Do you need a license to drive a golf cart?
Golf carts provide many drivers with a fun and simple way to get around their property or even around their hometown.
However, various rules and restrictions regulate how a person can drive a cart.
For example, many states put in laws that dictate what kind of licensing is necessary to drive a golf cart.
These requirements vary in multiple ways and may make golf cart user tougher in one state than in another.
For example, one state may require full licensing, while another has an age limitation.
The following guidelines should make golf cart use more comfortable for you to understand in your state.
Golf Cart Licensing Varies Based on the State
Although many states do limit golf cart use to those with licenses, many do not.
The differences in these laws often vary quite heavily and may be unpredictable.
For example, your home state may have stringent regulations on golf cart use that aren’t used in states near you.
As a result, you need to talk to your local government to fully understand your licensing restrictions.
These individuals can help you not only understand your licensing needs but will provide you with guidance on how to get this licensing.
And while not all states require a license to drive a golf cart, almost all states have a minimum age for golf cart use.
This age restriction helps to prevent injuries to drivers who are unprepared for the demands of driving a cart and keeps the often cumbersome cart from falling on top of them.
Most states restrict use to those above around 13 years old.
However, Florida has a minimum age of 14-15 for golf cart drivers on public property or roads, which is an age shared with several other states.
These restrictions don’t apply if you are riding golf carts on private property.
For example, a child of 10-12 could drive a golf cart on your hunting property.
This type of early golf cart use does come with some potential for danger, though.
A young child may lose control of the cart – particularly on rolling hunting property – and tip over the cart.
In this situation, you may run into some legal troubles because it is your duty as a parent to ensure your child is capable of driving a cart safely.
Typical Golf Cart Licensing Restrictions
In states where you need a license to drive a golf cart – such as Texas – you need a full operator’s license for a standard automobile.
The age at which you get this license will vary depending on the state. For example, some states give children a partial permit at 15.
This license allows the teen to drive while in the presence of an adult with a full license.
However, this partial permit will not grant the teen the right to operate the cart unless, like in a standard vehicle, they are accompanied by an adult with a full license.
And most states have rigorous limitations on how fast a golf cart can drive while on a public road.
This limit is usually around 25-45 miles per hour, though this speed rate will vary based on multiple factors.
For example, some states may allow cart owners to change up their cart’s engine to increase its speed to up to 45 miles per hour.
In these states, higher limits are typically posted. Even in states that allow these changes, though, you may be limited to speeds well below a cart’s maximum.
Beyond these restrictions, most states limit the time that a golf cart can be used on a public road.
These time restrictions help to protect not only the golf cart rider but those on the street with them.
In most states, these time restrictions limit use between sunrise to sunset.
As most golf carts don’t have lights like standard vehicles, this limitation helps prevent a large number of accidents.
However, such restrictions are usually not necessary private property, though you drive at your own risk in these types of driving situations.
Other Driving Restrictions
If you live in a state that allows you to drive at night, you need to install a variety of items to make the cart usable on the road.
These include brake lights, taillights, headlights, turn signals, a windshield, better tires, various reflective warning stickers, and a rear view mirror or two.
These upgrades make your cart safer to drive and should prevent most types of accidents from occurring.
And, if you want, you can add seat belts to your cart to make it safer.
Though seat belts are only an option most golf carts, you may want to consider them if you plan on driving your cart regularly at night or on the road.