Golf Cart Information
With an increase in the number of golf carts being operated in Charleston, Residents need to be reminded of the relevant SC Statutes pertaining to golf carts on public roadways.
These regulations for golf carts are to ensure everyone’s safety.
Practices commonly seen which are prohibited would include children driving the carts (to the pool, tennis, friend’s house), anyone driving carts on a sidewalk or bike/walking path except for delineated “golf-cart paths”, driving golf-carts at night, driving them on higher-speed roads. A golf-cart is a “vehicle” under SC law and therefore would be included in “open-container” prohibitions, as well as DUI prohibitions, DUI applies even on private property.
SECTION 56-2-105 Golf cart permit and the operation of a golf cart. An individual or business owner of a vehicle commonly known as a golf cart may obtain a permit decal and registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles upon presenting proof of ownership and liability insurance for the golf cart and upon payment of a five dollar fee. During daylight hours only, a permitted golf cart may be operated within four miles of the address on the registration certificate (or gate of a gated community) and only on a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles an hour or less. A person operating a permitted golf cart must be at least sixteen years of age and hold a valid driver’s license. The operator of a permitted golf cart being operated on a highway or street must have in his possession: (1) the registration certificate issued by the department; (2) proof of liability insurance for the golf cart; and (3) his driver’s license
Low speed vehicle laws.
The only difference is that you CAN drive a low speed vehicle at night (they have lights, seatbelts and might go just a little faster). A low speed vehicle looks just like a golf cart but has an actual license plate attached (the golf cart only requires an attached permit provided by the DMV once registered). LOW SPEED VEHICLES SECTION 56-2-100. Conditions for operation on street or highway. (A) A low speed vehicle may be operated only on a highway for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles an hour or less. (B) A low speed vehicle may cross a highway at an intersection where the highway has a posted speed limit of more than thirty-five miles an hour. (C) A low speed vehicle must meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (Part 49 Section 571.500 of the Code of Federal Regulations) at all times when operated on any highway. A low speed vehicle that complies with the equipment requirements in 49 C.F.R. Section 571.500 complies with all equipment requirements of this title. (D) Nothing in this section prevents local governments from adopting more stringent local ordinances governing low speed vehicle operation. (E) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of low speed vehicles on any street or highway if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety. (F) The Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of low speed vehicles on any street or highway if it determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety. (G) A farm vehicle, as defined in Section 56-1-2070(C)(2), is not a low speed vehicle for the purposes of this article. HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 170, Section 2, eff 6 months after approval by the Governor (approved June 7, 2005); 2012 Act No. 264, Section 10, eff June 18, 2012.