University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Using Vehicles for University Business

Policy Statement

Faculty, staff, students and sponsored drivers should use University owned, leased or rented vehicles for University business, when the cost and convenience are acceptable. University vehicle drivers must meet eligibility requirements and agree to operate University vehicles in a safe and responsible manner, with respect for other drivers and with awareness that they are acting as a representative of the University. University owned, leased, or rented vehicles may only be used for official University business.

Use of University Vehicles

Departments must authorize use of University vehicles. Drivers must meet eligibility requirements, including possessing a valid University identification card (UCard) or signed Sponsored Driver Form. Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, is not allowed in University vehicles.

Drivers, of either University vehicles or personal vehicles used on University Business, are prohibited from using handheld mobile devices while driving. ”Use” includes holding a mobile device to receive or place business or personal calls or any other access to digital media in alignment with Minnesota state law. 

Drivers, of either University vehicles or personal vehicles used on University Business, are required to follow state law, and are encouraged to demonstrate safe driving and riding practices. 

A personal vehicle is considered used on University business whenever an employee is traveling between locations during their workday, regardless of whether or not the trip is reimbursed by the University. This does not include commuting to or from the University job site and personal residence. State law, where more restrictive, supersedes this policy.

Use of a Rented or Leased Vehicle for University Business

If it is necessary to rent or lease a vehicle, departments are encouraged to use Fleet Services for local rentals or work through contracted suppliers (see Administrative Procedure: Renting or Leasing a Vehicle for University Business). If a vehicle is not available using these options, drivers should consider whether it is appropriate to use a personal vehicle before leasing one from a company that does not have a contract with the University.

Renting or Leasing Passenger Vans

The use of 12- and 15-passenger vans is prohibited. For the health and welfare of University community members, Fleet Services recommends renting/leasing the appropriate number of 7 or 10 passenger vans or contracting with a professional transit service.

Use of Personal Vehicle for University Business

Departments may authorize drivers to use a personal or other private vehicle for official University business. Employees who are authorized drivers will be reimbursed in accordance with Administrative Policies: Traveling on University Business and Business Expenses, for University business-related expenses provided the following conditions are met:

  • The driver must be prepared to provide proof of personal automobile insurance.
  • The driver/vehicle's personal auto insurance provides primary insurance with minimum liability coverage meeting state law or of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per incident.
  • The driver is responsible for the personal auto insurance deductible(s).
  • A University accident report must be filed if there are personal injuries to anyone involved in the accident or if non-University property is damaged, other than the driver's vehicle.

Traffic Offenses and Accidents

Drivers are personally responsible for all traffic offense fines and violations, fines associated with unpaid tolls, etc., incurred.

All accidents involving University vehicles must be reported to Fleet Services within two business days, as set forth in Administrative Procedure: Reporting Accidents involving University Vehicles. The driver’s university department is responsible for liability and physical damage losses if no accident report is filed.

The Vehicle Safety Board (VSB) may review situations of unsafe driving practices including motor vehicle accident(s). The outcome of these reviews may result in recommended driver training or withdrawal of the privilege of driving University vehicles, in addition to any departmental and/or human resources consequences.

All drivers registered in the DRA database (database of all eligible drivers) must self-report to supervisor and Fleet Services instances of driving violations resulting in loss or revocation of driving privileges for any reason regardless of whether incidents occurred personally or professionally.

Special Situations

Regents and Faculty Emeriti

Members of the Board of Regents and retired faculty with Emeriti status are permitted to use University vehicles for official University business.

Student Drivers

Students are permitted to drive University vehicles only if they are currently registered in the Designated Responsible Authority (DRA) database by their department’s DRA, and in accordance with this policy and associated procedures.

Visiting Faculty

Visiting faculty members may drive University vehicles for University business. Visiting faculty are not allowed to use University vehicles for any use other than official University business. Visiting faculty must have a Sponsored Driver Form on File with Fleet Services to be eligible to drive. If a visiting faculty member needs a car for non-official use, the department should pay a stipend to the visiting faculty member and have them pay for a car directly.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

The University is authorized to and will direct drug and alcohol testing on covered employees (e.g. drivers who need a CDL to perform their job duties) pursuant to Drug and Alcohol Policy for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Transit Administration covered employees of the University. See Administrative Policy: Drug Free University.


University of Minnesota police officers with specific unique assignments requiring the use of University vehicles, as recommended by the Chief of Police and approved by the Vice President for University Services, are permitted to take home vehicles under this policy. Such approval is limited to the duration of the assignment, and must be documented in writing and maintained in the officer’s personnel file. Use of the vehicle is restricted to the officer’s commute and official UMPD business.

Permanently Assigned Vehicles

Individuals or departments with permanently assigned vehicles must follow Administrative Procedure: Managing Permanently Assigned University Vehicles and Appendix: Rules for Permanently Assigned University Vehicles.

Utility Vehicles

Utility vehicles are motorized vehicles that transport people, equipment, or supplies off or on a roadway, generally at low speeds (no more than 25 miles per hour) and include golf carts, all-terrain style vehicles and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). Operators must follow requirements outlined in Appendix: Standards and Safe Operation of Utility Vehicles.

Reason for Policy

To establish requirements for the use of University-owned, -leased, and -rented vehicles; develop procedures and rules for safe vehicle operation; and minimize the University’s transportation costs, including deductibles and insurance risk.


Primary ContactMelina Helgeson612-625-8020[email protected]
University VehiclesFleet Services612-625-3033[email protected] 
612-624-5587 (fax)
Vehicle RentalTwin Cities - Fleet Services612-625-3033[email protected] 
612-624-5587 (fax)
Vehicle Rental - DuluthDuluth Fleet Rental218-726-8292[email protected]
218-726-6530 (fax)
Vehicle Rental - CrookstonFacilities and Operations218-281-6287[email protected]
Vehicle Rental - MorrisFleet Operations320-589-6100[email protected] 
320-589-6158 (fax)
Vehicle Rental - RochesterRochester Facilities Management507-258-8217[email protected]
Big Ten Rental ContractUniversity Travel612-624-2828[email protected]
Vehicle Lease/PurchaseRob Spector612-280-1674[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Vice President for University Services
  • Interim Associate Vice President Auxiliary Services
  • Melina Helgeson
    Assistant Director, Fleet Services


Authorized Driver

Employee of the University of Minnesota or Sponsored Driver who meets eligibility requirements and has been authorized by the department to drive for University business.

Designated Responsible Authority (DRA)

Employee of the University of Minnesota assigned responsibility by department head of departments which have drivers of permanently assigned vehicles to coordinate application of and compliance with this policy.

Eligibility Requirements

To be an eligible driver, an individual must be a minimum of 18 years of age and provide proof of a valid U.S. (including all U.S. Territories) or Canadian driver's license. All other international licenses are NOT acceptable.

Sponsored Driver

Visiting faculty, staff, or students under the supervision or direction of a University responsible authority (e.g.: department head) are considered to be Sponsored drivers. Sponsored drivers may also include drivers contracted by the University to conduct University business, who meet eligibility requirements. A Sponsored Driver form must be filed with Fleet Services before drivers are permitted to drive University vehicles. Sponsored drivers with another international driver’s license (Canada permitted) may NOT drive University-vehicles.

University Vehicle

Vehicles owned, leased, or rented by the University of Minnesota to conduct University business.

Vehicle Safety Board

Body which establishes guidelines, rules and reviews accidents and safety concerns identified, to ensure the safe operation of system wide University Vehicles at all times. 


Authorized Driver

Meet the eligibility requirements specified. When necessary, keep logs of official and personal use. Report accidents of University vehicles to Fleet Services within two business days.

Fleet Services

  • Oversee the University’s titled and licensed vehicle fleet, including purchase and maintenance and related records management.
  • Ensure that all University-owned vehicles are properly titled, licensed, decaled, and insured. Hold the title to all fleet University vehicles, and licensed trailers.
  • Ensure that all fleet University-owned vehicles comply with applicable state, local, and federal laws and regulations concerning vehicles and drivers.
  • Ensure that fleet vehicles are safely maintained and have vehicle safety inspections every two years.
  • Verify the validity of driver licenses of all full-time drivers of University vehicles on an annual basis.
  • Maintain the Twin Cities campus rental pool.
  • Maintain the University's vehicle leasing operation and coordinate with the Vehicle Safety Board.

University Departments

Contact Fleet Services before buying, leasing, or insuring vehicles to ensure proper licensing and registration. Pay service fees associated with vehicle lease/rental/ownership. Pay accident-related costs that are not covered by insurance. Appoint a designated responsible authority (DRA) for any department with permanently assigned vehicles.

Vehicle Safety Board

In coordination with the Fleet Services Assistant Director, the board is responsible for providing oversight for safe and legal operation of University vehicles. Board responsibilities include oversight of reports of unsafe driving practices and motor vehicle accidents with liability risk. For more information, visit Fleet Services website.

Designated Responsible Authority (DRA)

Track changes in the department DRA’s driver pool and assist in ensuring that all drivers attend training as needed. Disseminate vehicle information and ensure that all accidents are reported to Fleet Services. For sponsored drivers, submit form authorizing sponsored drivers to Fleet Services before drivers are permitted to drive University vehicles.

Related Information



June 2023 - Comprehensive review. Changes made reflect: updated language for tickets received from a camera based issuing system, added language for permanently assigned vehicles to certain employee positions, added language to include use of car allowances, changed language to change how an employee is treated in the authorized driver database in relationship to accident frequency, added or changed language for clarity of meaning.


November 2019 - Comprehensive Review.

  1. Includes a new statue on handheld mobile device ban.
  2. Institutes a requirement to self-report loss or revocation of driving privileges.
  3. Clarifies requirements for those eligible to drive a University vehicle.


April 2015 - Minor revision. Added language related to unique situations where policy officers with specific assignments may take home vehicles. This addition now aligns policy with practice.


October 2014 - Comprehensive Review. Minor Revision. Changes encourages drivers to refrain from use of cell phones, personal communication or other mobile devices, while driving University owned, personal or rental vehicle on University business. Reiterates that University vehicles may only be used for official University business.


February 2010 - Updated and clarified policy statement and responsibilities related to University business use of a: University vehicle; rented or leased vehicle; or personal vehicle. Added procedure for reporting accidents; updated Traffic Accident Review Board information (previously called the Vehicle Loss Control Board); added FAQ; removed references to Purchasing Services Big Ten Contract which no longer exists.


April 2007 - Updated Responsibilites section.


October 2004 - Updated Consacts section.


August 2004: Updated Contacts section.


May 2004: Added link to travel policy for purpose of referencing mileage rate.


January 2003 - Mileage rate updated to 36 ¢ Policy Reason updated to say that Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance should be purchased when renting a vehicle not from University Fleet Services. Information about Fleet Services' overflow contract added to the Renting a Vehicle procedure. Added Guide for Using a Vehicle for University Business to appendices.


January 2002 - Mileage rate updated to 36.5 ¢


January 2001 - Mileage rate updated to 34.5 ¢


January 2000 - Mileage rate updated from 31 ¢ to 32.5 ¢


April 1999 - Mileage rate updated from 32.5 ¢ to 31 ¢


January 1998 - Mileage rate updated to 32.5 ¢ from 31.5 ¢

Modification of Titles:

March 1995


March 1995


Use of University Vehicles

Adopted for Policy Book:

March 1992