Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart

Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart? Legal & Safety Rules

Imagine being at a golf course with your family on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, when your 12-year-old daughter asks to drive the golf cart.

But before you know it, she’s already climbed behind the wheel and is begging you to let her take it for a spin.

So, can a 12-year-old really drive a golf cart?

This article explains the question if can a 12 year old drive a golf cart, legal requirements, best practices, etc.

Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart?

A 12 year old can legally drive a golf cart in a few states in the US, while in most states, the minimum age limit for driving a golf cart is 14 years old.

Ensuring your golf cart is registered is a good way to prevent your 12-year-old from being pulled over in Florida; check out my article on How to Register a Golf Cart in Florida.

Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart

Here are the key points related to legal age requirements for driving a golf cart in the US based on the provided information:

  1. Different states have different age limits for driving a golf cart on public roads.
  2. In most states, a person under 14 years of age cannot drive a golf cart on public roads unless they have a driver’s license or are accompanied by an adult.
  3. However, in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, the legal age for driving a golf cart is even higher, and a person under 12 years of age cannot drive a golf cart on public roads unless accompanied by an adult.
  4. It’s important to note that these age requirements are specific to driving golf carts on public roads and may not apply to private property or golf courses, where the rules may be different.
  5. It’s also worth noting that some states may have additional requirements or restrictions, such as mandatory safety equipment or speed limits, that golf cart drivers need to follow regardless of their age.

If you are in Florida, check out this article on Are Golf Carts Street Legal in Florida.

Physical Requirements for Driving a Golf Cart

Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart

A high level of physical fitness is not required to drive a golf cart. However, certain physical requirements need to be met, and they are:

1. Height and Weight 

Depending on the model and the golf cart manufacturer, golf carts have different weight limits and height restrictions. Generally, the driver must reach the pedal and steering wheel comfortably.

2. Vision

Good eyesight is essential for safe driving, and golf cart driving is not excluded. A good vision will enable the golf driver to see and avoid danger while driving.

3. Hearing

A golf cart driver should be able to hear warning signals such as horns when driving for adequate safety.

4. Cognitive Function 

Golf cart drivers should be able to concentrate and be attentive to their surroundings. They should be capable of making good decisions while driving.

If you are interested in purchasing a street legal cart, check out this post on Street Legal Golf Carts for Sale.

What Are the Potential Risks of A 12 Year Old Driving a Golf Cart? 

Below are some of the potential risks of a 12-year-old driving a golf cart:

  • The 12-year-old may not have enough experience to drive a golf cart. They may not understand the safety rules required to drive a golf cart. 
  • The 12-year-old may not be tall enough to see obstacles on the road.
  • Golf carts do not have as many safety features as cars, therefore, the 12-year-old may be at greater risk of accident and injury. 
  • The parents or guardians will be responsible for any injury caused by an accident. 

Best Practices for Safe Golf Cart Driving by a 12 Year Old

The following practices should be followed for safe golf cart driving by a 12-Year-Old: 

  • Always wear a seatbelt.
  • Obey all traffic rules.
  • Stay on designated paths and keep away from sidewalks.
  • Avoid overloading the cart.
  • Drive slowly and carefully to avoid swift turns and abrupt stops.
  • Be aware of other road users when you drive. 
  • Do not drive while intoxicated. 

Pros and Cons of a 12 Year Old Driving a Golf Cart

These are the pros and cons of a 12 year old driving a golf cart:

  • Driving a golf cart can serve as a recreational exercise for the12-Year-Old.
  • It enables them to transport themself and their equipment around the golf course without adult assistance 
  • It serves as a good start for learning driving skills.
  • It gives them a sense of responsibility and independence. 
  • The driver or passenger is more likely to sustain injuries than when an adult drives a golf cart. 
  • The 12-Year-Old may not be able to see the road while driving the golf cart fully.
  • In the event of an accident or damage to the golf cart, the repairs may be expensive 
  • Depending on the locality, driving a golf cart may be illegal for a 12-year-old. 

Why Are Golf Cart Injuries So Common for Children?

Golf cart injuries are so common for children because of the following reasons: 

  • They have less experience. 
  • They overcrowd the golf cart and often exceed the passenger limit.
  • They sometimes use golf carts on uneven terrains, making them more prone to accidents.
  • Lack of adult supervision may make them take unnecessary risks. 

The Future of Golf Cart Laws as pertains to young Kids

The future of golf cart laws as pertains to young kids is more likely to continuously focus on the safety of young kids and preventing injuries. 

Hence more stringent rules regarding the operation of a golf cart by young kids are likely to be put in place to guarantee their protection further. 

Insuring is always recommended way to protect your cart and child. Check out my post on Best Golf Cart Insurance to get one for yourself.

FAQs on Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart

Here are some frequently asked questions on Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart:

Is Additional Training Necessary for A 12 Year Old to Drive a Golf Cart?

Yes, addiction is necessary for a 12-year-old to drive a golf cart to ensure safety during operation. 

What Role Do Parents and Guardians Play in Ensuring Safe Golf Cart Operation by A 12 Year Old?

The parents and guardians play essential roles, such as setting the rules of operation, maintaining the cart, and servicing it.

Are There Any Liability Concerns for Parents or Guardians if A 12 Year Old Is Driving a Golf Cart?

Yes, in an accident, the parents and guardians may face liability for negligent entrustment, failure to supervise, etc.


I hope you now have your answer for “Can a 12 Year Old Drive a Golf Cart”?

Letting children operate golf carts can be dangerous for them. Hence, parents must provide their children with adequate counsel and supervision to reduce the inherent risks. 

Thus, while in some states, it is not illegal for a 12-year-old to drive a golf cart, the parents or guardians should ensure that the child follows all the safety precautions.

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