How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive A Golf Cart? Ultimate Guide

If you don’t know the laws and regulations surrounding golf cart use, this article will help clarify a few matters. Specifically, we’ll talk about how old you have to be in order to drive a golf cart.

Legally and responsibly driving a golf cart are two different things.

We’ll also discuss best safety practices as well as how you can make your golf cart street-legal to legally drive on specific roads.

How old do you have to be to drive a golf cart?

The legal driving age for golf carts varies from state to state and can even change depending on which city you live in. Generally speaking, drivers have to be at least 16 in order to legally operate a golf cart.

How old do you have to be to rent a golf cart?

The same rules apply when renting a golf cart as they do for owning one, in most cases.

For example, many golf courses must abide by local laws when it comes to renting out golf carts.

This means you’ll have to be at least a certain age (typically anywhere from 14-18 years old) and may or may not need a valid driver’s license. It all depends on where you’re renting the golf cart.

Do you have to have a license to drive a golf cart?

Certain states require that you have a valid driver’s license in order to operate a golf cart. These states include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana 
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

How do I know if my golf cart is street-legal?

Many locations around the U.S. require golf cart owners to make their carts street-legal in order to drive on any public land.

While specifics may vary depending on local laws, there are basic features that characterize a street-legal golf cart.

For instance, golf carts must have brake lights and headlights in order to be street-legal. Carts should also be equipped with seat belts, a windshield, a horn, turn signals, side mirrors, and rear and side deflectors.

Most of these requirements are so that other people, including other drivers (of vehicles and/or golf carts), are able to see you on your golf cart in the dark.

However, there are some states in which you cannot ride around in your golf cart after sunset.

Do you need insurance to drive a golf cart?

Certain states require you to carry car insurance in order to also own and operate a golf cart. These states include the following:

  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

💡 Golfible Tip: You should carry a copy of your car insurance card with you when you drive your golf cart in these states so that you can prove you have insurance if you are stopped.

Can you drive a golf cart on the road?

Generally speaking, most states do not allow golf carts to be driven on the road. There are many reasons for this determination, many of which include safety.

For example, golf carts have practically zero safety features, and, unless they are street-legal, they typically cannot be easily seen.

They also cannot exceed a certain speed limit in stock form, as the engines only make so much power.

Now, golf carts may be allowed to drive on the roads within your neighborhood if they’re a common sight and local ordinances do not prohibit it.

Still, you should practice safe driving on these roads, as visitors may not be on the lookout for them.

One point of clarification on golf courses: since they are technically public areas, they are subject to public land rules and regulations.

This includes golf courses that are members only.

Can my son/daughter drive the family golf cart around our property?

Driving a golf cart on private property is subject to the property owner’s determination on the matter.

If you own a large plot of property and want to allow your kids to navigate it via a golf cart, that’s your decision since you own the land.

How do I find laws about golf carts for my state?

A simple Google search should give you plenty of resources regarding the laws surrounding golf carts in your state.

Finding local laws for your city may be harder, but you can always call and find out and/or request more information.

Checking with the shop you bought the golf cart from could also be a good way to get in the know regarding golf cart driving laws. Again, you should always double-check with your local government to ensure you’re compliant.

What are safety tips to teach my kids about driving a golf cart?

Driving a golf cart is in many ways like driving a car. Many of the same defensive driving habits can be translated across vehicles.

For instance, you should make sure you know how to start and stop the golf cart properly. Using your mirrors, turn signals, and/or horns should be part of the standard instruction as well.

It might also be a good idea to accompany your child the first few times they drive. You can easily supervise and correct any unsafe behavior as you ride along.

Do golf carts have to have license plates?

In states such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Wyoming, you are required to have license plates on your golf cart.

This means you must register and title them with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

FAQs

Can a 12-year-old drive a golf cart in Florida?

No, a 12-year-old cannot legally drive a golf cart in Florida. According to Florida law, a person must be at least 14 years old to operate a golf cart on public roads or streets.

Do you need a license to drive a golf cart around?

The requirement for a license to drive a golf cart varies by location. In many states and countries, a driver’s license may not be required to operate a golf cart on private property, such as a golf course. However, a license may be necessary to drive a golf cart on public roads. It’s best to check with local authorities for specific regulations in your area.

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Author

Charl is a full-time writer who has been with Golfible since 2019. He is an avid golfer and tech enthusiast. When not writing, he tries to squeeze in a round of golf or escape to the mountains.

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