Recently, I saw someone riding their golf cart with a younger person driving and I wondered how old do you have to be to drive a golf cart.
After doing some research this is what I found. For most states, the minimum age to drive a golf cart is 14 years old. Some states allow the driver to be as young as 13. Each state has their own set of rules for driving a golf cart though, so you’ll want to make sure you are following the law in your state.
Since golf carts don’t typically go faster than 15-20 mph, most people don’t think anything wrong with kids driving them. Unfortunately, every state has a specific age requirement for driving a golf cart. And even though they don’t go very fast, they can weigh up to a half ton, which still can cause a lot of damage or harm.
Most of the laws are for residential roads and you won’t need to have a valid driver’s license. If you try to take a golf cart on a public road, then most agencies require the driver to have a valid driver’s license.
If you’re thinking about buying a golf cart, age restrictions are just one of many things to consider.
Examples of Age Requirements by State:
- Florida’s minimum age is 14-15
- For Texas, you have to be a licensed driver to operate a golf cart, except on private property and on golf courses.
- California’s minimum age is 13
- South Carolina’s minimum age also 13
Driving on Golf Courses and Private Property
If you’re out driving your golf cart on private roads and golf courses, then these age restrictions don’t come into play. Just make sure you’re following proper safety precautions while you’re out with the young drivers and you’ll be fine.
We were at a low key gulf coast town and just came in from scalloping with the boat captain. They had their nephew bring our scallop catch to the shop in the golf cart without any worries. The nephew wasn’t joy riding or anything like that. He simply took the 5 gallon tubs from our boat to the sink area for cleaning with no problems.
Can You Get a Ticket for Letting Your Child Drive the Golf Cart
I know this sounds crazy, but some states will actually give your kid a ticket for driving the golf cart. A woman in Texas was letting her 7 year old son drive the golf cart. A Galveston police officer pulled them over and issued a ticket.
The thing is, the 7 year old was the one who got the ticket. Not the mother. Strange case, but it happens.
Golf Cart Safety
If you want your younger kids to drive, but want a little more safety for them, you can install golf cart seat belts while they’re driving and golf cart bars for them to hold onto if they’re passengers.
It’s also a good idea to remind them of simple golf cart safety rules that include:
- No Joy riding or reckless driving
- Yield to pedestrians
- Only operate from the driver’s side of the golf cart
- Stay focused while driving and remove distractions
- Check your blind spots often
Most of the golf cart rules boil down to use precaution and judgement when letting your youngster drive the golf cart and make sure that they are mature enough to handle the responsibility while driving it.