Golf carts are so much fun to drive. In fact, some of us probably prefer operating golf carts more than our “normal” vehicles.

That being said, they can’t be driven just anywhere. In fact, there are some places where driving golf carts is actually prohibited by law.

One of the questions we get asked most often is whether or not you can drive a golf cart on the sidewalk in Florida. Though Florida is the wild wild west in many regards, Florida law does not allow you to drive your cute electric vehicles on the sidewalk.

In this article, we are going to be answer all your questions regarding golf cart operation on the sidewalks of Florida.

To be thorough, we will also explore some of the other issues that relate to golf cart driving in the Sunshine State. So buckle up, you’re in for a bumpy golf cart ride…

Can You Drive a Golf Cart on the Sidewalk in Florida?

Can you drive a golf cart on the sidewalk in Florida?

In most cases, the answer is no. Generally speaking, it is illegal to operate a golf cart on the sidewalk in Florida. There are some obvious reasons for this.

  1. Most sidewalks aren’t designed for motorized vehicle use
  2. Pedestrians need a safe place to walk

However, there are also some exceptions to this rule. In areas where the sidewalk is at least 5 feet wide, it may be acceptable to drive a cart parallel to a state or county road, but drivers must yield to pedestrians.

You will find residents and visitors to Florida driving golf carts on the sidewalk and on the road in some places. Before going bonkers, there are some details you should be aware of.

So what’s the official state law?

Florida state statute 316.212 allows municipalities to authorize the use of golf carts and utility vehicles on some public roads.

In places where you see a street legal golf cart, it’s not uncommon to see a driver push the limits a bit with some sidewalk driving (or parking).

However, this doesn’t give the golf cart owner a free pass to drive anywhere. Owners need to follow signs placed by the county commissioners that explain how/when/where carts can be driven (more on that below). Again, there are many places in Florida where a driver can take their cart on a public roadway, but the sidewalk is usually off limits (unless it’s over 5 feet wide or signage indicates otherwise).

There is also a legal age requirement that must be met. A golf cart driver must be at least 14 years old. Given the risks that are involved with the open air buggies and other vehicular traffic, this seems like a reasonable bar to entry.

Where can you drive golf carts in Florida?

In Florida, you are able to drive a golf cart on any county road or public street where signs specifically allow you to do so. If you don’t see an official authorization, you should assume that city does not allow for golf cart use on their city street.

A few other noteworthy details on this ordinance:

  • Carts can only be operated on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph (or less)
  • Carts must be equipped with brakes, a rearview mirror and red reflectors
  • Carts can only be driven between sunrise and sunset (unless they have headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a windshield

Anyone driving a golf cart, whether they are age 14 or 84, will need to know the rules of the road, not just for golf carts but for all aspects of driving. However, a driver’s license is not required to operate a golf cart in Florida.

Keep in mind that some areas in Florida may not have roads that are designated for use by golf carts. Look for signage that explains what is and isn’t acceptable. Do not expect that all places in Florida to have the same rules regarding the driving of golf carts.

Do golf carts need insurance in Florida?

No. There is no Florida state requirement to insure a standard golf cart. Golf carts are not governed by the same rules as many other low speed vehicles in Florida. However, that doesn’t mean that insurance is a bad idea.

If your golf cart is a low speed vehicle (LSV) or you want it to have that designation, then the legal requirements get more serious. Your golf cart must be registered, titled and insured according to Florida law for low speed vehicles. This means you’ll get a license plate as well, making things a bit more official.

You should also bear in mind that many people actually turn their golf carts into low speed vehicles by making adaptations and modifications. If your golf cart has significant modifications and is now a low speed vehicle, then it needs to be treated as such. Title, registration and insurance are all part of the fun.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you’re asking for trouble.

Questions about other states? See this write-up at Forbes.

While regular golf carts are not required to have the same insurance as cars or a typical motor vehicle, it is highly recommended that you do this in order to protect yourself and others. Plenty can go wrong when you’re cruising at 35 miles per hour.

Can I drive a golf cart around my neighborhood?

Again, this answer varies by city and county. Florida statute allows municipalities to decide. Your local governmental entity will post signs indicating whether or not you can drive your cart on a public road.

If you do not see signs that allow for golf cart usage, you should not drive your golf cart there.

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