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.
Employees are strongly encouraged to pull off the road to a safe location so that they may safely use a cell phone or other device.
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. 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 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 required 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 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.
Regents and Faculty Emeriti
Members of the Board of Regents and retired faculty with Emeritus status are permitted to use University vehicles for official University business.
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 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. 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 Administrative Appendix: Rules for Permanently Assigned University 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 Administrative Procedure: 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.