Myrtle Beach Section: State Law Governs Golf Carts on Public Roads: July 2020

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Many residents love the convenience of hopping in the golf cart to go to the beach or grocery store, but rules exist for using golf carts to get around. State law allows golf carts to be driven on public streets in limited circumstances. Here’s a handy refresher course on what’s allowed, and what’s not.

First, state law requires that golf carts have a $5.00 decal from the SC Department of Motor Vehicles and that they carry liability insurance if you use them on public streets.  In addition, golf carts may only be driven on the road:

  • By a licensed driver age 16 or older.
  • During daylight hours only, and only up to four miles from the registered address.
  • Only on secondary roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.

Golf carts may not carry more people than the number of seats. And they cannot be driven on primary roads, such as Kings Highway or US 501. A golf cart may cross a primary highway, but cannot drive along one.

Golf carts also are not allowed on sidewalks, multipurpose paths or marked bicycle lanes.  Just as you cannot drive or park a car in a bicycle lane, you can’t legally drive a golf cart in a bicycle lane.

The attached photos show a golf cart being driven illegally on Kings Highway, a federal primary road where the speed limit is greater than 35 m.p.h., and one being driven illegally in the bike lane on Ocean Boulevard.

You can get a resident parking decal for a legally registered golf cart, but such decals are tied to the owner’s automobile. Your personal-use vehicle must be registered inside the city limits and you must have paid taxes on it in order to be eligible for a parking decal for your golf cart, too.

For those who want to take a golf cart to Myrtle Beach State Park, a special crossing exists on Kings Highway, south of Farrow Parkway. Seagate Village and Market Common residents can legally access this crossing by taking Mallard Lake Drive to the Barc Parc South Entrance road, then following that road around the shopping center.

The internal parking lot exits at the signalized intersection on Kings Highway, where the state has installed a marked golf cart crossing over to the east side of Kings Highway. From there, you can travel to the State Park

For more about how golf carts are allowed on public streets, visit: https://www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/i_want_to/learn_about/golf_cart_laws.php.

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