Golf Carting can be Safe, Legal and Fun Provided you Follow These Simple Tips
SW Lexington Ledger
by Paul Kirby
In several small Lexington County towns, golf carts have been gaining in popularity as a mode of transportation. They are quiet, relatively inexpensive to maintain and operate and it’s just fun to drive along with the breeze blowing in your face as you wave to your neighbors, friends and others that are enjoying the small town life.
In South Carolina, it is legal to drive golf carts on county and state maintained roads provided that you follow rules as prescribed in state law. The laws are intended to keep you safe and make your mini means of transportation a pleasure that you will enjoy and return home safely after your ride.
A SC state golf cart permit is required that acts as the registration for your cart. Those can be obtained from the SC Department of Motor Vehicles by filing out form GC-2 on the DMV’s website. There is also a $5.00 fee to obtain this permit/registration. The DMV will issue you a decal that you must affix to your cart. Registration decals are only good for five (5) years before they must be renewed.
The South West Lexington Ledger has provided a link to a printable version of form SCDMV GC-2 from our Link Library which is located on our Community page of the paper. Your golf cart’s registration must be on the cart at all times when it is being operated on a state or county maintained road.
The following laws apply to operating a golf cart on a public road in South Carolina.
- Carts may be operated on a public road during daylight hours only.
- Operator must have a valid driver’s license and must be at least sixteen years of age.
- The driver’s license of the operator must be in his or her possession while operating the cart.
- Carts may only be operated on a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five (35) miles an hour or less.
- You may cross a highway or street at an intersection where the highway has a posted speed limit of more than thirty-five (35) miles an hour.
- You may only operate your cart within four (4) miles of your residence or your business. This is determined by the address on your registration.
- Upon sale of your golf cart, you must immediately notify the Department of Motor Vehicles in writing, giving the name and address of the new owner with the date of sale.
- You must remove your assigned permit decal from the golf cart upon sale. Those permits are not transferrable and the new owner will have to obtain his or her own permit for the cart in order to operate it on the road.
- You must maintain insurance on your cart and have proof of insurance in your possession while you are operating the cart.
- All laws apply to you when operating a cart as they would when you operate any vehicle on a SC roadway.
- As with any vehicle, you MAY NOT operate a golf cart on the road while consuming alcohol or you are under the influence of alcohol or any other legal, or illegal intoxicants. It is never a good idea to operate any machine while you are under the influence.
- Your golf cart should be maintained and in proper working order while you are operating it on a public roadway. This is just a good idea in general. Inspect it regularly to make sure that the brakes, steering, lights and other systems are working as the manufacturer designed them to.
- Only allow a qualified golf cart mechanic or repair facility to make repairs and modifications to your cart. Use only approved factory or OEM parts to make modifications. Never make a modification that will limit the driver’s view of the road or that will make the cart difficult to control, steer or stop.
Following all of these laws will help to ensure that you enjoy many hours of golf carting around your home town. If you have any questions or concern about carting in your community, contact your local police department.