Do I Need a License to Drive a Go Kart? 4 Things You Should Know

Driving a Go Kart is probably one of the most thrilling hobbies that one can have. It’s a fun activity yet it also needs a ton of skills and knowledge.

Hence, it’s just right that you acquaint yourself with all the necessary details about the sport. This especially includes being knowledgeable about legal matters.

One of the most common questions that beginners have revolves around having a license. Most possibly, you’re also here because you typed in “Do you need a license to drive a go kart?” on Google.

Do you need a license to drive a go kart?

Do you need a license to drive a go kart? For a short answer, you won’t need any kind of license to drive a Go Kart. You can feel free to use the vehicle under normal circumstances wherein the activity is on a race track.

The thing, though, is the question can get tricky if we take various situations into account. To keep you from getting confused along the way, we prepared some more details that you should know in this article.

When Will You Need a License for Driving a Go Kart?

You will need a license to drive a Go Kart only if:

a. You plan on starting your professional Go Kart racing career

Participating in professional Go Kart races, locally or internationally, will require a license. You specifically need to own a karting license. This is as per the guidelines of the Commission Internationale de Karting or the CIK.

Note that the said karting license comes in different grades depending on what race you will join. Make sure that you look into this if you belong in this category.

b. You want to drive your Go Kart on public roads and places

Driving Go Kart on any road that involves traffic and interaction with other vehicles will also require a license. Here, you will need both a karting license and a driving license.

This instance, however, is rare. Only a few countries like Tokyo and Tennessee allow this, and under special conditions, at that. Check in with your country’s laws before you apply for a license.

All in all, if you’re only driving your Go Kart around a race track, then there’s no need for a license.

Some companies require a valid ID. Some also require a waiver, especially if you own your kart, but that’s it. It’s rare for Go Kart tracks to look for a license if it’s a regular leisure use.

Is It Possible to Drive a Go Kart on the Road?

Like what the previous sections said, it’s possible to drive a Go Kart on the road if, and only if, the country at hand allows it. The usual requirements in this scenario involve:

  • Having a fully-equipped Go Kart (having side mirrors, license plate, horn, and other necessities)
  • Following a certain speed requirement
  • Applying modifications on engines to fit a country’s criteria

If not, then your only choice is to use your kart in private properties and valid race tracks. Going against the laws can result in legal issues and possibly even road accidents.

Where Can You Legally Drive a Go Kart?

A regular Go Kart can legally drive in private properties like your own, empty land, yard (if it’s spacious enough), and of course, race tracks.

Basically, the rule of thumb is: If the only things that you can interact with are other karts, then it’s most probably legal to drive in the place. If the subjects involve unknowing people and traffic vehicles, then the answer is you can’t. This applies unless country laws state otherwise.

What is the Age Requirement to Apply for a Go Kart License?

Most karting license types require applicants to be at least 18 years old. Some allow a minimum age requirement of 16, but parents will need to vouch for their consent.


To wrap it up, a license is not necessary if you’re going to drive a Go Kart in accredited race tracks and properties. However, tables will turn once you decide to race professionally or you plan on driving in public places.

On a more important note, keep in mind that public driving requires separate research. This will also require a license, but you still need to know if it’s legal in your country or not. Doing so will help you figure out the next legal steps that you have to take.

Note that laws vary from state to state. Each race track also has its own set of rules. Remember this when looking into the certain requirements to drive a Go Kart in your place.

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