How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart? (50 States)

Golf carts are being used for a variety of activities other than golf.

Their popularity has grown in retirement communities where they are allowed; they are generally popular at camping sites, festivals, events, and some locations are even permitting them on paths. 

It’s vital to remember that a golf cart is not a toy, hence the need to ask questions like: How old do you have to be to drive a golf cart here in the USA?

It’s a lot of fun to operate one, but certain Golf cart safety measures are put in place here in the USA. Let’s see what it takes to drive a golf cart in the USA.

Generally, to lawfully drive a golf cart in public, golf cart operators must be at least 14 years old in most jurisdictions. Some states would do it at a minimum of 16 years old, and some would even demand you to have a valid driver’s license.

In certain states, golf cart operations may also be subject to the requirement of Insurance. The minimum age limit and applicable regulations differ from one state to another.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart On a Golf Course?

A good number of the states in the United States mandate that a youngster is at least 14 years old before operating a golf cart. Because the rules differ from state to state, it isn’t easy to provide a definitive response to this question.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart On a Golf Course

Further in this post, We’ll answer the question: how old do you have to be to drive a golf cart in each state of the United States?

The fact that older members of some golf courses could maneuver the age requirement for operating the golf carts doesn’t mean the law permits that. You could even be arrested in states like New York for such offenses.

Can You Drive a Golf Cart On the Road?

Generally speaking, driving a golf cart on public roads is legal in the majority of the United States; nevertheless, you must be familiar with the rules and regulations of your jurisdiction, as well as the prerequisites for operating a vehicle of this nature. Every state may have its own set of criteria.

Can You Drive a Golf Cart On the Road

Golf carts can run on public roads in every US state except these 5 states.

  1. Missouri
  2. Hawaii
  3. New York
  4. Delaware
  5. Maryland

Under certain state legislation, golf carts are permitted as “low-speed vehicles” (LSV). 

What criteria do golf carts have to meet to operate on public roads/streets to be safe and legal? 

  • They must be capable of traveling at least 20 to 25 miles per hour to cut down interference with regular traffic.
  • They must operate properly with functioning rear and headlamps, seatbelts, tires, and turn signals. They should have external side mirrors, internal mirrors, Wipers, functioning horns, and a speedometer.

The golf carts must be duly registered with the VIN issued by the Federal government.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart in the USA? (All 50 States)

We’ve already made it clear that the minimum legal age for the public operation of a golf cart is 14 years. However, the age requirement differs by state.

Some states also adopt conditions for minors to ascertain public safety while operating a golf cart. Scroll down to your state of choice and see how old you have to be to drive a golf cart.

Alabama

You must be up to 18 years old to drive a golf cart on Alabama roadways. Golf carts have to be upgraded to a Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) to be operated on public roads in Alabama; hence they are not permitted to be driven on public roads. 

Anyone caught driving on an Alabama highway in a golf cart that has not been converted and upgraded to LSV status or who does not have the vehicle’s registration may be subject to a fine of up to $700 per offense.

In the United States, a low-speed vehicle (LSV) is defined as one that you can drive on public highways with a speed restriction of 25 mph or less. 

Alaska

You must be at least 16 years old to operate a Golf Cart in Alaska. Night driving is not permitted due to the possibility of accidents occurring in the dark.

If you do not yet have a driver’s license, you will need to get a learner’s permit to drive. You must, however, be accompanied by an adult with a valid driver’s license.

Arizona

The minimum driving age is 14 years.

Golf Carts are lawful in Arizona if driven on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Despite the speed restrictions, carts can cause significant personal and property damage. 

When traveling on public roads in Arizona, drivers must make their Golf carts street-compliant. They are also required to follow all applicable traffic rules.

Arkansas

The minimum age is 14.

A Golf cart cannot be driven on state or federal highways, except on county roads that have been designated for such use. 

There is no requirement for a driver’s license. In the case of an accident, a person under the age of fourteen will be held responsible.

California

The driver must be at least 13 years old.

The golf cart should be converted to a street-worthy LSV and must not be heavier than 1,300 pounds. Also, you are expected to be at most 2 persons in the cart.

Colorado

The minimum legal driving age is 14 years.

In Colorado, you are permitted to operate a golf cart even if you do not possess a valid driver’s license. 

Golf carts are permitted to be driven at speeds of no more than 15mph in Colorado. They are not permitted on city streets or highways unless you live near a golf course or other recreational facility.

Connecticut 

The minimum legal driving age is 16 years.

To operate a golf cart in Connecticut, you must have a valid driver’s license.  You will be required to place a flag on the top of the golf cart when riding on public roadways to alert other road users.

Golf Carts can only be used in day times here.

Delaware

It is illegal to operate a golf cart on a public road in Delaware.

Driving a golf cart on a public road is prohibited in Delaware. Golf carts are only permitted to be driven on private land and not on public roads; hence, drivers’ DUI regulations are in force.

If you must drive one on public roads, you must upgrade it to an LSV. You must not be below 16 years old with a driver’s license to operate an LSV in Delaware.

Florida

Minimum Legal age of 14 years.

Golf Carts are restricted to particular types of roadways, and they are only permitted to be on the road during specific hours. Vehicle owners and operators are responsible for property damage in the same manner that a conventional driver would be.

Georgia

The minimum driving age is 12 years with a permit, but a duly licensed adult must accompany you. Otherwise, you’ll need a driver’s license, which means you must be 16 years old or above.

Golf carts are not permitted to operate at night except fitted with brake lights and headlamps.

Hawaii

To operate a Golf cart in Hawaii, you must be at least 16 years old.

It’s not a must to own a Driver’s license here since it’s meant to be used in the golf course or the neighborhood. You are also not permitted to drive at night, except if you have the brake lights and headlamps fitted.

Idaho

Idaho’s golf cart regulations are ambiguous. Golf carts are not authorized on public roadways in the state of Idaho.

To operate one on a public road, you’ll need to convert it to an LSV with a driving license, plate number, brake lights, headlamps, horns, etc.

Illinois

The minimum driving age is 18 years.

Illinois forbids golf carts from plying on public roadways and highways; however, the various municipals are given the liberty to regulate how a golf cart is used in them.

Where permitted, Golf carts can be driven on safe public roads with speed limits of 20 to 35mph, Except on highways.

Indiana

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

Every golf cart driver must have a valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle.

Golf carts are only permitted to be driven on public roads in cities and municipalities that have established local legislation allowing them to do so.

Iowa

The minimum driving age is 14 years.

However, you’ll need insurance to cover any accident incurred while operating the cart on public roads. Also, you are restricted to a speed of 20mph.

You are not permitted to run at night hours, except if you have your safety devices like brake lights, headlamps, horns, etc., installed in the golf cart.

Kansas

The minimum driving age is 14 years.

In Kansas, driving a golf cart does not require the acquisition of a driving license. However, there are several restrictions in place to ensure safety. 

A golf cart is limited to a top speed of 20 mph and a maximum weight of 1800 pounds.

Kentucky

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You’ll need a driver’s license or a permit and Insurance to operate a golf cart in Kentucky. The cart should also have a “slow-moving emblem.”

Louisiana

You must be licensed to operate a golf cart on public roads.

Some municipalities have designated roads that golf carts are allowed to pass through. You’ll also need to make your golf cart road-worthy by getting it fitted with brake lights, Headlamps, horns, mirrors, etc.

Maine

Minimum age of 14 years.

You are not permitted to ride a golf cart at night, and you shouldn’t exceed the 35mph speed limit. Stay clear from alcohol while operating one.

Maryland

You must be at least 12 years old to ride a golf cart but should be accompanied by a Licensed adult.

You don’t need special registration to operate a golf cart on Maryland roads. You need to stay away from riding a golf cart at night.

Massachusetts

Minimum driving age of 16 years.

Here, you are required to have either a driver’s license or a learner’s permit (But you must be accompanied by someone if you only have a permit).

You are not allowed to drive a golf cart at night, and you shouldn’t exceed 20mph while driving.

Michigan

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You need a driver’s license to operate a golf cart in Michigan. But you are only permitted in small communities where they are allowed provided you will not exceed the speed limit of 30mph, nor run below 15mph.

Minnesota

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

Whether you are permitted to drive one on a public road depends on the particular local government where you are. 

Some permit it on major roads while others don’t, except with the use of a driver’s license, and you must follow the same rules as regular drivers.

Mississippi

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You must possess a driving license to operate a golf cart here or be guided by a licensed adult, but you are not expected to run on interstate or federal roadways.

No night driving is allowed too, and you are not expected to exceed 20mph.

Missouri

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

Here, you are expected to have a driver’s license. Children below 15 years are not permitted to operate a golf cart under any circumstances. 

Because each town has its own set of rules regarding golf carts, it is best to verify with your local government before getting behind the wheel.

Montana

The minimum driving age is 14 years.

You can only operate them on some local roads, except in some cities where they are permitted on public roads; but with a driving license.

You don’t need Insurance, title, or registration to operate one in most cases.

Nebraska

We couldn’t spot any specific age requirement for golf carts, but you need to be at least 16 years old to cross a public road here.

Golf carts are only permitted to be driven on public roads near and run along a golf course’s perimeter. 

To find out the laws in your area, you must contact your local government. 

Nevada

No specific data on age requirements here. You may need to contact your local government for certainty.

You’ll need a permit or a driver’s license to operate a golf cart here. Before plying on public roads, you are also expected to equip your golf cart with headlamps, mirrors, brake lights, horns, etc.

New Hampshire

The minimum driving age is 14 years.

You’ll need at least a safety certificate to operate a golf cart, but a licensed adult must accompany you. Only drivers above 18 years old with a driving license or a safety certificate can carry a passenger.

New Jersey

The minimum driving age is 18 years.

You must have a valid driver’s license and insurance to operate a golf cart here. You are expected to abide by the regular driving rules, and there are designated places where you can pack your golf cart.

New Mexico

The minimum driving age is 15 years.

Operating a golf cart is only permitted in the daytime; night driving is not permitted. According to the regulation, the golf cart must also be equipped with secure tires, dependable steering, and effective brakes.

New York

The minimum driving age is 14 years.

You cannot operate a golf cart on public roads in New York, except in some locations designated by counties. You have to find out where your county has mapped out golf cart use.

North Carolina

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You can’t use a golf cart on public roads except licensed to drive through public streets and highways.

You are also not permitted to drive a golf cart on public streets with speed limits exceeding 35mph.

North Dakota

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

Even though people can use a golf cart along public streets, a golf cart is only permitted during daylight hours.

Ohio

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You need a driving license here to operate a golf cart. And you can only drive on public streets with a speed limit of not more than 35mph.

Oklahoma

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

Golf carts can only be operated in the daytime. It is possible to drive a golf cart as early as 12, but you would need to finish a course or pass a test beforehand. 

Motorists should be warned that golf carts are on the road by way of signs posted along the sides of the highways.

Oregon

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

The driver must possess a valid driver’s license to drive a golf cart. And it must be within a golf course or areas very close to a golf course. Night-time golf driving is not permitted.

Pennsylvania

Minimum driving age of 12 years.

You need to be at least 16 years old to drive a golf cart on public roads, but you must be accompanied by a duly licensed person 18 years and above.

However, you need to find out your county’s requirements as they have reserved rights regarding the operation of a golf cart.

Rhode Island

Minimum driving age of 14 years.

You are not permitted to drive a golf cart on public roads except in some Low-speed areas or designated islands.

South Carolina

Minimum driving age of 16 years.

The driver must possess a valid driver’s license and can only operate in the daytime.

You can also run on public streets with low-speed limits of 35mph and below.

South Dakota

Minimum driving age of 14 years.

The golf cart must be licensed before it can be operated in public streets and recreation parks. Unlicensed drivers cannot operate golf carts on state roads.

Golf carts can be operated at night, but you must have requisite lighting systems installed.

Tennessee

Minimum driving age of 16 years.

It’s important to check up with your city to ascertain the age requirement because it varies by location. You can’t drive a golf cart in cities like Knoxville, except if you are 18 years old. 

Underage persons are not permitted to drive golf carts in Tennessee.

Texas

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You are free to drive a golf cart in Texas, but you must check with your county before putting it on a public road.

A driving license is also required to drive a golf cart.

Utah

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You can operate a golf cart on the streets, but you must have a driving license or obtain a permit placed on the windshield.

Vermont

The minimum driving age is 15 years.

You’ll need a driving license to operate a golf cart here. And it must be on the road with speed limits of not more than 35mph. You must also follow all driving and licensing rules to ride on public roads.

Virginia

Minimum driving age of 16 years.

You must possess a valid driver’s license to use a golf cart in Virginia. You can only operate on streets with a street limit of 25mph. However, you can cross public roads with a speed limit of 35mph.

You are also not allowed to drive at night.

Washington

Minimum driving age of 16 years.

You must have completed a driving education and possess driving experience with a valid driver’s license before you can qualify to use a golf cart in Washington.

West Virginia

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You can’t drive golf carts in some local governments, while some areas limit it only to public roads with LSV speed limits of 25mph. 

You won’t be allowed to operate at night without headlamps and brake lights.

Wisconsin

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

You need an upgrade to an LSV with proper vehicle registration and inspection before you are permitted to operate a golf cart on public roads. 

You need to possess a driver’s license too. Under-aged persons are prohibited from operating a golf cart.

Wyoming

The minimum driving age is 16 years.

To drive a golf cart on public roads, you’ll need to register it as a multi-purpose vehicle, and you must possess a driver’s license. Otherwise, you’ll have to stick to a golf course.

As an LSV, you can only operate on streets with low-speed limits of not more than 35mph.

Can an 11-Year-Old Drive a Golf Cart?

As stated earlier, the minimum Legal age requirement for driving a golf cart in the US is 14 years. Although some golf courses may allow kids of about 11 years to drive one under the supervision of an adult member; Especially if the kid belongs to the member.

Because it’s easy to traverse the age requirement within a golf course, persons who are new to golf courses and golf may conclude that there are no age limits.

Can You Drive a Golf Cart in A Neighborhood?

In several places, golf cart operation is permitted in communities with lower speed restrictions and less vehicular traffic than in the surrounding area. A beachfront town or a suburb within a country club are excellent examples of this type of community. 

It is critical to understand the conditions and requirements for the authorized public use of a golf cart in your state, no matter where your neighborhood is.

You can only drive a golf cart on local roads in Texas when the appropriate county or municipal authority grants permission.

Do I Need Insurance to Drive a Golf Cart?

It depends on the state where you are. Although most states don’t make Insurance compulsory for golf carts, it is still necessary to have one if you intend to use it on public roads.

Can I Use Golf Carts at Night?

Some states don’t permit the use of golf carts at night. At the same time, some will allow you if it’s got the headlamps and rear lights fitted.

Can Minors Operate Golf Carts in the US?

The minimum allowable age for operating golf carts in most States is 14 years. However, some states would allow kids as young as 12 years to operate a golf cart, but under the supervision of a licensed adult.

Conclusion

Many people in the USA enjoy driving a golf cart, including youngsters, and, in comparison to driving a standard vehicle, it is less difficult to manage.

Some areas or jurisdictions have lenient restrictions, but others are severe when driving low-speed vehicles on public roads.

However, ensure that you adhere to all of the regulations and criteria set forth by your state, particularly when it comes to minors.

Do reach out to your local government if you reside in places that don’t have the age and public use requirements spelled out.

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