The golf cart is one of the best additions to any golfer’s kit, especially if you don’t feel like walking. While their primary purpose is to be used on the golf course, it has become a popular mode of transportation for those that want to drive short distances. However, certain US states do not allow the use of a golf cart on public roads.
Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most noticeable places where you often see golf carts driving around on the road. However, only a few states permit the use of golf carts on open public roads. Some will have different restrictions and requirements, while others have completely banned them on the public road.
To help you understand where you can drive your golf cart on US public roads, we have created this in-depth article that will allow you to see where and when it is permissible to do so.
We will focus only on the states that allow you to do so and which rules you need to follow for you to remain on the right side of the law.
You might also enjoy reading: How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last? (With tips to extend their lifespan!)
Which States Do Not Permit The Use Of Golf Carts On Public Roads?
To start the article, we will look at a few of the states where riding your golf cart on public roads is forbidden. Yes, fewer states disallow the use of a golf cart than there are states that permit the use of it on public roads.
Here are the most notable states that do not permit the use of a golf cart on public roads.
- Rhode Island
- New York
The punishment for using a golf cart in many of these states will often only result in a fine for the driver. However, New York is one of the most determined to stop the use of golf carts on public roads. In New York, you could be arrested and face some jail time for driving your golf cart on public roads, sidewalks, and parking lots.
Where In The US Can You Drive Your Golf Cart On Public Roads?
Aside from the above-mentioned states, many of the other states will permit you to use your golf cart on public roads. Unfortunately, there are a few restrictions, and you could find that you need to make your golf cart “street legal” to avoid fines or other forms of punishment.
Here are some of the most common requirements throughout the US States.
Your vehicle typically needs to be registered as a low-speed vehicle, or LSV for short. However, other states will directly refer to them as golf carts when you are driving them on the open road.
It is important to check how and to what you should register your vehicle in your state to have it roadworthy for public roads.
2- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your vehicle needs to adhere to the local state laws, which means that a VIN must be assigned to the vehicle.
The VIN will help people identify the vehicle, and it will also show that the vehicle has passed all legal inspections required before a vehicle can be placed on the road.
3- Mounted Accessories
You will need a license plate in most states, and things like windshield wipers will be mandatory. They should have functional tires and mounted mirrors on the inside and outside of the vehicle.
These accessories are vital to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy and that it does not cause any confusion with other road users.
4- Speed Limit
For many states, you cannot drive your vehicle at an abnormally slow speed on the public road. We have noticed that the standard limit for golf carts would be to ensure they do not go slower than 20 MPH.
Additionally, the top speed should be around 25 or 30 MPH, depending on the state. This is to reduce the chances of causing a traffic holdup.
States Where You Can Legally Drive Your Golf Cart On The Public Road
Now that you know some of the rules and regulations, we have listed some of the states that will allow you to drive your golf cart on the road with some of their legal requirements.
Here are the most popular states for driving your golf cart on public roads in the United States:
|States||Golf Cart Driving Requirements||Legal Age Requirement|
|Alabama||In Alabama, a driver must be at least 18 years old and have a license to drive a golf cart on a public highway.||The legal age of a golf cart driver must be 18 years.|
|Alaska||Speed limit not exceeding 35 MPH.||Alaska requires to be 16 years of age to drive a golf cart.|
|Arizona||A speed limit of 35 MPH, with a legal driver’s license.||No official age requirement; I suggest you check with the local government.|
|Arkansas||Only permitted on a municipal road, not federal or state.||Arkansas requires to be at least 14 years to drive a golf cart.|
|California||Golf carts cannot weigh more than 1,300 pounds and should abide by road car specs.||The legal age of a golf cart driver is 13 years.|
|Colorado||A speed limit of 35 MPH||The legal age of the golf cart driver is 14 years.|
|Connecticut||Only permitted during daytime with a speed limit not exceeding 25 MPH.||The legal age of the golf cart driver is 16 years|
|Delaware||In Delaware, driving a golf cart on a public road is considered illegal||Since you can only drive golf carts on private property, it is up to your decision.|
|Florida||A driver needs to be older than 14 with a 25 MPH speed limit, registered at DMV.||Golf cart drivers must be 14 years.|
|Georgia:||Speed limit not exceeding 35 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 12 years.|
|Hawaii||Golf carts in Hawaii cannot be issued a 17-character VIN, which makes it harder to meet the federal demands for legalizing a golf cart street.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Idaho||A valid driver’s license and license plate are required.||No official age requirement; I suggest you check with the local government.|
|Illinois||Only on municipal roads without exceeding 35 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 18 years.|
|Indiana||Cart needs to pass local laws and inspections.||The legal age of the driver is 16 years.|
|Iowa||Carts need to have a slow-moving sign on the back.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Kansas||Only during daylight without exceeding 30 MPH||Golf cart drivers must be 13 years.|
|Kentucky||Requires a driving permit and inspection from the sheriff. Should not exceed 35 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Louisiana||Only permitted on marked roads and requires a driver’s license.||Golf cart drivers must be 12 years.|
|Maine||Only on low-speed areas and habitable islands.||Golf cart drivers must be 14 years.|
|Maryland||Maryland does not allow golf carts to drive on public streets; you can only operate on private property.||It is up to the golf cart owner.|
|Massachusetts||Golf carts should be registered and inspected. The driver needs a license.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Michigan||Driver must be older than 16 and have a driver’s license.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Minnesota||Requires a special permit and is only allowed on certain roads.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Mississippi||Only allowed in certain cities under municipal laws.||Golf cart drivers must be 15 years.|
|Missouri||The requirements for driving golf carts vary depending on the city; I suggest you check your city.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Montana||Only allowed in certain cities under municipal laws.||Golf cart drivers must be 14 years.|
|Nebraska||May operate at a minimum speed of 20 MPH and a maximum of 35 MPH.||No official age requirements; I suggest you check with your local authorities.|
|Nevada||A golf cart permit will be required in larger counties.||I suggest you check with your local authorities as there is no official age requirement.|
|New Hampshire||Golf carts should be registered and insured.||Golf cart drivers must be 13 years.|
|New Jersey||A valid driver’s license is required and should not exceed 25 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 18 years.|
|New Mexico||Only permitted for municipal roads.||Golf cart drivers must be 15 years.|
|North Carolina||Golf carts should be street legal, license required, and slower than 35 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|North Dakota||Varies from city to city||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Ohio||A license will be needed to operate.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Oklahoma||Only on municipal roads and should not exceed 25 MPH||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Oregon||Only permitted in certain counties and cities.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Pennsylvania||Only permitted to drive up to 1 mile and should be older than 12.||Golf cart drivers must be 12 years.|
|Rhode Island||Driving a golf cart on city streets in Rhode Island is strictly prohibited.||The legal age of the golf cart driver is 13 years|
|South Carolina||Only permitted during daylight and not exceeding 35 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|South Dakota||Roadworthy cart and the driver should have a valid driver’s license.||Golf cart drivers must be 14 years.|
|Tennessee||Should be registered and only permitted on low-speed roads||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Texas||Only permitted by certain cities and counties.||Golf cart drivers must be 12 years.|
|Utah||VIN is required and only permitted on low-speed roads||Golf cart drivers must be 18 years.|
|Vermont||May not exceed a speed of 35 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 13 years.|
|Virginia||A driver’s license is required and should not exceed 25 MPH.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|Washington||A driver’s license is required and only permitted on certain roads.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
|West Virginia||Only permitted on local roads.||Golf cart drivers must be 12 years.|
|Wyoming||VIN is required and only permitted when they meet all the safety requirements.||Golf cart drivers must be 16 years.|
As you might have noticed, we have only included the different states that permit the use of a golf cart. However, the rules and regulations will vary significantly depending on the states you could use for this.
You will need to make sure that you adhere to all the legal requirements to ensure you don’t run into fines.
What Happens If I Drive My Golf Cart Without Abiding To The Rules?
As you might have noticed, there are a few important rules that you should look at before your golf car hits the streets. If you are willing to take chances and brave the roads without adhering to these rules, you could be left with a few complications. For instance, insurance does not cover you for an accident and you could be held liable.
Additionally, you could be pulled over by the local police, which might result in a court date. This would lead to a massive fine in many counties, and your golf cart can be confiscated.
It is far better to simply follow the rules of the road and modify your golf cart if you are serious about using it on public roads.
A golf cart is fun to play with and you can save plenty of fuel on shorter trips. However, it is not that easy to simply hop onto a public road and start driving.
These rules and regulations are there for your safety and the safety of other road users. Let us know in the comment section if you are permitted to drive your golf cart on the road in your state.
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