ORVs and Golf Carts

City of Marengo Off Road Vehicle (ORV) and Golf Cart Licensing 

The City of Marengo will be requiring all Off Road Vehicles and Golf Carts being operated in the City to be registered with the Marengo Police Department.

With the new ordinances, both golf carts and ORVs will be required to go through an inspection process and purchase a registration sticker each calendar year. This will cost $25.00 for both golf carts and ORVs. To pass inspection, please ensure you have all the following information and requirements are met:

Golf Carts:

  • Owner Contact Information
  • VIN/Serial Number Location on Vehicle
  • Unobscured Slow Moving Vehicle Sign on Rear
  • Bicycle Flag
  • Certificate of Insurance

ORVs:

  • Owner Contact Information
  • VIN/Serial Number Location on Vehicle
  • Unobscured Slow Moving Vehicle Sign on Rear
  • State of Iowa Registration Information/Sticker (through Iowa County Recorder)
  • Certificate of Insurance

For your convenience, an application form is available by clicking here. You may fill it out at home and then bring it to City Hall to set up an inspection by a Marengo Police Officer. Any full-time or reserve officer may conduct inspection of the vehicle. If an officer is immediately available, an inspection will be done when you come in to City Hall. If the officer is responding to a call, an appointment for inspection may be set up.

When operating any motor vehicle, including ORVs and golf carts, you should:

  • Stay on the main portion of the street, not near the curb to increase visibility
  • Ensure everybody riding is seated in a spot designed as a seat – no riding in the cargo box
  • Wear seat belts and utilize child restraints for children
  • Follow all state traffic laws and city ordinances such as stop signs, speeding, parking, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Licensing

What is an Off Road Vehicle or ORV?

Other names for these vehicles include side-by-sides, Utility Vehicles (UTV), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROV). The City generally uses ORV in this article to refer to these vehicles. ORVs typically have side-by-side seating arrangement, seat belts, and roll over protection. Many of them also have a cargo box on the rear of the vehicle. They also typically have a higher payload capacity and are generally larger (longer and wider) than All-Terrain Vehicles or ATVs.

What is the difference between an ORV and ATV?

We receive many questions regarding the difference between ORVs and ATVs. The key differences between ORVs and ATVs are:

  • Rollover protection on most ORVs vs. none on ATVs
  • Steering wheels on ORVs vs. handlebars on ATVs
  • Bench seats on ORVs vs. straddle seating on ATVs

Are ATVs allowed to operate on Marengo’s streets?

Marengo Code Section 75.05(1) reads: “ATVs may be operated on streets only in accordance with Section 321.234A of the Code of Iowa or on such streets as may be designated by resolution of the Council for the sport of driving ATVs.”

To date, the City Council has not designated any roads for driving ATVs. As such, ATV use is restricted in Marengo.  

Why did Marengo start registering ORVs and Golf Carts?

The underlying reason Marengo started registration is to ensure these vehicles carry some insurance in case of an accident. The hope is that no accident will occur, but if it does, the requirements in the code will help ensure that insurance is in place.

It says I am supposed to get my ORV registered with the State. How do I do this?

Marengo chose to require ORVs to be registered with the State because they are considered a "high theft" item. This means they have a high chance of being stolen if a theft happens on your property. Registering the vehicle with the State of Iowa makes recovery of the vehicle easier as the State will have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in their system. This helps law enforcement identify the vehicle when recovered.

To obtain your State of Iowa registration, you should visit the Recorder's Office at the Iowa County Courthouse. This registration is required prior to obtaining your City registration permit. After speaking with the Recorder's Office, it appears you will need a vehicle title and registration to obtain a State permit.

What is a Certificate of Insurance? Why does Marengo require it?

A certificate of insurance is an aspect of your insurance policy that names the City of Marengo as an interested party or certificate holder. Certificates require the insurance company to notify interested parties if the policy is terminated.

After speaking to a local agent in support of this requirement, they said this was generally done at no cost to the person purchasing insurance.

If Marengo receives notification from the insurance company that a person has cancelled or otherwise terminated their insurance, the previously purchased registration sticker would be deemed invalid until insurance is renewed on the vehicle. This could subject the owner to associated penalties.

Why does my golf cart have to have a bicycle flag and a slow moving vehicle sign?

Iowa State Code requires these features on golf carts. Iowa Code Section 321.247(b) reads: "The golf carts shall be equipped with a slow moving vehicle sign and a bicycle safety flag and operate on the streets only from sunrise to sunset."

Who can drive ORV or Golf Cart? 

Age

ORV

Golf Cart

Over 18 years old

Valid driver’s license

Valid driver’s license

16 – 18 years old

Valid driver’s license + Certificate of Completion from State-approved ATV/ORV course

Valid driver’s license

Under 16 years old

Not allowed

Not allowed

To drive an ORV when 16 – 18 years old, the individual must have a valid driver’s license and complete a State-approved ATV/ORV course. Once complete, the operator must carry a copy of the certificate on them while operating the vehicle.

Currently, the State of Iowa approves three ATV courses and no ORV specific courses. Information on these courses can be found on the Iowa DNR website or by googling “Iowa ATV course” and following the DNR’s website link.