Do Golf Carts Have Titles in South Carolina?
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Do Golf Carts Have Titles in South Carolina?
Being injured in a golf cart accident can be a very frustrating experience, but it also can raise different kinds of questions associated with recovering compensation. One of those questions is, "Do golf carts have titles in South Carolina?" Understanding the golf cart laws can help you to ensure that you have done everything possible to protect yourself and will know what to do in the event that you are injured in a golf cart accident.
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Am I Required to Register and Insure a Golf Cart in South Carolina?
The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that golf carts in South Carolina have both a permit decal and appropriate registration. In order to register your golf cart in South Carolina, you must carry liability insurance and provide proof of ownership. The registration fee for a golf cart in South Carolina is $5 and that permit remains valid until you change your address or for a period of five years.
The decals for a golf cart in South Carolina are issued for a period of 12 months except for those vehicles that do not require paying property taxes. The golf cart must remain permitted, insured, and registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles if it will be operated. Golf cart owners should also be aware of the possibility of getting into an accident, in which case these details might be shared with the insurance company or another person hurt in the accident.
The Risks of Using Golf Carts
Golf carts are known as low-speed vehicles, but this also makes it seem like they aren't at risk of causing serious property damage or accidents anywhere, including on public roads. Golf carts are popular on golf courses, but also throughout beach towns in South Carolina. When they are driven improperly and not treated like vehicles, this can lead to devastating injuries.
Anyone who has been hurt in an accident involving these vehicles knows just how frustrating it can be to try to recover on your own. You might have extensive medical expenses and lost wages. Unlike a regular car, there are no safety options on a golf cart. People are often under the impression that their smaller size and fun nature mean you're not at risk of injuries in a cart, but that's simply not true. Without seat belts, windshields, or doors, you can easily be thrown from a golf cart. Similarly, if the cart turns over, you could be crushed. A standard golf cart just doesn't offer the level of protection of a regular vehicle, and people can get hurt in these all the time.
Are There Punishments for Violating South Carolina's Golf Cart Laws?
Any violation of South Carolina's golf cart laws is treated as a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail, or a fine of up to $100.
Also, consider that you might be sued if you get into an accident with these low-speed vehicles and weren't carrying a valid driver's permit or registration. If you were operating a golf cart that caused an accident, you might be held accountable in court for injuries caused to other people.
Do I Need to Keep Anything With Me While Operating My Golf Cart?
If your golf cart is appropriately registered and permitted, it is a good idea to keep your driver's license, your proof of liability insurance, and the registration certificate issued by the South Carolina DMV with you at the time of operation.
Does My Golf Cart Come With a Title?
Many ordinary golf carts bought in South Carolina do not have titles for a number of reasons. The Department of Motor Vehicles, however, is the state agency allowed to grant registration and the right decals for golf carts. South Carolina licenses or IDs may be required when getting a bill of sale for a golf cart in South Carolina.
Similarly, as well as showing the odometer reading from the golf cart at the time of the sale, the title should factor into the cost at sale time. If you want to show the total sale price of the vehicle without having to trade it in for a reduced fee, a buyer's order or bill of sale may be signed. Cart serial numbers are the easiest way to recognize a golf cart in South Carolina. These identify the power supply, year, and type that each part contains. This can give you a good sense of whether or not you should buy the golf cart in question and the overall quality of the vehicle.
Where Can Golf Carts Be Driven in South Carolina?
Many people frequently use golf carts to get through the neighborhood and enjoy the great weather of South Carolina. However, in South Carolina, you are only allowed to drive a golf cart during hours of daylight. You must maintain a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less and during those hours of daylight, you can drive on secondary highways or streets that have a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.
You can cross a street or highway at an intersection, even if that street or highway has a speed limit higher than 35 miles per hour. However, you must stay close to four miles of a point of egress or ingress to a gated community, within a boundary of four miles of the address printed on your South Carolina registration certificate, or on an island not accessible by a bridge made for traditional cars.
Bear in mind that although these are South Carolina-specific rules, there are also local ordinances that might apply. For example, a city or county ordinance could limit the distances down from four miles. However, you must still be able to drive two miles.
What to Know About Alcohol and Golf Cart Accidents
Consuming alcohol is one way to end up with serious injuries due to a golf cart accident. It is illegal to consume alcohol and operate a golf cart in South Carolina. Doing so could leave you with serious consequences and the possibility of a lawsuit. Many people are injured by golf carts in South Carolina every year.
It is often the case that golf carts are considered relatively safe because they move slowly and are easy to operate. However, golf carts provide little protection to occupants when compared with things like traditional vehicles. An Ohio State University study, for example, evaluated National Emergency Room data about golf carts, finding that there were nearly 150,000 injuries from golf cart accidents over a period of 16 years.
The highest cause of golf cart accident injury was falling off of the golf cart and it is important to note that 1/3 of accident victims were children. This can lead to serious and devastating injuries all of which can be prevented.
What Should I Do If I End Up in a Golf Cart Accident?
Whether it was due to a malfunction of a defective part on the golf cart, or another person's negligence, you need to get legal counsel from experienced attorneys like those working at Morgan & Morgan as soon as possible. The dedication of a lawyer can be instrumental in preparing a comprehensive legal case against someone else who left you with injuries. Many lower body injuries, soft tissue injuries, fractured bones, and concussions occur as a result of golf cart accidents. In addition to possible criminal consequences that may follow a golf cart accident, it is equally important to recognize the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit may be your only way to recover compensation after a serious accident. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney, such as one working at Morgan & Morgan is very important for understanding your next steps.
Does Car Insurance Cover Golf Cart Accidents?
Something you might not even consider the way you would with a road vehicle is what happens if you get involved in an accident on a motorized vehicle like a golf cart. Car insurance companies recognize that traditional vehicles and motorized vehicles are not the same things, which is why you may not be able to turn to car insurance to cover an accident with a cart. However, you might still be able to file a civil lawsuit as someone struck in a cart by a negligent driver or if you are a biker, pedestrian, or vehicle passenger who was hurt because of someone recklessly driving a golf cart.
What If I Believe Someone Else Has Caused My Injuries?
Investigating a golf cart accident is extremely important if you find yourself dealing with these consequences because you need to understand the ability to recover compensation. You could be entitled to damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and more.
The sooner that you consult with an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney, the more you'll have clarity over your next steps. The lawyers working at Morgan & Morgan have a broad range of experience associated with golf cart accidents in South Carolina and we are prepared to exercise our resources and knowledge to fully investigate your situation.
If you need more help with a golf cart accident, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.