Golf Cart Laws in Florida
Florida Golf Cart Laws
Here are some FAQs about golf cart laws in Florida. As golf carts become an increasingly popular mode of transportation in the Sunshine State, it is essential to understand the rules and regulations governing their use. We’ll cover a range of topics about golf cart usage in Florida, such as legality, driving in neighborhoods, operating hours, street requirements, age requirements, and more.
Is It Legal to Drive a Golf Cart on the Street in Florida?
Yes, Florida golf cart laws permit you to drive a golf cart on the road under certain conditions.
It is important to be aware of the golf cart laws in Florida to safely and legally operate a golf cart on roadways throughout the state.
The following conditions apply to legally driving golf carts on the road in Florida:
- A golf cart may be operated to cross a portion of the highway that intersects a county road or municipal street; to cross, at midblock, a part of the highway where a golf course is constructed on both sides of the highway; or to cross a street or highway where a single mobile home park is located on both sides of the street or highway and is divided by that street or highway (this only applies to residents or guests of the mobile home park). There should be appropriate signs on the road to indicate that such operation is allowed.
- A golf cart may be operated on a road that is part of the State Park Road System if the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.
- A local governmental entity may enact an ordinance relating to golf cart operation and equipment.
Can I Drive a Golf Cart in My Neighborhood in Florida?
For residents wondering if you can drive their golf cart around the neighborhood, you can. In Florida, both golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSVs) are allowed on residential streets.
However, LSVs may also be driven on public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, whereas golf carts must stay off roadways, with the following exceptions:
- A golf cart may be operated on a county road or a municipal street that has been designated for use by golf carts. There should be appropriate signs on the road to indicate that such operation is allowed.
- According to Florida Statute 316.212, golf carts can cross highways if they divide a subdivision, trailer park, or golf course.
This includes Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs) such as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV).
How Late Can You Drive a Golf Cart in Florida?
Florida golf cart laws state that a golf cart may be operated only during the hours between sunrise and sunset unless otherwise dictated by the responsible governmental entity – usually a local or municipal government.
If the responsible governmental entity has determined that a golf cart may be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise, the vehicle must be equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield.
What Does a Golf Cart Need to Be Street Legal in Florida?
To be considered street-legal in Florida, a golf cart must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear.
Street legal vehicles are defined by Florida Statute 320.01(42) as “any four-wheeled electric vehicles whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour.”
There are several features required for LSV and NEV electric vehicles or street-legal golf carts in Florida, including:
- Stop lamps, turn signal lamps, headlamps, tail lamps, parking brakes
- Rearview mirrors, reflex reflectors, windshields, seat belts, and VINs
- Must be registered and insured in accordance with current regulations (s. 320.02)
- The drivers of low-speed vehicles must have valid driver’s licenses
- Although Florida NEV and LSV electric vehicles are prohibited from operation on roads with posted speed limits above 35mph, they are allowed to cross roads that have higher speed limits.
Golf carts are not considered street-legal vehicles on roads with a posted speed limit over 35 mph and must be operated by licensed drivers with valid insurance.
What Is the Legal Definition of a Golf Cart in Florida?
According to Florida Statute 320.01(22), a “golf cart” means a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.
While in the past golf carts were seen primarily on golf courses, it has become increasingly common for them to be on roads.
However, while golf carts must have liability insurance to be operated on public property, they do not have to be registered with the state in the same way a motor vehicle would.
Are Golf Carts Considered Low-Speed Vehicles in Florida?
Some are, and some are not, it depends on the speed threshold.
According to Florida Statute 320.01(42), any golf cart that can exceed 20 miles per hour is classified as a “low-speed vehicle” or LSV.
While they may look exactly like golf carts, due to the fact they can exceed 20 miles per hour (but less than 25 miles per hour), the vehicle is subjected to a different set of regulations.
Essentially, an LSV is in between a golf cart and a regular automobile.
LSVs must be equipped with seat belts, brakes, headlights, taillights, and turn signals, and must be registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Is It Legal to Drive a Golf Cart on the Sidewalk in Florida?
No, driving a golf cart on the sidewalk is not legal in Florida unless the sidewalk is specifically designated as a golf cart path.
Some cities and towns in Florida have their own specific rules and regulations regarding golf cart use, like The Villages.
Can a 12-Year-Old Drive a Golf Cart in Florida?
No, in the state of Florida, a golf cart may not be operated on public roads or streets by any person under the age of 14.
Do Traffic Laws Still Apply to Florida Golf Carts?
Yes, traffic laws still apply when operating a golf cart on Florida roads.
Just as in a regular automobile, driving while under the influence, failure to yield, and not abiding by traffic signs and signals, can all potentially result in citations for these violations.
It is important to adhere to all Florida traffic laws when operating a golf cart.
Contact a Golf Cart Accident Attorney Near You Today
If you were injured or given a citation for violating golf cart laws in Florida, you need to contact an experienced golf cart accident attorney in Ocala or a golf cart accident attorney in The Villages. Learn more about golf cart rules in The Villages, FL
You will want to contact the Glover Law Firm for a free consultation. No fee unless we win!
Be sure to also check out our post “how often does a golf cart accident occur?”