The lateral displacement or drift may be the cause of the damage in the reinforced concrete (RC) columns under the seismic load. In many regulations, lateral displacement was limited according to the properties of columns. The design displacement limits may be represented indirectly through the material strain limits and the mechanical properties of columns. EUROCODE-8 and FEMA356 calculate displacement limits by taking into account the mechanical properties of columns. However, Turkey Building Earthquake Code (TBEC) determine displacement limits by taking into account the material strain limits. The aim of this study is to assess the seismic design codes for RC columns through an experimental study. The estimates of seismic design codes have been compared with the experimental results. It is observed that the lateral displacement capacities of columns estimated according to some seismic codes are not in agreement with the experimental results. Also, it is observed that TBEC is conservative in the context of the performance indicator of RC columns, compared to EUROCODE-8 and FEMA356. Moreover, in this study, plastic hinge length and effective stiffness of test elements were investigated.