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The original item was published from 10/30/2019 9:53:21 AM to 12/31/2019 4:35:01 PM.

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Posted on: October 30, 2019


These vehicles cannot be operated upon primary road extensions such as Highway 61/2 through Fort Madison.


  1. None of these vehicles shall be operated on or parked upon City sidewalks, any City park property (except park roadways and parking areas), upon that portion of the street located between the curb and the sidewalk or property line (referred to as the “right-of-way”) except for the purpose of crossing the same to a public street upon which operation is allowed.
  2. None of the vehicles may be operated on upon a city street which is a primary road extension through the City.  Said vehicles are permitted to cross a City street which is a primary road extension through the City, if necessary, to reach City roads where legal operation is permitted.
  3. Said vehicles may only be operated on City streets between sunrise and sunset;
  4. Golf carts, ATVs and UTVs are prohibited on City streets during inclement weather when visibility is reduced or impaired by weather, smoke, fog or other conditions or at any other time when there is insufficient light to clearly see a person or vehicle on a roadway at a distance five hundred (500) feet (roughly one standard City block).
  5. Vehicles covered under this ordinance may only be operated by persons possessing a valid operator’s license and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age, or by any person with a valid, State-issued “instructional permit” and accompanied by an adult possessing a valid driver’s license in accordance with Iowa law(s).
  6. Operators shall observe all State and local traffic control regulations and devices.
  7. No operator shall be under the influence of intoxicating beverages, narcotics or habit-forming drugs, and open alcoholic beverage containers are not permitted in or on such vehicles. 
  8. No person shall operate a golf cart, ATV, or UTV in a careless, reckless or negligent manner which endangers others or causing injury or damage.
  9. All riders must remain seated at all times;

10. No more than two adults may ride in the front seat and no more than two adults may ride in the back seat if said seat exists.

11. No part of any rider or operator may extend beyond the sides of the vehicle;

12. Children must be accompanied by an adult driver and must follow all the requirements of this subsection except the capacity limits as long as all children are seated on the seat and no part of the body of the child extends beyond the sides of the golf cart, ATV or UTV.


All such vehicles are required to have a safety flag, the top of which shall be a minimum of five feet from ground level and/or a standardized slow-moving vehicle placard and adequate brakes and operational brake lights.

IDNR Registration:

All such vehicles will be required to register the ATV, UTV or Golf Cart with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

  1. The owner of each shall be required to provide proof of ownership.  This includes but is not limited to the bill of sale, and, if applicable, a prior title signed over by the previous owner, IDNR registration or registration from appropriate out-of-state authority.  Persons who are the original owner would need the bill of sale and a manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.
  2. All shall be required to be properly registered with the IDNR and display their current registration decal.  The current registration certificate shall be carried on board.

Lee County Permit:

No one shall operate a Golf Cart/ATV/UTV within Fort Madison City Limits unless the owner possess a Lee County Permit issued by the Lee County Recorder. The Lee County Recorder shall issue a permit only when the owner has provided the following:

  1. Proof the operator is aged 18 or older.
  2. Proof the vehicle is currently registered with the IDNR.
  3. Proof the owner and operator have liability insurance covering the operator of the ATV/UTV in Fort Madison with the minimum coverage of $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident and $50,000 property damage.
  4. All permits shall be issued to a specific vehicle and receive a specific decal for that vehicle.  The decal shall be affixed to the rear of the vehicle along with the current DNR decal so that it is clearly visible.

The Lee County Recorder will need to see a driver’s license for all owners and they must be at least 18 years old.

For insurance coverage the Recorder will need to see the declaration page from the policy showing the owner or owner's names, the specific vehicle covered, and the amounts of coverage. Insurance cards will not be accepted.

Lee County Permits and IDNR Registration are available at the Lee County Recorder’s Office.

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