Managing Permanently Assigned University Vehicles
Permanently assigned vehicles are University-owned vehicles under departmental control.
Departments with permanently assigned vehicles must track all staff and any authorized students driving University vehicles in the DRA database. Only authorized faculty, staff, or students may utilize a University vehicle for official University business. Drivers who are not affiliated with the University may drive a vehicle if sponsored by the department and upon the completion of an approved Sponsored Drivers Form (PDF).
Designated Responsible Authority (DRA)
Designated responsible authority (DRA) is assigned by the Department Head to conduct the following activities:
Full-time staff that drive permanently assigned vehicles have their driver license checked annually for validity by Fleet Services staff.
- Be familiar with the policies and related documents governing the use of University vehicles, and direct drivers to these documents.
- Maintain and update the DRA driver database as required by Fleet Services. This includes conducting a visual check for license validity upon hiring of the employee and annually throughout employment to ensure license is valid.
- Do not retain digital copies of licenses or transmit them electronically to protect driver’s privacy.
- Continually review changes in individual driver’s license status to ensure database accuracy and act as Fleet Service’s representative in removing invalid drivers from the database.
- Ensure that accident reports are filled out properly and submitted to Fleet Services within two business days.
- Promptly report vehicle safety issues to Fleet Services.
- Disseminate vehicle tabs and insurance cards.
- Assist in maintaining continuity of the program.
Department Vehicle Costs
In addition to vehicle acquisition costs, departments are also responsible for the cost of maintenance of Department-owned vehicles. Leased vehicles are provided to Departments with maintenance included in the monthly mileage fee.
The University of Minnesota is exempt from federal fuel taxes. To take advantage of this exemption, University vehicles should be fueled at the campus fueling locations whenever possible. See Fleet Services webpage. While away from campus, drivers should use a Fleet-issued fuel credit card.
Use of the University fuel pumps and the fuel credit card are the only two means by which the University receives an exemption from federal fuel taxes.
When fueling a vehicle with the fuel credit card, select a self-service pump and the lowest octane fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
Accidents while driving University vehicles are the responsibility of the Department. Accident reports are due within two (2) business days to Fleet Services. The following deductibles will apply:
- Departments are responsible for the cost of accident repairs or the $500 deductible, whichever is less.
- If an accident occurs and the driver’s license is invalid, the Department will be subject to a $2,500 deductible instead of the $500 deductible.
- If an accident occurs and the driver is not listed as an authorized driver in the driver database or approved as a Sponsored Driver, the Department will be subject to a $2,500 deductible instead of the $500 deductible.
Permanently assigned vehicles undergo a safety inspection by a certified mechanic every two years for license renewal. Inspections are available through the Fleet Services Maintenance Shop.
- Vehicles located on System campuses and stations are to be inspected by a certified mechanic. Once inspected, a Fleet Services inspection report is submitted for staff review. All applicable vehicles are subject to inspection. Inspection documentation is submitted to Fleet Services on the Twin Cities campus prior to license tabs being issued in February of every even numbered year.
- Twin Cities campus vehicles are to be inspected by the Fleet Services Maintenance Shop or a certified mechanic. All applicable vehicles are subject to inspection. Inspection documentation is submitted to Fleet Services on the Twin Cities campus prior to license tabs being issued in February of even-numbered years.
- Vehicles not passing inspection will not be licensed and may not be driven until specified repairs have been completed.
- New license tabs will not be issued for vehicles that do not pass inspection or have no inspection report on file.
- Authorized Drivers are required to immediately report any known equipment or vehicle safety defect to their DRA and/or supervisor. It is the responsibility of the DRA or supervisor to ensure the defect is investigated and corrected.
Rules for Operating University Vehicles
University vehicles are highly visible symbols of the University and are used to support the University’s mission statewide. Drivers should always remember that they are ambassadors of the University at all times when behind the wheel of a University vehicle.
The following are rules for operating University Vehicles:
- Follow all laws.
- Drivers are prohibited from handheld use of mobile devices in a University-owned vehicle, as outlined in Administrative Policy: Using Vehicles for University Business. A No Buzz Bag is available for every University vehicle (this bag blocks cell signals when a phone is placed inside of it).
- Refrain from speeding.
- 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. No smoking is allowed in any University vehicle.
- University vehicles may park in authorized parking spots only (an example of an unauthorized spot would be a handicap space with no ADA hang tag or an Official University Vehicle spot without a hang tag).
- Drivers are responsible for all traffic violations, parking tickets, and fines from unpaid tolls incurred while driving a University vehicle.
- Drivers with complaints verified by Fleet Services may be required to appear before the Vehicle Safety Board.