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Breaking down SC’s golf cart and LSV rules

Before you hit the road, review these laws to navigate your golf cart and LSV legally + safely.

Adult and two children riding on a golf cart

Golf cart + LSV drivers must have a driver’s license.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Cruising around Charleston’s beach cities like IOP + Folly… or even your neighborhood can be a relaxing post-dinner activity. But, before you let anyone hop in the driver’s seat, make sure you look over these rules for low-speed vehicles (LSV) and golf carts.

First things first. Let’s break down the differences between an LSV and a golf cart. Typically, a golf cart can reach 15 miles per hour, and an LSV can go around 25 miles per hour.

Golf carts | Apart from golf course use, these vehicles can be used on private land, apartment complexes, and other private areas. These vehicles usually don’t have headlights, brake lights, or turn signals.

Low-Speed Vehicles | LSVs have additional features like headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and seat belts so that they can be driven on public streets.

Before you get behind the wheel, you should know all the rules of the road. Here is a glance at a few of the laws for both types of vehicles.

CHS_golf cart.png

Before you cruise around this coastal city like a local, review some rules for the road.

Golf cart rules

  • Drivers must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license
  • Golf carts can only be driven when there is daylight
  • Drivers have to keep within four miles of the address listed on the permit
  • Golf carts must be insured, permitted, and registered with DMV
  • Golf carts can only be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less

LSV rules

  • Drivers must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license
  • LSV can only be driven on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles an hour or less
  • LSV drivers can cross a highway at an intersection of roads that allow speeds faster than 35 miles per hour
  • Comply with all equipment + registration, title, insurance, and license plate requirements

Rules by city

Each city and town has a right to prohibit golf carts or LSVs on any street or highway if it determines it necessary in the interest of safety. Check our beaches’ specific rules.

Isle of Palms
Folly Beach
Sullivan’s Island

City Editor Callie here. Folks visiting IOP who want to cruise around in a golf cart, check out IOP Golf Cart Rentals. The company delivers the vehicle to your rental when you get to town + retrieves it at the end of your stay. What other rental companies are out there? Let us know.

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