University Vehicles

April 2013
Chapter 6

Section: 6:080

Use of University Vehicles

09/19/2022; 06/09/2023


For purposes of this policy, a University Vehicle is any licensed motor vehicle owned, rented, or leased by The Curators of the University and used primarily to transport people or property on roads, highways, or University property. Rental vehicles are considered University Vehicles when rented by Authorized Drivers and while used for official university business.

Under special circumstances, a non-University-owned vehicle may be provided by a supplier and permanently assigned to a University employee. The operation of these vehicles shall be consistent with this policy.

Operation of Vehicles on Official University Business

University Vehicles driven on official University business shall only be operated by authorized employees or when to the advantage of the University, by non-employees (“Authorized Drivers”). Authorized Drivers must have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated.

Authorized Drivers must notify their supervisor or the administrative head of the department or other organizational unit that authorized their driving on official University business if their driving privileges are suspended or revoked. At no time shall any driver operate a University vehicle on official University business if their license has been suspended or revoked.

Any individual who drives on official University business without a valid driver’s license may be ineligible for defense or protection by the University for any claims, causes of action, liabilities or damages arising from or occurring as a result therefrom.

The operation of any vehicle on official University business by a University employee in violation of this policy may also result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination of employment.

Administrative Responsibilities

The supervisor or administrative head of a department or other organizational unit having administrative custody of a University vehicle or whose employees drive vehicles on Official University Business is responsible for:

  • Assuring compliance with vehicle policies covering acquisition, assignment, disposal, maintenance, appropriate use, and record keeping.
  • Taking reasonable steps to ensure drivers of University vehicles are on official University business and have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated and are therefore Authorized Drivers for purposes of this policy. (Completion of the Driver Notification and Verification Form is an example of a reasonable step, absent notice that operator’s legal driving status has changed).
  • Reviewing requests and approving appropriate assignments of University vehicles to non-employees, in order that such Authorized Drivers may be protected under the provisions of University’s defense and protection plans.
  • Reviewing the annual mileage of each University-owned vehicle in the department and justifying the continued use of any vehicle driven fewer than 10,000 miles per year.

Commercial Driver’s License

A Commercial Driver’s License is necessary to operate:

  • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.
  • A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds.
  • A vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons (including the driver).
  • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards.


Passengers in University Vehicles are limited to employees, students or guests of the University traveling on official University business. Authorized passengers who are properly licensed to drive in accordance with the provisions above are authorized to assist in the driving of a University Vehicle.

Personal Use Prohibited

Personal use of a University Vehicle is not permitted. This includes:

  • Any trip or portion of a trip which is made for the purpose of participating in an activity or function that is not official University business.
  • Any trip or portion of a trip for which the expenses are not reimbursable by the University.
  • Any trip or portion of a trip which is made to transport an unauthorized passenger.


Established speed limits and all other traffic rules and regulations must be observed. The University is not responsible for traffic violations (including payment of any fines) by drivers on official University business. Operators must drive carefully, safely and courteously.

Alcohol and Controlled Substances

Operators shall not drive while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or any other substance that impairs their ability to drive. Transportation of controlled substances in University Vehicles is prohibited except when necessary in the conduct of official University business.

Seat Belts

While on official University business, all drivers and passengers shall wear seat belts when traveling in any University Vehicle which is equipped with passenger restraints. No vehicle shall be operated when the number of occupants exceeds the number of passenger restraints available. It shall be the individual occupants’ responsibility to wear their seat belts.

Cellular Telephones and/or Other Wireless Devices

Due to the risks associated with use of cellular telephones and/or other wireless devices for phone calls while driving, such use by drivers is discouraged. The vehicle should be pulled off the road and stopped for phone calls. Tue to the even greater risk, drivers shall not text, email or perform other similar tasks when operating a vehicle on official University business. Notwithstanding the above, drivers must always comply with applicable law and some jurisdictions prohibit or limit use of cellular telephones and/or other wireless devices.

Safety When Refueling – Consult the Risk and Insurance Management website for Safe Refueling.


Smoking is not permitted in any University vehicle.


Drivers of University Vehicles are subject to, and responsible for compliance with all University and governmental traffic and parking regulations. Except for vehicles assigned to an individual to be used in a commuting, the following parking regulations apply.

  • University owned vehicles not being used for out-of-town trips are to be returned each night to a valid parking place on the campus.
  • Provided the vehicle can be safely parked during the night, any vehicle being used for an out-of-town trip for which the scheduled departure time is before 8:00 am or the scheduled return time is after 5:00 pm may be taken by the Authorized Driver to their home or lodging place overnight.

Additional Resources:

UM Policy 24006

UM Risk Management

Driver Verification Form