GEM Cars Local Ordinances

I’m curious if anyone’s run into situations where local governments have tried to regulate NEV use. I’m guessing that this will most likely be an issue in resort/vacation destinations, but I could see where it could crop up in other highly regulated environments.

One of my reasons for getting a GEM car is that it can be registered for road use(albeit limited by speed limit) avoiding local golf cart permitting schemes.

For example, we have taken our RV down to Tybee Island GA where the GEM would be a great option for getting around. Tybee highly regulates golf carts, but I’m not sure how they respond to NEVs. A web search turned up a 2007 article about a business renting GEM cars on Tybee, but little else.

I’m hoping that state vehicle registration would pre-empt local ordinances, but I’m fully aware of how “resourceful” some local governments can be in searching for revenue.


Just checked google street view and the address for the GEM rental company on Tybee is now a bike rental company. I guess the business model didn’t work.

I sell and work on many GEM’s due to the fact that two lake communities around me are “non-golf cart friendly” Golf carts are not allowed on the city streets or in the neighborhoods.
The local community gets around that by buying and registering GEM cars. Tagged and Insured and they are good to go.
Local PoPo is not happy about it but there is nothing they can do about it - yet… :slight_smile:

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NEV’s are also regulated at the Federal level per FMVSS 500