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Golf Cart Laws in Florida

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Florida Golf Cart Lawes

FAQs on 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 You Legally Drive A Golf Car on the Streets of Tampa, Florida?

In the City of Tampa, Florida, golf carts are only permitted to be on the public roads on Davis Islands.  The other areas of Tampa, especially those you see throughout South Tampa are illegal unless they are tagged, registered and insured.

Tampa City Ordinance Sec. 14-55 states that Golf carts are permitted on public roads on Davis Islands.  There are no other exceptions in the city except on golf courses and crossing the street to get from one side of the golf course to the other.

Operating the golf carts on Davis Islands in Tampa, Florida is subject to the requirements and restrictions contained in this section and all applicable provisions of Florida Statutes, operation of golf carts on the public roads of Davis Islands is permitted pursuant to F.S. § 316.212 (2016). But to be clear, the provisions of section 14-55 shall apply only to Davis Islands.

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.  In 2022, we wrote about the different types of golf carts, LSVs, etc and when they are street legal.

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.

Florida Golf Cart Laws

Are Golf Carts Safe on the Roads of Florida?

When comparing golf carts to cars, golf carts are more unsafe.  For many reasons, golf carts are not as safe as cars.  Common sense tell you that the weight of the golf cart is a huge factor.  Also, the likelihood of a golf car rolling over is another huge issue.  Many golf carts also lack many of the common safety features in cars like 3-point seat belts and airbags that keep kids and teens safe when they are driving or are just a passenger. They also have a maximum speed limit of 12-19.9 mph but are allowed on roads with cars going up to 30-35 mph, making them unsafe.

Golf carts can be extremely dangerous for children, whether they are passengers or drivers. This is due to the limited oversight (supervision) and their design not being suitable for safe transportation of children. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against children riding in golf carts at all.

However, if your child must use a golf cart, there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure their safety like use seat belts.

What is the Required Equipment on a Golf Cart to be street legal?

The required equipment to make a golf cart street legal is:

At all times while being operated on public roads, golf carts shall be equipped with:

    1. Efficient brakes;
    2. Reliable steering apparatus;
    3. Safe tires;
    4. A rearview mirror, and
    5. Reflectorized warning devices in both front and rear.

Violation of the above equipment requirements is a nonmoving traffic infraction chargeable by uniform traffic citation as a violation of F.S. § 316.212(6).

Can I drive my Golf Cart in my Neighborhood in Florida?

Yes, if they are street legal, allowed by your neighborhood association, you have a driver’s license, mirrors and the golf cart has seat belts.

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.  But the same is not true with Low-Speed Vehicles!

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 Davis Islands (as stated in the Tampa Municipal Code).

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 18 that does not have a driver’s license.

How Old Do You Have to be to Drive a Golf Cart in Florida?

In 2023, the Florida Legislature passed Florida HB 949, amending F.S. § 316.212, adding new age restrictions to operate golf carts. Florida’s new golf cart law now prohibits people under the age of 18 from operating golf carts on public roads or streets unless they possess a valid learner’s driver license or a valid driver license.

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.

Contact a Golf Cart Accident Attorney Near You Today

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