Can You Drive a Golf Cart Without a License?

Rules and regulations in the United States specify the minimum age for driving a golf cart, which varies from state to state. In most American states, children must be at least 14 years old to operate a golf cart.

The answer is no, you can’t drive a golf cart without a license. To operate a golf cart on public roads, a driver’s license is generally required. However, regulations may differ by location, So, it’s important to check local laws. Some areas may have age restrictions or additional requirements for operating a golf cart.

Can You Drive a Golf Cart Without a License?

Whether you can cruise around in a golf cart without a license depends on two key factors: where you’re driving and what kind of golf cart you’re driving.

Location, Location, Location

  • Golf Courses: On private golf course property, you generally won’t need a license to drive a golf cart, as long as you follow the course’s rules. These rules might include age restrictions, passenger limits, and speed limits.
  • Public Roads: Things get trickier on public roads. In most places, you’ll need a valid driver’s license to operate a golf cart, if it’s street-legal and equipped with headlights, turn signals, and a windshield. Some states or localities might have specific age requirements or permit systems for golf cart drivers on public roads.

Street Cred for Your Cart

  • Street-Legal Carts: If your golf cart is considered street-legal, it will meet certain safety and equipment requirements, similar to a regular car. This usually means having features like turn signals, headlights, and seat belts. In most cases, driving a street-legal golf cart on public roads will require a driver’s license.
  • Neighborhood Cruiser: If your golf cart is more like a glorified lawnmower with no street-legal bells and whistles, it’s not meant for public roads. Sticking to private property or designated golf cart paths is the safest bet.


  • Always check the local laws and regulations before hopping on a golf cart. Especially if you plan to venture onto public roads.
  • Even on private property, it’s important to drive responsibly and follow the rules to avoid accidents and injuries.

Is a license required to operate a golf cart?

Operating a golf cart on public roads in most states requires drivers to hold a driver’s license. In some states, individuals without a license can drive a golf cart if supervised by a licensed adult or if they are on private property. The regulations for driving a golf cart differ depending on the location.

Do you need a License to Drive a Golf Cart?

If you are not a North Carolina resident or hold an out of state driver’s license. You can still operate a golf cart in the state without a NC driver’s license. However, you must possess a valid driver’s license to drive a golf cart on the streets and roads in NC.

The minimum age requirement for driving a golf cart on NC streets is 16. Irrespective of the origin of your license. If you need information on using an out of state license to drive a golf cart on a particular golf course, please contact the course to inquire about their regulations.

Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license when operating a golf cart on public roads in North Carolina. It’s a requirement by the NCDOT.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart?

The age requirement for driving a golf cart varies from one state to another. In most American states, a child must be at least 14 years old to operate a golf cart.

Here is some information regarding the minimum legal age for driving golf carts in certain US states.


  • The driver must be 16 years old to be considered of legal age.
  • To drive a golf cart, a driver’s license or learner’s permit is required. If the person doesn’t have a license, they can use a permit but must be accompanied by an adult.


  • The driver must be 18 years old to meet the legal age requirement.
  • Individuals under the age of 18 who do not have a license are not permitted to operate a golf cart on a public highway.


  • Individuals are required to ensure their golf carts are street legal when using them on public roads, and they must adhere to the regular driving regulations.
  • The driver is not required to privately obtain a driver’s license to operate a golf cart. Several golf clubs do not allow anyone under 14 years old to rent carts.


  • The driver must be at least 13 years old to meet the legal age requirement.
  • The golf carts must not exceed 1,300 pounds in weight and should not accommodate more than two individuals, including the driver.

Read also related topics: Can you Drive a Golf Cart on the Road?

What are the requirements to drive a golf cart?

Certain regions may have restrictions on the use of golf carts on public roads. And certain states may mandate the inclusion of headlights, brake lights, and other safety equipment. There may be specific speed limit regulations for golf carts that vary from state to state.

Golf carts can only operate during daylight hours

Restrict your driving of golf carts on public roads to the period between sunrise and sunset if it is permitted in your state.

Golf carts must comply with street-legal requirements

In most states, it is not permitted to drive a standard golf cart on public roads. To use a golf cart outside of private property, several modifications are necessary. Street-legal golf carts must be equipped with headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, a windshield, a horn, and seatbelts.

Refrain from consuming alcohol and operating a golf cart

Requires you to stay within the legal alcohol limit to avoid a DUI and ensure the safety of yourself and others.

It may be necessary for you to enroll your golf cart

You might have to register it with the state and obtain license plates. If your golf cart remains on your private property, there is no need for registration. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to verify with your state’s DMV for confirmation.

Read also related topics: who makes zone electric Golf cart?

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Last Word

If you need a new, pre-owned, or personalized golf cart for use on the streets or the golf course in NC. We have what you need. The J’s Golf Carts team is available to address your inquiries and assist you in selecting from our wide range of golf carts.

Get in touch with us through our online contact form or give us a call at 919-552-9351 to speak with one of our team members today.

Finally, we think that if you drive a golf cart you need to achieve and try to get license.

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