There’s been an explosion of golf cart usage in the Myrtle Beach area within the past year. With gas prices steadily increasing, it’s no wonder people are choosing this alternate form of transportation. Before you decide to hit the streets in your newly rented or purchased golf cart, familiarize yourself with the golf cart laws in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Rather than having to try to understand the lawyer speak that goes into these laws, let’s break the laws down into simple terms. The full law is available at the end if you’re into that sort of thing.
Registering Your Golf Cart
Your golf cart must be registered with the state, like a car or truck. You can register your golf cart at the DMV with proof of ownership and liability insurance and the reasonable fee of $5. This permit is good for 5 years or until you move. (If you’re renting your cart, your rental company should be taking care of all of this.)
Where You Can Drive the Golf Cart
You can drive your golf cart on secondary streets (non-highways) where the speed limit is 35 MPH or less. You can cross the highway or street at an intersection if the cross street has a speed limit higher than 35 MPH. Basically, you can’t drive on US 17 Bypass or Business, US 501, SC-65 (Ocean Blvd between 27th Ave S and Sea Mountain Highway in North Myrtle Beach), and SC-9 (Sea Mountain Highway in North Myrtle Beach), but you are allowed to cross them.
You can only drive your cart within 4 miles of the registered address or the entrance of your gated community if you live or rent in a gated community.
Who Can Drive the Golf Cart?
In this case, a golf cart is exactly like any other vehicle. You must be at least 16 with a valid driver’s license. Make sure you have your license with you if you are going to that beach. While we’re on the topic, you are also required to keep the registration and proof of insurance with you (again, just like a regular vehicle).
Can I Drive a Golf Cart at Night in Myrtle Beach or North Myrtle Beach?
No! Everything we went over above only applies to daylight operation. You can’t drive your golf cart at night even if you have headlights and taillights.
We hope this article gives you a better understanding of the golf cart laws in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. And remember, have fun, be safe, be smart, and we’ll see you on the road!
Official State Golf Cart Laws
For official state code regarding golf cart use, refer to SECTION 56-2-105 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. This section is available verbatim below (accurate as of this article date).
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.
(4) A political subdivision may not reduce or otherwise amend the other restrictions placed on the operation of a permitted golf cart contained in this section.
(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.