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Using Vehicles for University Business

Effective Date: March 1995
Last Update: February 2010
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for University Services
Policy Owner:
  • Interim Assistant Director - Fleet and Transit Services
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


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 they are acting as a representative of the University.

Drivers are personally responsible for all traffic offense fines, violations, etc., incurred.

The Traffic Accident Review Board in Fleet Services may review situations of unsafe driving practices including motor vehicle accident(s). Results 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.

Use of University Vehicles

Departments must authorize use of University vehicles. Drivers must meet eligibility requirements. Smoking is not allowed in University Vehicles. All accidents involving University vehicles used for University business must be reported to Fleet Services, as set forth in Administrative Procedure: Reporting Accidents.

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 vendors (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

Departments renting or leasing vehicles to transport 12 or more persons are prohibited from the use of 12-and 15-passenger vans. Read the October 2010 announcement on the phase out of these vehicles from the University Fleet. 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 by the University 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.

Special Situations

Student Drivers
Students are permitted to drive University vehicles only when departmental approval is obtained, and in accordance with this policy and associated procedures.

Visiting Faculty
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 Workplace.


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.



There are no forms associated with this policy.



Vehicle Rental Rates for Twin Cities Campus

For information about rates at one of the coordinate campuses, call the appropriate number listed in the Contacts section of this policy.



Primary Contact(s)
University Vehicles
Fleet Services
612-624-5587 (fax)
Vehicle Rental
Twin Cities - Fleet Services
612-624-5587 (fax)
Vehicle Rental - Duluth
218-726-6530 (fax)
Vehicle Rental - Crookston
Facilities and Operations
Vehicle Rental - Morris
320-589-6158 (fax)
Vehicle Rental - Rochester
Rochester Facilities Management
507-258-8004 (fax)
Big Ten Rental Contract
Travel Services
612-624-3410 (fax)
Vehicle Lease / Purchase
Bill Stahlmann
612-625-3303 (fax)


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.
Parking and Transportation Services (PTS)
A self-supporting unit of the University of Minnesota within Auxiliary Services. PTS supports alternatives to the single occupant vehicle and promotes programs to encourage the University community to walk, bike, carpool or take the bus.
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.
All drivers of 15-Passenger vans are required to attend a University certification class conducted by Fleet Services.  See the October 2010 announcement related to 15-Passenger Vans.
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. 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. 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 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 PTS-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.
Parking and Transportation Services
Parking and Transportation Services is responsible for the administration, operation and maintenance of reliable and efficient transportation services on the Twin Cities campus including transit, parking, fleet, streets, walkways and way-finding.



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

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Last modified on August 5, 2014