South Carolina Golf Cart Laws
These rules help you keep your cart safe and protect drivers from any dangers that they may experience on the road.
The following elements must all be considered if you plan on taking a cart out on any roads near you.
The Federal Rules for Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles
Before reading about South Carolina’s laws for golf carts, you need to understand how the federal government restricts these vehicles.
For example, they do not allow golf carts or low-speed vehicles on national or international highways because they are too slow.
In some states, you may be entitled to cross these highways at appropriate intersections, but this, too, may be restricted.
Importantly, you also need to pay attention to the difference between golf carts and low-speed vehicles.
As manufactured, a golf cart is incapable of speeds over 20 miles per hour.
Per federal law, this means it does not qualify as a motorized vehicle.
However, low-speed vehicles are capable of speeds between 20 to 25 miles per hour.
Therefore, federal law does dictate how they can be used and manufactured.
For example, all low-speed vehicles must be appropriately registered and licensed according to federal law.
They also need a multitude of safety upgrades, including parking brakes, windshields, seat belts, turn signals, taillights, reflex reflectors, rearview mirrors, headlights, stoplights, windshields, and a vehicle identification number or VIN.
Without these elements, a low-speed vehicle cannot be legally driven on any road.
South Carolina Laws and Guidelines for Golf Carts
South Carolina’s state laws restrict golf cart use in a variety of different ways.
For example, you can register golf carts to take them on some roads.
You need registration provided by local DMV officials, proof of insurance for the cart, and a driver’s license.
Once you have registered your golf cart, you can take it on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.
The kicker here is that you can only travel within four miles of the address on your registration.
This limitation is a smart way of keeping golf carts from becoming too prominent on South Carolina laws.
And the limitations to a driver’s license also makes sure that young children do not drive these carts.
The youngest a person can be while driving a cart is 16, and they still must have a license.
That said, you can always upgrade your cart to a low-speed vehicle to avoid many of these restrictions.
Doing so does force you to make some other upgrades to your cart usage, though.
So please read on to learn more about how South Carolina controls these carts.
This information can help you stay completely legal when you take your low-speed vehicle out on the road.
Laws for Low-Speed Vehicles
When you upgrade your cart to a low-speed vehicle, you are now subject to many different rules.
The upgrades that you need to add are mentioned in the previous section on federal regulations.
They include such elements as headlights, taillights, turn signals, and rearview mirrors.
Once your cart has been upgraded, it must be inspected by a DMV official to ensure it follows all federal guidelines.
Once your cart is declared and can be registered, you must get a license and a registration.
This process requires you to use your VIN at a local DMV office.
These officials can also obtain you a permit to put on your cart to make it legal.
Doing so can help you avoid any complications.
Make sure that you have a valid driver’s license, as well, to ensure that you don’t experience any concerns with the law.
Now, you need to talk to local and county officials to see where you can drive your golf cart.
In areas where cart use is allowed, you can travel on roads of speed limits up to 35 miles per hour but no higher.
These include city and county roads, though they may not be allowed on some state highways.
Talk to your state authority figures to learn more, as this aspect varies depending on the county.
Other Rules to Consider
If you want to ride a low-speed vehicle in South Carolina, you need to possess a valid Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability insurance policy.
These help to keep your cart as safe as possible on the road.
And nonresident owners need specific registration for their cart.
This registration requires a full legal name, a Social Security Number, a driver’s license number, a principal residence address, the address where the low-speed vehicle is being used, and the mailing address of the primary user.
Typically, this information is needed for companies operating in a state where their offices don’t reside.
Federal Golf Cart Laws
Even though our guides are thorough and researched, it is highly recommended that you perform your own research and check with your local municipality on rules as well.