Vehicle Use for University Business

University Policy: 07-026 Vehicle Use for University Business
Last Revised:
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Finance & Administration
Responsible Office: Transportation Services
Download the Policy: (PDF)
**The PDF is the official text of the policy. If there are any incongruities between the text of the HTML version and the text within the PDF file, the PDF will be considered accurate and overriding.**

1. Policy Statement

1.1. This policy governs the safe and responsible use of vehicles when used for Official University Business by Authorized Drivers. This policy applies to the use of University Vehicles, Private Vehicles, Hired Vehicles, Federal Vehicles, or any other vehicle owned by a third party when used for Official University Business.

2. Reason for Policy

2.1. To guide safe and responsible management of vehicles used for Official University Business.

3. Scope & Audience

3.1. This policy applies at all times to anyone managing, using, or operating University Vehicles and any other vehicle owned by a third party when in use for Official University Business.

4. Definitions

4.1. Acceptable Driver License: A regular, temporary, or commercial license that is:

4.1.1. Lawful, current, and valid;

4.1.2. Issued by the state or country where the driver resides;

4.1.3. Legal to use in the jurisdiction where the driver is driving; and,

4.1.4. Valid for the type of driving.

4.2. Authorized Driver: A person who has been approved to drive on Official University Business. To become an Authorized Driver, a driver must:

4.2.1. Be 18 years of age or older; legally responsible for his or her actions, and subject to the university’s direction and control;

4.2.2. Hold an Acceptable Driver License;

4.2.3. Qualify to drive under these rules and any other applicable rules or policies of the university;

4.2.4. Have permission from the university to drive on Official University Business by submitting a driver authorization form to Transportation Services prior to driving on Official University Business; and

4.2.5. Be a current university employee, a university volunteer or intern, a currently enrolled university student; or authorized through an active intergovernmental agreement.

4.3. Occupational Driver: A type of driver for whom driving is designated as an essential function in their position description regardless of how frequently driving occurs.

4.4. University Vehicle: A motor or alternative-powered vehicle that can be registered for on-road use including, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, trailers and low-speed vehicles owned by Oregon State University. "University Vehicle" does not include boats or other watercraft.

4.5. Private Vehicle: A motor or alternative-powered vehicle that can be registered for on-road use including, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, trailers and low-speed vehicles and is used primarily for the private purpose of the person who owns it or of a person otherwise having the right to use it. Private Vehicles may occasionally be used for Official University Business.

4.6. Hired Vehicle: A motor-powered or alternative-powered conveyance including, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, trailers and low-Speed vehicles that is leased, hired, rented or otherwise controlled for use on Official University Business.

4.7. Federal Vehicle: Any type of motor-powered or alternative-powered conveyance that can be registered for on-road use including, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, trailers and low-speed Vehicles owned by the federal government.

4.8. Low Speed Vehicle: A four wheeled motor vehicle with a top speed of more than 20 miles per hour but not more than 25 miles per hour, including golf carts and utility vehicles.

4.9. Authorized Passenger: A passenger in a University Vehicle, Private Vehicle, Hired Vehicle, Federal Vehicle, or any other vehicle owned by a third party used for Official University Business. Passengers are only authorized to ride in University Vehicles or Federal Vehicles when participating in Official University Business.

4.10. Official University Business: Any activity that directly provides a benefit to the university's educational, research and public service objectives, and for which all or part of the expenses may be funded or reimbursed by a unit, department, or program of Oregon State University. Affiliated Student Organization activities are not Official University Business. For the purposes of this policy, Official University Business includes vehicle uses allowed through a valid contract or agreement.

4.11. University Volunteer: University Volunteers are appointed to do business under university direction and control and for the benefit of the University. University volunteers must have a signed Conditions of Volunteer Service form on file. People may not volunteer for the primary purpose of justifying their use of a University Vehicle.

5. Responsibilities & Procedures

5.1 Driver Management

5.1.1 Only Authorized Drivers may operate vehicles for Official University Business.

5.1.2 Occupational Drivers must be Authorized Drivers and also adhere to university policy 05-030 Motor Vehicle History Check and complete required drivers training.

5.1.3 Drivers of vehicles with a seating capacity for eight or more passengers must complete additional training requirements and not exceed 55 miles per hour. Use of 15-passenger vans is prohibited.

5.1.4 University students must not drive vehicles for Official University Business between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless driving as an employee or with advance permission from the authorizing department.

5.1.5 The university may request a motor vehicle history check at any time and must do so when the legal status of a driver license or driving record is suspected to be out of compliance with the requirements of an Authorized Driver.

5.1.6 Drivers who fail to meet the definition of “Authorized Driver” at any time during their authorization period must immediately notify their supervisor or the person who authorized their driving, who then must share this information with University Human Resources for university employees, and Transportation Services for all other drivers. Failure to report may result in the loss of the driver’s privileges.

5.1.7 Drivers are personally responsible for any driving or parking infractions or fines as a result of their driving.

5.2 Vehicle Use

5.2.1 University Vehicles are for Official University Business only, and all personal use is prohibited except as specifically authorized by this policy. Drivers may be personally liable for all actions resulting from the unauthorized use of a University Vehicle to include any damage to the vehicle or harm to other parties or property connected with the misuse.

5.2.2 Drivers must make rest stops of at least 15 minutes for every two hours of driving. A second authorized relief driver is recommended when traveling over four hours in one day and required when traveling over eight hours in one day.

5.2.3 Drivers must operate vehicles in accordance with university Standards and Policies and with all other applicable laws or rules where the vehicle is being operated. International, federal, and state law shall supersede any provision of this policy to the extent that complying with the policy would violate the law.

5.2.4 Operable seat belts are required for every person in the vehicle. Passengers may not ride in cargo areas.

5.2.5 Transportation Services may establish a vanpool program in which University Vehicles may be used by university employees as commute vehicles, provided that an adequate fee is charged to reimburse the University for all associated costs.

5.2.6 Written parental consent is necessary and adequate supervision must be provided when transporting any minor as part of a university youth program, including avoiding one-on-one interactions as outlined in Section 5.1 of university policy 07-040 Safety of Minors.

5.3 Use of Private Vehicles for Official University Business

5.3.1 The use of a University Vehicle is recommended over the use of a Private Vehicle for Official University Business.

5.3.2 Drivers using Private Vehicles for Official University Business must submit a driver’s authorization form to Transportation Services prior to driving on Official University Business and must comply with the applicable sections of this policy.

5.3.3 Employees who operate a Private Vehicle for Official University Business must carry proof of personal auto liability insurance. Employees must carry liability insurance with minimum limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident, uninsured motorist, and personal injury protection, as required by the State of Oregon. Employees should consult with their personal insurance agent or insurance carrier to determine if a special endorsement for business use is necessary.

5.3.4 When driving a Private Vehicle for Official University Business, the individual’s personal auto liability coverage is primary and the university liability insurance applies as excess insurance only after personal auto liability insurance limits have been exhausted. The university will not pay an employee for damage to a Private Vehicle, or for deductibles, or for increased insurance rates due to an accident occurring while on Official University Business.

5.3.5 The transportation of students and minors in Private Vehicles when traveling on Official University Business is discouraged.

5.3.6 Employees who are approved to use their Private Vehicle for Official University Business will receive a mileage allowance for such usage.

5.4 Vehicle Storage and Parking

5.4.1 Parking on university property is regulated by university standard 07-025 Vehicle Use and Parking.

5.4.2 University Vehicles shall be stored at sites owned, leased, or controlled by the university, except during travel, when used for authorized vanpool program, or as otherwise allowed by this policy or contract.

5.4.3 To the fullest extent practical, a University Vehicle parked overnight must be parked off the public street and in a reasonably secure setting.

5.4.4 Use of University Vehicles for residence-to-office travel is not authorized and shall be considered vehicle misuse, except for authorized vanpool program use, or with supervisor’s written approval when one of the following is true:

a. A trip requires a driver to depart during hours that make it impossible or impractical to pick up or return the vehicle to university property on the same day; or

b. Assigned, normal duties require the driver to frequently travel to urgent, unscheduled fieldwork after hours. The mere possibility of being called out is not sufficient. Call-outs must actually occur with justifiable frequency; or

c. The driver’s residence is their official duty station from which at least 70% of work time is spent in the field; or

d. It will reduce paid time to permit a driver to park a University Vehicle at their residence while on temporary assignment away from the duty station; or

e. Other circumstances caused by Official University Business that will reduce direct costs.

5.5 University Vehicle Fueling and Fuel Management

5.5.1 University Vehicles must be fueled at university-owned and -operated sites or other approved fuel providers and using a current fuel vendor issued by Transportation Services.

5.5.2 Drivers must record the following data when fueling: the day, time, mileage, location, fuel type, gallons dispensed, and, if the vehicle is fueled at a university-owned and -operated site, the cost of fueling.

5.6 Accidents and Damage Reporting

5.6.1 Drivers involved in an accident while driving any vehicle for Official University Business must follow all accident, injury reporting, and claim procedures, including:

a. If driving a University Vehicle, complete the applicable documents in the Accident Report Packet which can be found in every University Vehicle.

b. Report all minor vehicle accidents or vehicle damage to their department, Transportation Services and Insurance and Risk Management Services within 24 hours from the time of the accident.

c. Report serious accidents, including those that result in injuries, immediately or as soon as possible, to their department, Transportation Services, and Insurance and Risk Management Services.

d. Report accidents that occur in Oregon and result in injury or damages as specified in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 811.720 to the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) of the Oregon Department of Transportation.  If the driver does not or cannot report the accident, the supervisor must report accidents that occur in Oregon and result in injury or damages as specified in ORS 811.720. Authorized Drivers in other states or countries shall follow the reporting requirements of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.

e. Contact law enforcement immediately in the event of an accident that results in a serious injury, death, non-drivability of the vehicle, alleged hit-and-run, theft, break-in, or vandalism.

5.7 Insurance for University Vehicles

5.7.1 The university is self-insured under ORS 352.087, with commercial liability policies providing excess liability coverage, as well as insurance for physical damage to University Vehicles (physical damage coverage is not provided for Federal Vehicles). Automobile liability insurance provides protection to the university from third party claims for damages due to bodily injury or property damage arising from the operation of vehicles used for Official University Business. The coverage for physical damage provides financial protection for repairs or replacement of a University Vehicle.

5.7.2 The university insurance program is not equivalent to commercial automobile policies and does not include personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. When an Authorized Driver is approved to drive a University Vehicle to conduct Official University Business, the university’s liability insurance is primary.

5.7.3 Authorized Drivers and Authorized Passengers who are university employees traveling in the course and scope of their employment are covered by workers’ compensation for work-related injuries. University students or volunteers are responsible for their own medical costs. Individuals who are Authorized Drivers or Authorized Passengers pursuant to a contract or other agreement are responsible for their own medical costs unless the contract or other agreement provides otherwise.

5.7.4 The university has an internal deductible applied to automobile claims. When a third-party causes damage to a University Vehicle, the university will attempt to recover damage costs from the third party. Authorized Drivers must ask the third party for their insurance information and provide that information to the Insurance and Risk Management Services office.

5.7.5 Drivers should contact Insurance and Risk Management Services about any vehicle use outside of the United States prior to leaving the country.

5.8 University Vehicle Procurement

5.8.1 When acquiring a University Vehicle, consider safety features, price concessions, shared-use opportunities, and replacement planning needs. Uphold university strategic goals, particularly those for climate action, by prioritizing low and zero emissions vehicles, including electric vehicles.

5.8.2 Used vehicles shall only be purchased when the purchase amount is lower than the cost of a new vehicle through a state contract or other cooperative contract.

5.8.3 University Vehicles shall be registered in the name of Oregon State University and licensed in accordance with the Procurement Manual. A change to the vehicle custodian must be shared with Fixed Assets Property Management.

5.9 Vehicle Identification. Graphics and text for University Vehicle identification markings must follow University Brand Guidelines.

5.10 University Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

5.10.1 Vehicles used for Official University Business are required to have passed a safety inspection by a certified provider within the previous 12 months.

5.10.2 Unless authorized by Transportation Services, drivers may not conduct their own maintenance or repairs on University Vehicles

5.11 Title Transfer for University Vehicle Disposal or Replacement. Titles need to be signed for transfer of ownership when University Vehicles are disposed.

6. Forms & Tools

6.1. University motor pool Driver Authorization Form:….

6.2. Insurance and Risk Management Accident Report Form and Packet:

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. None.

8. Related Information

8.1. University Policy 05-030 Motor Vehicle History Check:

8.2. University Standard 07-025 Vehicle Use and Parking:

8.3. Vehicle accidents and insurance information:

8.3.1. Motor vehicle damage:

8.3.2. Public incident report for injuries:

8.4. Motor Pool vehicle rental policies and procedures:

8.4.1. General policies and procedures:

8.4.2. Motor pool accident and roadside assistance:….

8.4.3. University motor pool van safety:

8.4.4. Approved fuel providers:

8.5. Procurement Services standards, policies and rules for vehicle acquisition, including information on state and cooperative vehicle purchasing contracts:

8.6. Insurance and Risk Management, “Who is a Volunteer?”

8.7. ORS 811.720 When accident must be reported to Department of Transportation:

8.8. University brand guidelines:

8.9. Safety of Minors:

8.10. University boating and small boat operations:

8.11. Oregon Revised Statutes:

8.11.1. ORS 811.720

8.11.2. ORS 352.087

9. History

9.1. Adopted: Oregon State University adopted University Policy 576-035 State-Owned Vehicles from Oregon Administrative Rule 576-035 State-Owned Vehicles on July 1, 2014.

9.2. Revised: University Policy 576-035 State-Owned Vehicles was revised and renumbered as University Policy 07-026 Vehicle Use for University Business on October 17, 2022.

9.3. Next scheduled review date: October 2025.

10. Website


11. Contacts

Transportation Services

Insurance and Risk Management Services