I agree that "golf carts" are probably not legal and it needs to registered as a NEV. If you ask TXDOT about golf carts, that it the answer you would expect.
These rules are under review at this point but here are definitions from the TXDOT website:
Rules for Golf Carts
A vehicle is classified as a golf cart if it:
* has no less than three wheels,
* has a normal maximum speed of between 15-25 mph, and
* is manufactured primarily for operation on golf courses.
A golf cart may be driven without registration:
* within two miles of a golf course,
* on a public or private beach,
* inside city-designated areas of a master planned community, if a city or county ordinance permits such usage, and
* during daylight hours.
A registered golf cart may be operated on public streets if:
* it is manufactured with a maximum speed of 25 mph,
* displays a proper "Slow Moving" vehicle emblem, and
* is insured.
To title and register your golf cart, take the following to your county tax office:
* Evidence of ownership, such as a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO), title, bill of sale or invoice.
* Completed Form VTR 130-U, and
* proof of insurance.
If your golf cart does not have a valid VIN, one may be assigned from a regional VTR office
Rules for NEV's
All-Terrain Vehicles, Golf Carts and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles
Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs), also known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), and golf carts are regulated by state and federal laws. Lawmakers are reviewing the registration of golf carts and current state law.
Registered, titled and insured LSVs and NEVs may be legally driven at a maximum speed of 25 mph on public roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, unless a city or county ordinance prohibits their operation.
A vehicle is classified as an LSV or NEV if it has:
* Neighborhood Electric Vehiclea normal maximum speed of 20-25 mph,
* seat belts,
* head and tail lights,
* a windshield,
* a parking brake,
* turn signals,
* rear-view mirrors
* brake lights,
* reflectors, and
* a valid Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
To title and register your LSV or NEV, take the following to your county tax office:
* evidence of ownership, such as a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin or title,
* a completed Form VTR 130-U, and
* proof of insurance.
The latest information I can get has a similar clause as we have in California about the 17 digit VIN number.
This is from the registration and title bulletin dated Jan/09:
Title Requirements for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles
The title requirements of a neighborhood electric vehicle are the same requirements prescribed for any motor vehicle.
* NEVs are required to be titled.
* The manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO) must contain a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 CFR§571.500) for low-speed vehicles in addition to the information required on all MCOs.
* The body style for a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle is shown as “NV NHOOD ELEC” in the drop-down selection list while processing the title in RTS.
Evidence of Ownership of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles:
Acceptable documents for evidence of ownership for neighborhood electric vehicles include Certificates of Title indicating a body style of neighborhood electric vehicle (“NV” in Texas) or a manufacturer’s certificate of origin with a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. §571.500).
Some neighborhood electric vehicles in Texas were previously titled with the body style of golf cart (GC) and out-of-state titles may show other body styles. In order to title and register these vehicles as neighborhood electric vehicles (NV) you must verify that the vehicle has a conforming 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number. If a vehicle does not meet this criteria it cannot be titled or registered as a neighborhood electric vehicle.