Minitruck state laws
Minitrucks are sold as off-road vehicles for farms and construction sites and are far smaller than conventional small trucks sold for on-the-road use. These vehicles go by many names, including Japanese minitruck, Kei truck, microtruck, and utility transportation vehicle. Minitrucks have the capacity to reach top speeds of 55 mph or more, but many are sold with devices that limit their speed to 25 mph.
Federal safety standards don't apply to minitrucks because they are sold as off-road vehicles, even though they are permitted on public roads in some states. Nineteen states now allow minitrucks on specific portions of public roads. In Illinois and Missouri, minitrucks are allowed only by local ordinance.
Minitrucks must comply with federal safety standards for low-speed vehicles in 5 states (Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, and Tennessee).
The table and map below describe state laws that specifically address the use of minitrucks on public roads. In states without those laws, there may be provisions in other state laws, such as those permitting incidental use of off-road vehicles on public roads, that allow the limited use of minitrucks on public roads.
Passenger car: must comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,
including crashworthiness standards
Medium-speed vehicle: has a speed of at least 30 but not more than
35 mph and has some safety equipment such as lights, reflectors, mirrors, parking
brake, windshield, and safety belts
Low-speed vehicle: has a speed of at least 20 but not more than
25 mph, is used primarily for short trips and recreational purposes, and has some
safety equipment such as lights, reflectors, mirrors, parking brake, windshield,
and safety belts
Minitruck: sold as off-road vehicles for farms and construction
sites and are far smaller than conventional on-road small trucks; can reach top
speeds of 55 mph or more, but many have governors to limit their speed to 25 mph
Golf cart: designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course