As the streets of downtown Greenville become more congested by the passing day, residents are turning to other modes of transportation to navigate downtown’s busy streets.
One mode of transportation, in particular, has seen an increased boost in popularity in downtown Greenville. Residents of South Carolina previously associated golf carts as the transportation of choice for boozy Myrtle Beach vacationers freighting around Ocean Lakes and the strip. Now, the popularity of golf carts has moved to the Upstate, along with the special laws that govern them.
While the state has no laws governing what you do in your golf cart on your own private property, there are many statutes which outline what you can and can’t do on public roads.
These rules govern how and where you can drive a golf cart everywhere in South Carolina. So before you hit Main Street to hop from one bar to the next, make sure you know your South Carolina golf cart laws first.
Can you get a DUI driving a golf cart?
Yes, you can absolutely get a DUI while driving a golf cart. You can also receive a citation for having an open container while driving a golf cart, whether the drink belongs to you or not.
Either way, carrying open containers of alcohol outside of the drinking establishment is illegal in downtown Greenville. Designate a driver and keep the drinks inside the bar. Follow those rules and your day in Greenville won’t end with a trip to jail or a fat ticket.
What is the Legal Age to Drive a Golf Cart?
Minors who do not have a regular drivers license are not allowed to drive on any kind of road in South Carolina. If you can show a driver’s license, you’ll be fine to drive your golf cart.
Keep in mind parents, you can be held liable for any accidents or damages your child causes if they are caught driving a golf cart without a license. Do you and your child a favor, keep them out of the driver’s seat until they can drive a regular car with no problems.
Is a Golf Cart considered a motor vehicle in South Carolina?
In a sense, yes. In order to drive your golf cart around downtown Greenville, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Obtain your golf cart permit from the local South Carolina DMV. Once you present the DMV with a title, insurance, a valid driver’s license and five dollars, you’ll have the permit you need to drive your golf cart.
Remember to renew your permit every five years or every time you move.
2. A permit allows you to do only the following when driving your golf cart*:
- Drive on roads where the posted speed limit is less than 35 MPH
- Drive on roads without Highway numbers (Ex: Pendleton Street – State Road 124)
- Stay four miles from your destination/house
- Drive during daylight hours only
- In addition, certain local ordinances have different rules about where you can ride golf carts. Contact with your local precinct to double-check the local ordinances just in case they differ slightly from state law.
3. Always keep a copy of your license, registration, and proof of insurance in your golf cart — same as you would while driving a car.
Know your South Carolina Golf Cart Laws because the Police will!
The Greenville Police department is aware of these rules and intends to enforce them. Greenville police public affairs division officer Michelle Lentz has stated in an article on WYFF4 the police “will be on the lookout for unlawful golf cart operation in the coming weeks and months.”
Let that be your warning! If you own a golf cart and want to enjoy it this summer with no legal ramifications, follow these rules.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.