South Carolina State Golf Cart Laws

SECTION 56-2-105. Golf cart permit and the operation of a golf cart.

(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.

(C) During daylight hours only:

(1) 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) 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) 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) 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.

(D) 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.

(E) A golf cart permit must be replaced with a new permit every five years, or at the time the permit holder changes his address.

(F)(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) In a county with a population of no less than one hundred fifty thousand and no more than two hundred fifty thousand persons:

(a) if a municipality has jurisdiction over a barrier island, the municipality may enact an ordinance allowing for the operation of a golf cart at night on designated portions of the barrier island within the municipality, provided the golf cart is equipped with working headlights and rear lights; or

(b) if a barrier island is not within the jurisdiction of a municipality, the county in which the barrier island is located may enact an ordinance allowing for the operation of a golf cart at night on designated portions of the county, provided the golf cart is equipped with working headlights and rear lights.

If a municipality or county enacts an ordinance allowing golf carts to operate at night on a barrier island, the requirements of subsection (C), other than operation in daylight hours only, shall still apply to all permitted golf carts.

(G) 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.