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

A visit to the golf course may have you wondering how old do you have to be to drive a golf cart. New people to golf courses and golf may even assume that there are no restrictions concerning the age of driving a golf cart because they look easy to maneuver around even for the young ones.

However, there are laws and regulations concerning the appropriate age to drive a golf cart. The requirements vary from state to state, making it hard to have a clear-cut answer to the question. The majority of the states in America require that a child be at least 14 years old to drive a golf cart.

Rules Of Driving Golf Carts By State (USA)

Laws of driving a golf cart vary from one state to the next. Below, we highlight five states with their requirements and restrictions on driving a golf cart on golf courses and other public areas.

South Carolina

South Carolina laws state that:

  • Your golf cart should have a legit permit before driving on any public street or secondary street.
  • You can only drive within four miles of your residence or office
  • Replace the golf cart permits every five years
  • In case you change your residential address, you should obtain a new permit with the current information
  • You must provide proof of valid insurance before getting a permit
  • You should be at least sixteen years old with a valid driving license
  • The maximum speed limit is 35 mph
  • The driver is accountable for failure to adhere to the rules
  • If a minor does not abide by the requirements, the parent is liable for legal action or a fine


  • You can only drive a golf cart at a maximum speed of 25 mph on roadways
  • You cannot have more than four people in the cart, including the driver
  • You cannot drive a golf cart on the sidewalk
  • You should have a valid driver's license and liability insurance


  • Alabama does not allow the driving of golf carts on public roads unless they have a low-speed vehicle upgrade
  • You should be 18 years old and above with a valid license to drive a golf cart on public roads
  • You can only operate a gold cart between sunrise and sunset with headlights n at all times
  • Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Follow the required speed limit for low-speed vehicles
  • You cannot operate between rows of drivers or lanes of traffic
  • You must always yield the right of way for other larger and faster vehicles
  • Your cart should have seat belts
  • You cannot drive with a child aged five years and below
  • Your cart should have a vehicle identification number


  • Any person driving a golf cart should be at least sixteen years old with a valid driving license
  • A golf cart should have all the required equipment
  • You cannot operate a golf cart half hour after sunset or half-hour before sunrise
  • Do not operate golf carts in bicycle-designated zones
  • If you drive a golf cart, you enjoy all the rights applicable to a regular motor vehicle driver and the same legal actions if you fail to abide by the requirements
  • You cannot operate a golf cart with a revoked driver’s license

New Hampshire

  • You can drive a golf cart on public roads at a maximum speed of 35 mph
  • Minors who are thirteen years old and above can drive golf carts as long as they have licensed adults accompanying them
  • Anyone above 18 years old driving a golf cart should have a valid driving license
  • You should have a safety certificate and carry passengers
  • Your golf cart should have all the required equipment before hitting the public roads
  • You can drive your golf cart at night as long as all the lights are functional
  • You cannot drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You must register your golf cart with the DMV, and it must have a vehicle identification number

How Old Does My Child Need To Be To Drive A Golf Cart?


The golf course is not the only place you will see people driving golf carts as you will see many people, including children having fun on their carts in many other public places. Different states still use restrictions on the age that a child can drive a golf cart. In some states, your child needs to have a driver's license to operate the cart in public.

While most states limit the age to 14 years, others allow children as young as 13 years old to drive a golf cart in public. In other states, the child should be 16 years old, which is the legal age to get a license in the United States. A golf cart is a slow-moving vehicle that cruises at the speed of between 15 and 30 miles per hour. Before allowing your child to drive the SMV out into the public, you should ensure that the cart has all the required registrations and it is road ready.

The cart does not have to be in the child's name, but he or she will need an adult's permission to drive it.Driving a golf cart on private property, however, does not come with any restrictions. Many parents take advantage of the lack of driving carts on private land requirements to teach their children, irrespective of age, driving skills.

Driving a golf cart on private property does not grant any child without the required age limit the same permission to operate on a golf course. Whether private or not, golf courses are public areas according to rules and regulations of the states. The good thing is that most golf courses check into the age limit of the child before renting out golf carts. Even with the required age limit, parents should ensure that they follow all the driving requirements for safety.

Is It Illegal To Drive A Golf Cart In A Neighborhood?

The best simple answer to this question would be, "it depends on which state your neighborhood is at, and the regulations that come with driving a golf cart in a public area." Many states allow driving golf carts in the neighborhood but with certain conditions. The first requirement you should adhere to before taking a golf cart for a spin around the block is to ensure that it is street legal.

Street legal means that the cart should meet all the requirements set by your state's laws about driving motorized vehicles in public. A golf cart is not street legal if it does not meet vehicle medium or low-speed requirements because they are in the same category as slow-moving vehicles or low-speed vehicles. Golf carts come in two types, electric-powered or gas-powered cars.

Low-speed electric powered golf carts have speed limits of between 20 and 25 mph, while medium-speed electric or gas-powered golf carts have a speed limit of between 30 and 35 mph. As long as you adhere to the speed limits, you are good to go, though; it is not the only requirement that permits you to drive a golf cart on the neighborhood.

You should ensure that your street legal golf cart should have all the requirements and equipment of a motorized vehicle before taking a spin around the neighborhood. Some of the essential equipment are: stop lamps, headlamps, reflectors on each side of the rear, rail lamps, turn signals, side view exterior mirror, parking brake, seat belts, windshield, and a horn slow-moving vehicle sign, and vehicle registration or identification number.

Another essential factor to consider is that you are old enough to take the golf cart for a drive through the neighborhood. To prove that you have the required age limit, you should have a valid class d driver's license. You should also have a valid insurance cover and abide by all the rules set for your safety, that of your passengers, other motorists on the road, and pedestrians.

Like any other vehicle, you cannot drive a golf cart under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as you will face legal action. DUI and drug restrictions apply to driving a golf cart on a golf course, too, as it is a public area in most states.


Driving a golf cart is fun for many people, children included, and unlike a regular vehicle, it is easier to operate. However, as fun and straightforward as it is to cruise through the green or public roads with a golf cart, you should ensure that you follow all the restrictions and requirements provided by your state, especially as far as children are concerned. Some states have friendly requirements, while others are strict when operating any low-speed vehicle.

We hope with the information on this article, you now have an answer to how old you have to be to drive a golf cart and what you need to consider if you want your child to feel like the golf cart. Ask us any questions, and we will gladly answer them all

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