May 15, 2021

Golf carts, ATV/UTV now require registration in Monroe

$25 permit fee available at city hall

In Monroe, those wanting to drive their ATV/UTV or golf cart on city streets are now required to register with the city. Monroe City Council approved the ordinance for the vehicles during its April 12 meeting.

For golf carts, ATVs — defined as a motorized vehicle with no less than three and not more than six non-highway tires, limited in engine displacement to less than 1,000 cubic centimeters and in total dry weight less than 1,200 pounds with a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebar for steering control or UTVs — defined as not less than four and not more than eight non-highway tires or rubberized tracks, has a seat of bucket or bench design, not intended to be straddled by the operator and a steering wheel or control lever for controls with certain weight restrictions, a permit to operate is required through the city. A valid driver’s license and proof of insurance need to be provided when paying the $25 yearly fee.

“We do have the little permits coming that you stick on your vehicle,” city administrator Kim Thomas said. “If you are going to ride it on the city streets you’re going to have to have a flag and a sticker.”

Those operating the vehicles on city streets must be 18 years or older and have a valid Iowa operator’s license. The number of passengers should not exceed the number of seats intended for passengers and while operating the vehicles the driver must have proof of insurance and a license available.

All vehicles must have a slow-moving vehicle sign, bicycle safety flag and registration sticker along with adequate brakes. Any vehicles operated from sunset to sunrise or in conditions of insufficient lighting must have headlights and taillight sufficient to be clearly discernible from 500 feet.

ATV/UTVs and golf carts are not allowed on Highway 14 or Business Highway 163 within the city limits but can cross the highways. They are not allowed on sidewalks, in any park, playground or bike trail within city limits or any other city-owned property with permission from the city. The chief of police is authorized to permit them on restricted areas for certain special events.

The owner and operator of the ATV/UTV or golf cart are liable for any injury or damage that may occur by the negligent operation of the vehicles. They are also liable for any injury or damage only if the owner was the operator of the vehicles or if the operator had the owner’s consent during the time the injury or damage occurred.

It was asked by mayor Doug Duinink if, for example, a golf cart that only uses the city streets to go to the gas station needs a permit. Monroe Police Chief Nick Chambers said yes.

“The policy says if you operate on a public street,” Chambers said.

In other business:

• The council voted 3-2 against starting a reserves program for the Monroe Police Department during a special meeting April 21.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com