seat belt requirements apply to low-speed vehicles)
  • a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Operating requirements

Low-speed vehicles allowed under the pilot:

  • may be used on roads with a speed limit of up to 50 kilometres per hour
  • may cross at intersections where there is a stop sign, traffic light or traffic circle, if the maximum speed limit of the intersecting road(s) is not more than 80 kilometres per hour
  • must not be driven while carrying a child passenger younger than eight years old
  • must not have a sidecar or trailer
  • must not be used for an Ontario driver’s licence road test
  • must display a slow-moving vehicle sign mounted on the rear of the vehicle
  • must not be capable of attaining a maximum speed of greater than 40 kilometres per hour on a level surface
  • must not carry more occupants than the number of seating positions in the vehicle

Applicable laws

All Highway Traffic Act rules of the road apply to low-speed vehicles allowed under the pilot program.

For the full list of pilot requirements, please see Ontario Regulation 215/17: Pilot project – low-speed vehicles.

Updated: July 30, 2021
Published: July 26, 2021