by Inspector Chip Googe, Mount Pleasant Police Department
Summer is on the way so we want to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the golf cart laws for the State of South Carolina. If you wish to read the full law, it is listed below:
• The driver must be at least 16 and have a valid driver’s license.
• Golf Cart must be insured.
• Must be registered with the DMV, and have permit.
• Operate on a secondary road where posted speed limit is
35mph or less and within 4 miles of the registered address.
• Can only cross a primary road to get to another secondary
• Can only operate during daylight hours, regardless of whether
or not the Golf Cart has lights installed.
Full Section of the Law:
(A) For the purposes of this section, "gated community" means any homeowners' community with at least one access-controlled ingress and egress which includes the presence of a guard house, a mechanical barrier, or another method of controlled conveyance.
(B) 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.
(1) During daylight hours only, a permitted golf cart may be operated within four miles of the address on the registration certificate and only on a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles an hour or less.
(2) During daylight hours only, a permitted golf cart may be operated within four miles of a point of ingress and egress to 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.
(3) During daylight hours only, within four miles of the registration holder's address, and while traveling along a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles an hour or less, a permitted golf cart may cross a highway or street at an intersection where the highway has a posted speed limit of more than thirty-five miles an hour.
(4) During daylight hours only, a permitted golf cart may be operated along a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles an hour or less on an island not accessible by a bridge designed for use by automobiles.
(C) 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.
(D)(1) A golf cart permit must be replaced with a new permit every five years, or at the time the permit holder changes his address.
(2) Golf cart owners holding golf cart permits on or before October 1, 2012, will have until September 30, 2015, to obtain a replacement permit.
(E)(1) A political subdivision may, on designated streets or roads within the political subdivision's jurisdiction, reduce the area in which a permitted golf cart may operate from four miles to no less than two miles.
(2) A political subdivision may, on primary highways, secondary highways, streets, or roads within the political subdivision's jurisdiction, create separate golf cart paths on the shoulder of its primary highways, secondary highways, streets and roads for the purpose of golf cart transportation, if:
(a) the political subdivision obtains the necessary approvals, if any, to create the golf cart paths; and
(b) the golf cart path is:
(i) separated from the traffic lanes by a hard concrete curb;
(ii) separated from the traffic lanes by parking spaces; or
(iii) separated from the traffic lanes by a distance of four feet or more.
(3) A political subdivision may not reduce or otherwise amend the other restrictions placed on the operation of a permitted golf cart contained in this section.
(F) The provisions of this section that restrict the use of a golf cart to certain streets, certain hours, and certain distances shall not apply to a golf cart used by a public safety agency in connection with the performance of its duties.