In Florida, operating a golf cart is permitted on roads and even highways as long as those areas divide golf courses or trailer parks.
By law, a person doesn’t need a title or registration for a golf cart but must adhere to road rules.
What Are Florida’s Golf Cart Laws?
Florida is known for numerous golf courses, so it’s common for people to operate golf carts. State law does not require a person to hold a title or registration for a golf cart to operate it. Golf carts can be driven on streets, roads and even highways as long as certain conditions are met. They can be operated to go across any highway that intersects a road or street in areas where a golf course resides on both sides or where a trailer park is situated while divided by a street or highway.
Recently, there has been a change to the law regarding the legal age of who can operate golf carts. Golf carts must also adhere to specific speed limits, people who operate them must have a driver’s license, registration and insurance, meet certain equipment criteria and adhere to occupancy limits. There are also laws pertaining to operating in prohibited areas and operating under the influence.
What Is the New Law on Age Requirements with Golf Carts?
A new law recently took effect in Florida that changes the age of individuals who can drive golf carts. As of July 2023, teens can only drive a golf cart if they hold a driver’s license or permit. Previously, teens as young as 14 years old were permitted to drive golf carts. At the same time, younger children got away with operating the vehicles. The new law affects the entire state, making it challenging for local governments to modify the age requirement. Now, teens must be at least 15 and hold a learner’s permit or 16 and hold a driver’s license. Individuals 18 and over need a valid ID issued by the government to operate a golf cart.
Understanding Golf Cart Operation on Roads
According to Florida law, golf carts are considered low-speed vehicles (LSVs). LSVs are described as any vehicle with four wheels that travels at speeds just over 20 miles per hour but don’t exceed 25 miles per hour. Golf carts can be operated on roads specifically created to accommodate them with low speed limits of no greater than 30 miles per hour. These vehicles are only permitted on the roads to cross when those roads intersect with a golf course or trailer park. There must be clear signs posted along the road stating that golf carts share the roadway with other vehicles.
Understanding Driver’s License Requirements
In general, having a driver’s license is not necessary when operating a golf cart on the roads in Florida. However, certain situations require having a license. Anyone between 15 and 18 years old must have either a valid learner’s permit or a license to legally operate a golf cart on roadways, highways and other streets. Legally operating a golf cart or other LSV on roads requires a driver’s license.
Understanding Golf Cart Registration
In Florida, all golf carts operated on public roads require registration with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. All valid registrations must include a vehicle identification number. Golf carts must always display an up-to-date registration decal.
Understanding Insurance Requirements for Golf Carts
Florida generally does not require insurance for golf carts. However, for golf carts and other LSVs that operate on public roadways, insurance is necessary and you must have at least minimum liability coverage. Golf carts that ride on public streets and are capable of traveling more than 20 mph and carry registration are considered LSVs, which means you must have insurance on them. However, even if your golf cart doesn’t fall under that category, it’s wise to be insured to protect yourself.
Understanding Equipment Requirements for Golf Carts
In Florida, if you plan on operating a golf cart on any public road, there are certain equipment requirements you must meet. Your golf cart must have a windshield, headlights, taillights, efficient brakes, steering wheel, safe tires, reflective warning devices, rearview mirrors and turn signals. All of this equipment is meant to keep you safe while riding your golf cart on the roadways.
Understanding Occupancy Limits on Golf Carts
Per Florida law, there are occupancy limits pertaining to who can ride in a golf cart while on roadways. This depends on how many seats the golf cart has; if it has two seats, the occupancy limit is two. Other golf carts are equipped to accommodate four riders.
Knowing What Constitutes Prohibited Areas
Riding a golf cart is prohibited in certain areas. A golf cart be operated on the sidewalk, on bicycle paths or on any highway with speed limits greater than 30 mph.
Understanding Golf Cart Speed Limits
Golf carts cannot be operated at speeds higher than 20 mph on Florida roadways. This stands even if there are signs stating that the speed limit is higher than 20 mph. However, it’s crucial to operate your golf cart at speeds that are considered safe and reasonable based on the road conditions.
Golf Carts and Operating Under the Influence
Although it’s uncommon to get stopped by a police officer and charged with operating under the influence while riding a golf cart, it could happen. However, it can happen. Operating under the influence on a golf cart isn’t as common as it is while driving a car because golf carts don’t typically travel on public roads. However, if a police officer sees you and has reasonable suspicion, they can pull you over and ask you to submit to a sobriety test. If they deem you intoxicated, you can be charged with DUI.
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Understanding What Is Considered a Golf Cart
A golf cart is a low speed motor vehicle that has at least three wheels and weighs no more than 1,800 pounds. It is designed to operate at no faster than 25 mph and can carry up to four passengers, including the operator.
What Are the Guidelines for Golf Carts and Personal Transportation Vehicles?
Any person who owns a golf cart or other personal transportation vehicle must know the guidelines for using them. There are guidelines pertaining to age requirements, licensing requirements, steet-legal requirements, designated areas, adhering to traffic laws, using designated crosswalks, occupancy limits, seatbelt usage, avoiding distraction, being cautious of weather conditions and how golf carts compared with low-speed vehicles.
Age Requirements for Operating Golf Carts
Anyone younger than 18 must hold a learner’s permit or driver’s license before they can operate a golf cart.
Licensing Requirements for Operating Golf Carts in Florida
In Florida, as previously stated, individuals under the age of 18 must hold a valid government-issued learner’s permit or driver’s license before they can legally operate a golf cart on public roads.
What Are the Street-Legal Requirements?
A golf cart must meet certain criteria to be considered street-legal in Florida. You can only operate a golf cart in the state’s public roads, streets or highways when they have all the right equipment. This includes a rearview mirror, efficient brakes, steering wheel, tires, windshield, reflective warning devices, headlights, taillights and turn signals. The golf cart must be clearly visible and in good operating condition as well before it can be considered street-legal.
What Are the Designated Areas for Golf Cart Operation?
By law, golf carts can only be operated in Florida in designated areas. Those areas must be roads specifically designed for using golf carts. Roads, streets and even highways designated for such use to travel via golf cart to a golf course or trailer park that have maximum speed limits no higher than 30 mph are considered safe for such operation.
Adhering to Traffic Laws While Operating Golf Carts
Florida law requires all individuals operating golf carts on the roadways to always adhere to the state’s traffic laws. This means maintaining the appropriate speed limit of less than 30 mph, using turn signals, operating while sober, obeying all traffic signs and signals and more. Responsible behavior is expected and is the law even when operating a golf cart or other LSV.
Using Designated Crosswalks
There are designated crosswalks where golf carts can maneuver across roadways in Florida to get to the other side of a golf course or trailer park. However, anyone who uses them while operating a golf cart must yield to pedestrians if there are any in crosswalks.
What Are the Occupancy Limits?
Golf cart occupancy limits depend on the makeup of the vehicle’s seats. However, the maximum number of occupants who can ride a golf cart in Florida is four, which includes the person operating it.
Understanding Seatbelt Usage
Each seat in a golf cart should be equipped with a seatbelt. Anyone riding while the vehicle travels on roadways must wear their seatbelt to protect them in the event of a collision.
Importance of Avoiding Distractions
Golf cart operators in Florida must avoid distractions while riding. Just like drivers of other vehicles, distraction can lead to accidents that cause injuries and other damages.
Being Aware and Cautious of Weather Conditions
Golf carts are not the best vehicles to operate in certain weather conditions. They may not be very safe in heavy rainfall due to slick roads and possible flooding. It’s crucial to be cautious of various weather conditions if you plan to operate a golf cart on public roads.
How Do Golf Carts Compare with Other Low-Speed Vehicles?
Golf carts are sometimes considered a type of LSV, but they often have differences. Golf carts typically have maximum speeds of 20 mph. LSVs can travel up to 30 or 35 mph and are equipped with more safety features that can be customized. Golf carts can only accommodate up to four people at once while LSVs can carry larger groups of people and up to 3,000 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Operate a Golf Cart?
Anyone 14 or older can operate a golf cart in Florida. However, those under 18 years of age who plan to operate one must hold either a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license to do so.
Can I Park My Golf Cart in a Handicap Space?
You cannot park your golf cart in a handicap space in Florida unless you have a valid placard due to disability. Golf carts are treated in the same way as cars and other, larger vehicles when it comes to handicap parking spaces.
Can I Operate My Golf Cart at Night?
You are only permitted to operate a golf cart between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
Do I Have to Have Insurance on My Golf Cart?
You do not need to have insurance on your golf cart in Florida. However, for your own protection, it’s still recommended that you carry at least limited liability insurance on your golf cart in the event of an accident.
Is it Legal to Drive a Golf Cart on the Road in Florida?
It’s legal to drive a golf cart on the road in Florida as long as certain criteria are in place. You must operate it on appropriate roadways that intersect an area where a golf course or trailer park reside and must travel at speeds less than 30 mph. You can distinguish where it’s permitted to operate a golf cart based on signs along the roadway.
Can You Legally Drive a Golf Cart on the Sidewalk in Florida?
It is not legal to drive a golf cart on sidewalks in Florida unless that area is specifically designated as a path for such vehicles.
What Makes a Golf Cart Street-Legal in Florida?
In Florida, a golf cart is considered street-legal when it comes with safety features and equipment. Specifically, street-legal golf carts must have seatbelts, efficient brakes, safe tires, a rearview mirror, steering wheel, reflective warning devices in front and the back, windshield, headlights, taillights and turn signals.
Are Car Seats Required on Golf Carts in Florida?
Car seats are required on golf carts in Florida if any child three or younger is riding on one. It’s also advised that children older than four use booster seats while riding in a golf cart, but this isn’t required by law.
Legal Age to Drive a Golf Cart in Florida
The legal age to drive a golf cart in Florida is 14.
How Much Does it Cost to Register a Golf Cart in Florida?
In Florida, it costs $25 to register a golf cart. This registration must be renewed annually and is prorated. You must also get an annual inspection for your golf cart.
Do You Need a License to Drive a Golf Cart in Florida?
As a general rule, having a driver’s license is not necessary to operate a golf cart in Florida. However, individuals younger than 18 must have either a learner’s permit or license in order to operate a golf cart in the state.
Do Golf Carts Have Titles in Florida?
Most Florida golf carts do not have titles because they aren’t permitted to travel on public roads. They are only allowed on roadways to cross over to a golf course or trailer park.