Are Go Karts Illegal In California?

You may have wondered how to operate a go kart safely in different environments ( other than just the typical go kart race track you are so accustomed to using, of course ) . Heck, you might have even learned of a great go kart model and class ( or two, he he he he heh…. if not, then just read another blog of mine, on this site, and I am sure I have talked about that in the past at some point ) . Now, it’s time to delve into the legality of go karts, particularly if you should so happen to live in the beautiful sunshiney state of CA. Now, first of all, in terms of basic recreational applications, such as in approved, licensed and publicly open go kart race tracks and courses, just know that these go karts and their use ( if you are within the proper age range and sign a waiver accepting full responsibility for the outcome, of course ) are 100 % acceptable to use. It’s legal, if you meet all the requirements of the vendor.

Now, in terms of what they call ‘off - road’, in this lovely state of California, it appears go karts are not legal. Off – road can apply to any use of the go kart in any street, traffic stop, traffic circle, highway or freeway, intersection, or even street sidewalk. So in other words, you can not drive these around in CA on any pavements, sidewalks, curbs, culdesacs, neighborhoods, public or private roads, speedways ( like I – 15 N, etc ) . You may be able to get away with doing so ( legally, of course ), if it’s on your own property or such ; just keep that in mind.

But as I said, when you are riding around in your own garage, indoor race track, or other indoor – outdoor privately owned space ( as long as it does not cross the line over into the neighbor’s property, etc ) , it is perfectly legal to drive your go kart in this state. Now also, according to state law, you must be 16 years of age or older ( no exceptions ) if you wish to drive one by yourself. If you wish to drive one and are younger, you must be accompanied by a legal guardian and responsible adult ( typically if you’re like 15 years old and dying to drive one for the first time, etc… but if you’re much younger, certain age limits can also apply ) .