Click below to see details on golf cart and
low speed vehicle rules and regulations:
People sometime confuse the terms golf cart and low speed vehicle.
A golf cart is defined as a vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour. Golf carts do not have a state license plate and do not have a state vehicle registration.
A low speed vehicle is defined as a four wheeled electric vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but less than 25 miles per hour. Low speed vehicles have a state license plate and a state vehicle registration.
The following rules and regulations apply to the operation of golf carts:
- Carts shall only be driven on roads posted 35 miles per hour or less. This does not prohibit a cart from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street being crossed has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
- Carts must have liability insurance coverage.
- Drivers of carts shall stay to the far right of the traveled portion of the road and yield the right-of-way to overtaking motor vehicles.
- Carts must be equipped with headlights, tail lights and turn signal lamps.
- Carts shall be equipped with at least one fixed operational mirror allowing the operator to see behind the cart.
- No one is allowed to stand on a golf cart while it is in operation and may only have the appropriate amount of people that the golf cart is designed to carry.
- The operator of the golf cart must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid driver's license.
- Any person who operates a golf cart on public streets and roads must adhere to all applicable state and local laws, regulations and ordinances, including but not limited to those banning the possession and use of alcoholic beverages, and all other illegal drugs. In addition, no golf cart containing any open container of alcohol shall be operated on public roads.
- Seat belts are required for every person seated on the golf cart. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers including children.
- All required safety equipment must be installed to NCDOT Specifications and in place before the golf cart is registered with the town.
- The operator of the golf cart shall comply with all traffic rules and regulations adopted by the State of North Carolina and the Town of Carolina Beach which governs the operation of motor vehicles.
The operation of a low-speed vehicle is authorized with the following restrictions:
- A low-speed vehicle may be operated only on streets and highways where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. This does not prohibit a low-speed vehicle from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street being crossed has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
- A low-speed vehicle shall be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, tail lamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, windshield wipers, speedometer, seat belts, and a vehicle identification number.
- A low-speed vehicle shall be registered and insured with the North Carolina Department of Transportation in accordance with G.S. 20-50 and G.S. 20-30.
- The North Carolina Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of low-speed vehicles on any road or highway if it determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
- Low-speed vehicles must comply with the safety standards in 49 C.F.R. § 571.500.
No golf cart may be driven within the town without a permit being acquired from Town Hall and permanently attached to the left, driver's front portion of the golf cart.
The Town Manager or his/her designee is hereby authorized to issue a permit to all appropriate applicants, one per golf cart to be operated. When issuing this permit, the applicant shall be required to sign a statement certifying he has read the provisions of the town's ordinance on golf cart usage as set forth in sections 16-75 and 16-76. The permit shall be in such form as the town may deem practicable for ease of visibility.
Please complete the application and return to customer service in person at Town Hall, by mail, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.