Golf Carts & Low Speed Vehicles

Golf Carts

In accordance with South Carolina state law section 56-3-115, golf cart owners who have a valid driver's license, a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles and proof of insurance may operate the golf cart on a secondary highway or street within two miles of his or her residence or place of business during daylight hours only.  Additionally, golf carts may cross a primary highway or street (such as Palm Boulevard from 41st Avenue to Breach Inlet) but cannot travel along primary highways or streets.  Golf carts may not be parked on beach access paths unless signs exist indicating that golf cart parking is permissible.  The law prohibits golf carts from being upgraded by adding equipment to convert the cart to a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV).  A golf cart can not be legally operated in the Isle of Palms after dark. 

Isle of Palms residents may apply for a Residential Parking Permit for their golf carts which will allow them to park in the public rights-of-way in the Residential Parking District from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., May 15 through September 15. To apply for the permit, residents must provide proof of residency and the golf cart registration. 

Golf cart permits are available at any SCDMV branch office. The permit allows a licensed driver to operate a golf cart during daylight hours on a secondary highway or street within four miles of his residence or place of business.

To obtain a golf cart permit, you must:

·    Complete Form GC-2, Golf Cart Permit Registration

·    Provide proof of insurance for the golf cart

·    Provide a valid driver license number for the operator

·    Submit a fee of $5.00

A golf cart permit must be replaced with a new permit every five years or at the time the permit holder changes his or her address. Golf cart owners holding golf cart permits on or before October 1, 2012 will have until September 30, 2015 to obtain a replacement permit. 

Low Speed Vehicles 

LSV - Low Speed Vehicle:  In accordance with South Carolina code of law 56-2-100, a Low Speed Vehicle is a four-wheeled vehicle whose speed attainable in one mile is more than twenty miles per hour (20 mph) and not more than twenty-five miles per hour (25 mph). 

A low speed vehicle may be operated on a highway or street for which the posted speed limit is thirty‑five (35) miles an hour or less. LSVs cannot be operated on the IOP Connector as it has a speed limit of fifty-five (55) miles per hour.  A low speed vehicle may cross a highway at an intersection where the highway has a posted speed limit of more than thirty‑five (35) miles an hour.  A low speed vehicle must meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (Part 49 Section 571.500 of the Code of Federal Regulations) at all times when operated on any highway.  A low speed vehicle may be operated after dark.

Like a golf cart, an LSV can only be operated by a person with a valid driver's license, a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles and proof of insurance.  The state will not title or register homemade Low Speed Vehicles or retrofitted golf carts.  An LSV can only be operated on roads having speed limits of thirty-five miles per hour (35 mph) or less.  An LSV is factory equipped with windshield wipers, rear-view and side-view mirrors, speedometer, turn signals, horn, DOT headlights, taillights, and seatbelts.  

A sandy path leading to the beach.