Can You Drive A Golf Cart On The Road?

There is no doubt that golf carts can be a super fun element of the golfing experience, but are they a vehicle that is legal to drive on the road?

In this article, we are going to look at all the necessary information that you need to know in regard to this topic. Let’s get started. 

Can You Drive A Golf Cart On The Road?

Golf Carts And Driving 

In general, golf carts are used for moving around on a golf course as well as on private property. They can also be used to cross roads if they are in close proximity to the intended destination. 

When it comes to using them on roads, there are certain cities, states, and municipalities within the United States that allow you to do this, although there are various rules that differ from place to place with different jurisdictions. 

Certain areas are more flexible than others, but there are various factors that will be considered when it comes to whether you can or cannot drive a golf cart on the road in your area. These factors include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Your age
  • If you have a valid driver’s license
  • The speed you drive the cart 
  • The location of the road in question 
  • The type of road in question
  • Whether the state that you are in requires insurance on golf carts.
  • If your cart has valid registration plates
  • You have the proper safety features fitted for your cart, such as tires with the right tread, rearview mirrors, seatbelts, indicators, headlights, and working brakes. 
  • A permit is received from local authorities, such as the transportation department or the police. 

The Most Golf Cart-Friendly States

Let’s now take a look at some of the most golf cart-friendly states to be found in the US, including their rules surrounding driving a golf cart on the road. 


Arizona is a state wherein golf carts are treated the same as motor vehicles, with most of the same rights that regular vehicles have on public roads. 

You still need to follow the standard rules surrounding the safe operation of motor vehicles, as well as ensure that your golf cart is street legal when it comes to driving on public Arizona roads. 

For a golf cart, the speed limit is thirty-five miles per hour and of course, you will need your driver’s license!

When it comes to age limit, it can differ from city to city in Arizona, so make sure to check with your local government. 

A particularly golf cart friendly city in Arizona is Sun City. 


California is another state where driving a golf cart is legal, so long as the cart follows federal and state laws. 

However, the weight of your golf cart has to be no more than three thousand pounds in California, and you also cannot travel any faster than twenty-five miles per hour. 

The state does have a unique feature in that they permit certain communities to be designated as “golf cart communities”. Golf carts that are within these selected communities have to be upgraded to ensure that they are entirely safe. 

The age limit to drive a golf cart on the road in California is a little younger than standard, as children of thirteen years and over can do this. 

Golf cart friendly cities in California include Palm Desert, Catalina Island and Laguna Woods Village. 

Can You Drive A Golf Cart On The Road?


There are no registrations or titles needed for you to drive a traditional golf cart in Florida, which means that you don’t need to worry about insurance. In fact, you don’t even need a driver’s license!

The requirements in Florida are that you have to be at least fourteen years old. As long as you are over that age limit, you can drive a golf cart on public roads at a maximum speed of twenty miles per hour. You will need a special license if you want to drive faster than that, as well as a DMV registration and insurance. 

However, these rules change at sunrise and sunset, when you can go at these speeds without registration. 

Particularly golf cart friendly cities in Florida include Ocean Reef, Useppa Island and Destin.


In Georgia, golf carts are legal on public roads, but they must be operated at a speed of twenty miles per hour or less. 

Georgia is also a little more lenient in terms of age, as anyone can drive a golf cart as long as they are above the age of 12 and are accompanied by an adult who is over 18 and has a valid driver’s license.

As long as you are over 15 and have a permit, you can also drive one. 

Some of the friendlier cities for golf carts in Georgia include Peachtree City, Augusta, and St Simon’s. 

South Carolina

You can only drive a golf cart during the daylight in South Carolina, as long as you drive on secondary streets or highways and keep your speed at thirty-five miles per hour or less. 

There are stricter rules regarding how far you can go though, as well as a need for all the same registrations as a regular vehicle, such as liability insurance and a DMV registration certification. 

You also need to be at least sixteen years old, as it is illegal in South Carolina for children- as well as unlicensed drivers- to operate golf carts on public streets. 

There aren’t quite as many cities in South Carolina that are golf cart friendly, but still a few, such as Myrtle Beach and Charleston. 

States That Do Not Allow Golf Cart Driving On Public Roads

There are a few states that are strict with their policies on this subject, making it illegal to drive golf carts on roads.

These states include:

  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • Rhode Island
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Alabama

Final Thoughts

So there you have some information on driving golf carts on public roads.

Whilst most states in the United States allow it to some degree, there are some places wherein driving carts in the streets is an illegal practice. 

If you are ever unsure, make sure to check with your local legislation so that you know the exact rules and can go about driving your golf cart safely and appropriately!

Garratt Shmidt
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