Do you need a License to Drive a Golf Cart ?

Golf carts give several drivers around the world an easy and fun way to move around their neighborhoods and homes.

However, it is important to be aware of different regulations and rules that govern how people can drive their carts.

For instance, there are several states that have stipulated laws pertaining to the type of licensing required for driving a golf cart.

These restrictions and requirements differ in many ways and might make it harder for a golf cart user to drive in certain places. For instance, one state may only place limits on age while other states need a license.

Keeping a number of guidelines in mind can help to make it easier to keep up with the rules of your area and have peace of mind when driving a cart.

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Key Licensing Considerations

In regards to whether you need a license to drive a golf cart, while many states restrict golf cart usage to drivers who have proper licensing, there are many others that do not.

The variations of these laws usually differ widely and may be subject to change at the authority's discretion.

For instance, a state may implement strict rules regarding golf carts that are not applicable to nearby states.

Consequently, it is crucial to consult the local authorities to find out whether or not there any licensing limitations.

These officials can help users become more familiar with specific licensing requirements along with giving them valuable advice about how to get their licenses.

Although some states do not need people to have a license when they drive a cart, virtually all the states have placed an age limit on driving a golf cart.

This minimum age requirement is essential for preventing inexperienced drivers from being injured.

age require for driving golf cart

Age restrictions minimize the risks associated with unskilled golf cart usage and carts tumbling and falling on drivers.

Many states require golf cart users to be at least between 14 and 16 years old.

In general, these restrictions are not applicable to using golf carts within a person's privately owned property. For instance, children as young as 10 years old can drive around their parents' homes.

However, using a golf cart a very young age is considered to be hazardous.

 Children may end up losing control of the golf cart and tipping it over, especially when the terrain is bumpy and hilly.

Under these circumstances, parents may face legal problems because they are expected to be fully responsible for their children's safety when they ride a golf cart.

8 Things You Should Know About Golf Cart Driver License

Things You Should Know About Golf Cart Driver License

1. General Licensing Requirements For Golf Cart

In areas such as Texas where licenses are necessary for driving golf carts, a full license is required for operating a standard vehicle.

Depending on the laws of a particular state, the age for getting this licensing will vary. For instance, some states allow children to get partial licensing when they turn 15.

With this type of license, teenagers can drive under a fully licensed adult's supervision.

Many states have stringent limits on how fast a golf cart can be driven on public roads. The limit varies from 25 to 45 miles per hour but this rate differs due to numerous factors.

For instance, there are a number of states that let cart users modify their engines to hit speeds of as high as 45 miles.

In such states, permitted higher speed limits are indicated. However, in states that allow these limits, drivers can still expect to be restricted to lower speeds regardless of the type of engine they have .

2. Time Limits

Aside from speed limitations, many states place time restrictions on when golf carts are allowed on public roads.

Limiting the time for golf cart riding is useful for protecting the golf cart driver as well as other people on the road.

In some states these limitations restrict use at varying times of the day. These rules are not usually applicable to privately owned property.

It is important to note that riding a golf cart in this situation is at your own risk and you will be liable for any consequences.

3. Riding at Night

In states that allow people to ride their golf carts at night, it essential to install a number of things that enhance the functionality of the golf car when it is on the road. These items include one or two rear view mirrors, reflective stickers, quality tires, a windshield, turn signals, headlights, taillights and brake lights.

Upgrading a golf cart boosts safety measures and goes a long way towards preventing several accidents from happening. Additionally, seat belts can be included to enhance safety further. While seat belts are not mandatory for golf carts in general, they are a worthwhile consideration for individuals who want to ride their carts frequently on the road or during the night.

4. Public Roads and Golf Courses

When it comes to whether you need a license to drive a golf cart, in some states, people must be at least 16 years old and have a valid operator's license to ride a cart on public roads. Certain regulations and rules determine golf cart use along the roads and streets. However, driving a cart while on private property means that people can set their own rules regarding who can use the cart.

Several golf courses set rules about who can ride golf carts within their courses. Users are advised to ensure that they consult the golf course when they want to go there to find out whether players under the age of 16 can ride their carts.

5. Driving in Other States

For people who have out of state licenses are or are visiting from other states, it is usually permissible to drive a cart without the state's license in places such as North Carolina. However, as long as a license is a requirement, the driver must possess a valid driver's license if they plan to ride a golf cart on public roads and streets. Additionally, users must adhere to the age requirements for driving a golf cart no matter where their licensing is from. Contacting a course about their rules regarding the issue of age restrictions or licensing is essential if you want to use out of state licensing to ride a golf cart on a particular golf course.

6. Moving around without a License

Taking a cart out for a ride without a license is certainly a bad idea. It is advisable to always have your license with you whenever you go out in public with a golf cart. Drivers are encouraged to have their licenses on them every time they take their golf carts out on public streets and roads.

7. Golf Carts vs. Automobiles

The regulations for operating a golf cart are different in various states. However, many states restrict how, when and where a golf cart can be driven. A golf cart is generally defined as a vehicle that serves the purpose of being operated on a golf course for recreation, carrying golfing equipment, carrying a maximum of two people and operating at a speed limit of 20 miles per hour.

Different rules and definitions in states include speed limits, weight limits and maximum occupancy. There are some states that do not have a specific definition of what golf carts entail as a cart is usually classified under the general category of motor vehicles.

8. Operating a Cart Legally

In many states, a golf cart is exempted from insurance and registration requirements.

These exceptions usually mean that people are not allowed to operate their golf carts on public streets or roads. 

In states that permit the operation of golf carts publicly, insurance and registration are normally required. 

Such states also typically have limits associated with when, where and how the golf cart will be operated.

Restrictions usually include limiting cart use to roads where the speed limit is between 25 and 45 miles per hour and less, restricting golf car use from sunrise to sunset or during the daytime and expecting the golf cart user to have a driver's license.

These rules also require drivers to be a minimum of between 14 and 16 years old to ride a golf cart on a public road.

Most states require golf carts to be properly equipped with a safety flag, warning vehicle sign, rear view mirror, reflectors, taillights, headlights, brakes and a horn to operate on a public street.

A number of states also have certain restrictions on specific places where golf carts can be driven. 

While a golf cart in South Carolina can be driven within a four mile radius of the registration address, a golf cart does not have to be registered in California as long as it is operated within a one mile radius of the golf course.

Can You Get DUI By Drinking And Driving The Golf Cart

Can You Get DUI By Drinking And Driving The Golf Cart

Individuals can be arrested in many states for operating a golf cart under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Several states place golf carts in the same category as a motor vehicle and people who drive vehicles within public premises while under the influence may be charged with DUIs.

A resort or golf course is typically considered to be a public place.

This means that even when an intoxicated driver is not using the golf cart on public roads, they may be charged with a DUI according to the laws of the state.

Advantages of Using a Golf Cart

Golf carts were initially designed to transport golfers as they take short distance rides around a golf course. They are typically simple and small in design and their maximum occupancy depends on the model and make.

Technology has advanced over the years, which has resulted in more manufacturers changing the carts and optimizing their functionality.

They have evolved into useful modes of transportation for golfers, businesses and neighborhoods.

1. Affordability

Golf carts are not only affordable purchases; they are also affordable to drive.

Aside from using them to get around a golf course, people can drive them over short distances to grocery stores and banks without worrying about the costs of fueling their carts.

Golf carts are also environmentally friendly choices as they reduce a person's carbon footprint.

2. Fun and Easy Operation

Golf carts are fun and easy to operate in open air while enjoying the sites and sounds of your surroundings.

It is comparable to a big toy with numerous accessories and options to choose from. 

Golf cart owners can equip their carts with items that range from wipers and windshields for riding in the rain and headlights for riding at night. 

Easy operation is a great benefit for older individuals who may be feeling unsure about driving their cars safely. Therefore, golf carts are a safe alternative as a mode of transportation.

3. Navigation

It is easy to maneuver a golf cart and drivers do not have to be concerned about dealing with the challenges of a large vehicle. Driving a golf cart makes it easier to navigate around tighter spaces and park in smaller spots without struggling.

4. Accessibility

Golf carts are worthwhile considerations for individuals who find it difficult to move around or are disabled. They can comfortably use their carts to get their mail, tour their property, and take care of their gardens.

Finding it hard to get around or feeling uncomfortable when you drive a full sized car does not mean that you should feel restricted. Since golf carts are easy to drive, a cart gives a wide range of people a chance to be independent with more possibilities for mobility.


Golf carts serve as an affordable and safe alternative to vehicles that adults and children can drive in an environmentally friendly and energy conscious setting.

There are different types of carts available for consumers to choose from, including solar, electric and gas-powered golf carts. Registration and licensing varies in different states.

Check for the local rules regarding your area as many states require golf cart users to have valid licenses and insurance.

Find out where you can drive a golf cart off-course and consider public and private roads that have their own regulations.

Determining whether or not you need to apply specifically for a golf car license is necessary for operating your cart legally and ensuring that you and other road or street users are safe.

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