Using Vehicles for University Business
Responsible University Officer(s):
- Vice President for University Services
- Associate Vice President - Auxiliary Services Administration
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. Smoking is not allowed in University Vehicles.
Drivers are strongly encouraged to refrain from use of mobile devices while driving University owned or rented vehicles. Use includes receiving or placing business or personal calls or any other access to digital media. 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. This includes personal vehicles being used on University business. 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. Texting, receiving or responding to email, or internet use is prohibited under Minnesota state law.
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 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 12- and 15 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-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 University policy: Traveling on University Business, 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, violations, etc., incurred.
All accidents involving University vehicles used for University business must be reported to Fleet Services, as set forth in Administrative Procedure: Reporting Accidents involving University Vehicles.
The Traffic Accident Review Board, located in Fleet Services, 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.
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 when departmental approval is obtained, and in accordance with this policy and associated procedures.
Visiting faculty members 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 him/her pay for a car directly.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
The University is authorized to and will direct drug and alcohol testing 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 vehicles utilized by University of Minnesota Police officers with specific unique assignments, as recommended by the Chief of Police and approved by the Vice President for University Services, are permitted as 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.
REASON FOR POLICY
To save the University dollars by negotiating contracts with lower rates, full insurance coverage and lower insurance deductibles. To establish who may use University owned, leased or rented vehicles, how the vehicles are to be operated and to minimize the University's transportation costs and insurance risk.
- 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 to coordinate application of and compliance with this policy.
- Eligibility Requirements
- To be an eligible driver, an individual must be a minimum of 19 years of age and provide proof of a valid U.S. or Canadian driver's license. International licenses are NOT acceptable.
- Sponsored Driver
- Any unpaid person under the direct supervision of a department head or above. Visiting faculty, staff or students under the supervision or direction of a University responsible authority (example: department head) are to be considered Sponsored Drivers. A letter authorizing Sponsored Drivers must be filed with Fleet Services before drivers are permitted to drive University vehicles. Sponsored drivers with international driver's license may NOT drive University owned vehicles.
- University Vehicle
- Vehicles owned, leased or rented by the University of Minnesota to conduct University business.
- Authorized Driver
- Meet the eligibility requirements specified. When necessary, keep logs of official and personal use. Report accidents to Fleet Services.
- Fleet Services
- Oversee the University’s 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 University vehicles, licensed trailers, and equipment. Ensure that all University-owned vehicles comply with applicable state, local and federal laws and regulations concerning vehicles and drivers. Ensure that all vehicles are safely maintained and have vehicle safety inspections every two years. Verify the driver’s license validity 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 Traffic Accident Review 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.
- Traffic Accident Review Board
- In coordination with the Assistant Director of Fleet Services, the board is responsible for providing oversight for safe and legal operation of University vehicles. Board responsibilities include oversight on reports of unsafe driving practices and motor vehicle accidents. For more information, visit Fleet Services.
- Designated Responsible Authority (DRA)
- Track changes in the department’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 letter authorizing Sponsored Drivers to Fleet Services before drivers are permitted to drive University vehicles.
- Administrative Policy: Drug Free University
- Administrative Policy: Property and Liability Insurance
- Administrative Policy: Traveling on University Business
- University of Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing Program for Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles available from Office of Occupational Health and Safety.
- 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