Lexington County, SC (Paul Kirby) – As the weather keeps getting warmer and the sun is shining bright, many communities’ streets and roads across our county and state begin to see more golf cart traffic. It’s a great way to travel on a nice day and a wonderful way to grab some fresh air. It also enhances many peoples’ sense of community. As you drive by in your cart, neighbors may wave and say hello. Sometimes, you may want to take a moment, stop in a safe spot and just chat a little face to face.
In, South Carolina, it is perfectly legal to drive a golf cart on our streets and roads if you follow some simple laws. These are in no way intended to curb your sense of freedom. These rules help to keep the driver and any passengers on a cart safe so everyone will live to see another day of carting.
With that in mind, the SC Highway Patrol’s community relations troopers have taken to social media and news outlets to educate people on how they can stay of the right side of the law, and be safe while enjoying a ride on their golf carts.
Do you want to know the laws that govern safely driving a golf cart on South Carolina’s streets or highways? In a short slide show from the SCHP, these rules have been laid out in very simple terms. You can read them in a list we’ve provided, watch the neat little slide show, or both. Do whatever’s right for you. It may be a good idea to use this article as an annual check list before you start enjoying the golf cart season.
Here’s a list of what you can or can not do:
You must have a permit issued by the SCDMV. That permit must be with you on the cart when you drive.
You must have your golf cart insured.
You must have proof of that insurance while you enjoy driving on the street or highway.
You must be 16 years of age and have a VALID driver’s license.
You must have your license in your possession when operating a cart on the streets or highways.
You can only drive a golf cart during DAYLIGHT hours.
You can only drive on secondary highways or streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.
You can cross a highway or street at intersections even if the highway or street being crossed has a speed limit of greater than 35 mph.
You must obtain a cart permit from the SCDMV.
You have to have the permit with you.
You must stay within four miles of the address on the cart’s permit.
You absolutely can not drive while under the influence! You can be charged with DUI and/or having an open container just as if you were driving a car.
Before you get to carting, check with for any local ordinance such as a county or city ordinance covering carting. These could restrict other things above the state’s laws to a certain extent.
Remember, take the cart’s registration permit issued by the DMV. Also proof of liability insurance. Also, don’t forget our VALID driver’s license. It must be with you while driving your cart on any SC streets or highway.
Other than the distance limitations already listed, golf carts are subject to the same laws as operating as any other motor vehicle. Don’t think you have right-of-way simply because you are driving a low-speed vehicle.
If you adhere to all these laws, you can enjoy safely and legally carting around for many years to come.