John Price Law Blog

South Carolina Golf Cart Laws

Although golf cart laws vary in each state, knowing your legal rights can help you drive as safely as possible and avoid costly tickets. Slow speeds may provide the illusion of safety, but golf cart injuries are on the rise as they are increasingly driven on roads and in neighborhoods. According to a report by American Surgeon, 75% of injuries from golf cart accidents required hospitalization. Victims of collisions often suffer head trauma from falling out of the cart or becoming trapped beneath it. Safely operating a cart within the state laws are crucial for keeping your family safe.

To drive a golf cart in South Carolina, you must be 16 years of age or older and possess a valid driver’s license. Never hold children on your lap while driving, since there are no seat belts to hold you or the child in place during an accident. Violating any golf cart law carries a minimum $257 fine and can cause serious injury to passengers in the cart. You can be held criminally liable if your child is injured while illegally driving a golf cart.

If you plan to drive your golf cart off of private property and on public roads, including those in your neighborhood, then you must register your vehicle with the DMV. Registration papers, your driver’s license, and proof of liability insurance need to be kept with you at all times while driving. Your registration certificate will need to be updated every five years or if you change your address.

Golf carts can only be driven legally during daylight hours. Keep in mind that even while driving in the daytime, you do not have the right of way on roads despite driving a slow-moving vehicle. You must stay on secondary highways with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. In addition, you can only drive your golf cart within four miles of the address on your registration certificate.

Even though golf carts can’t drive at high speeds, alcohol laws are the same as those for cars and trucks. If you are caught, you can be charged with a DUI for drinking or having an open container of alcohol while driving. If you choose to drink, stay away from operating any motor vehicles, including golf carts.

Without liability insurance, you cannot register your golf cart or legally operate it outside of your private property. In case of an accident, insurance can help cover medical fees and damages to property. Insurance also may be required by your homeowner’s association. Insurance is a significant part of the monthly costs of having a golf cart, so you may want to reconsider buying a cart if the insurance is an expense you don’t want to pay.

At John Price Law Firm, we want you to have a safe, enjoyable experience while driving your golf cart. Golf carts are a major part of our lowcountry culture and provide a fun ride for children and adults. However, if a motor vehicle collision injures you or a loved one, we are here to help. Contact us immediately to arrange a legal consultation and let us fight for you.

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