Golf carts are a popular mode of transportation, both on and off the golf course. Adults and kids alike love both riding in and driving golf carts to get where they need to go.
However, there's some confusion about who can and who can't drive a golf cart, both on a golf course and on the road. The big question is who is allowed to drive a golf cart.
Do you need a driver's license to drive a golf cart on roads?
Whether you need a driver's license to drive a golf cart on a road depends on the jurisdiction (typically, the state) in which you are operating the golf cart.
Most states regulate a golf cart as a low-speed vehicle seperate from an automobile, and states first have to determine if a golf cart can be driven on a public road. While an increasing number of states have allowed golf carts to be driven on public roads, there are plenty that do not.
In most states in the United States, you do not need a driver's license to operate a golf cart. In many, you do need a driver's license, however.
Whether a golf cart is street legal and/or need a license to drive one is completely up to where you are.
Of course, if you're renting a golf cart from a private vendor, they can set their own requirements for who can drive their rentals above and beyond the minimum required by the law. It's best to consult with a rental agency and read their rental agreement to know their standard.
Do you need a driver's license to drive a golf cart on a golf course?
Whether you need a driver's license to drive a golf cart on a golf course also depends on the jurisdiction (typically, the state) in which you are operating the golf cart.
Generally speaking, you don't need a driver's license to rent and drive a golf cart on a golf course. It is considered private property, and the owners of the property are able to decide who can rent a golf cart. However, many golf courses have a minimum age for a golf cart driver, and that's typically the same as the age to get a driver's license in that state. Golf courses typically cite the cost of maintaining insurance for drivers and their carts as the reason for this minimum age.
Golf courses and private clubs, though, do frequently allow children as young as 12 or 13 to drive golf carts with a parent or guardian accompanying them. Golf clubs can allow drivers as young as 12 or 13 to drive a golf cart independently as well. It is up to the owner and operator to comply with local laws and then set a standard equal to or above that of the law.