Original Issuance Date: October 31, 2016

Last Revision Date: October 31, 2016

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide UW System risk managers and other applicable personnel with the driving requirements that must be met in order for University officers, employees, or agents to be authorized to use a University owned, leased, or rented vehicle or a personally owned vehicle while on University business. These specifications give each institution the ability to evaluate and screen drivers with the goal of assuring State automobile liability protection and reducing uncertainty and loss from vehicle claims. The policy also outlines related provisions for the use of vehicles while on University business.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Associate Vice President for Administrative Services

3. Scope

This policy applies to any individual driving on University sponsored business. This policy does not apply to the Commercial Driver’s License Program.

4. Background

As described in the State Self-Funded Liability Program (SSLP) section of the UW System Risk Management manual, University officers, employees, and agents are provided liability protection while acting within the scope of their employment or agency through the SSLP. This includes those actions which arise out of the use of a vehicle while on University business. To control the liability exposure that vehicle use generates, UW System administrators and/or institutional risk managers must monitor the use of vehicles while on University business. This exposure is best controlled through the use of a systematic driver approval and authorization program at each institution.

Vehicle use touches a wide variety of issues which affect the liability, property, and worker’s compensation programs of the University. This policy addresses driver authorization and vehicle use requirements while driving on University business. UW System Administrative Procedure 615.A, Driver Authorization Process and Requirements, provides further specificity.

The State of Wisconsin has established the Fleet Driver and Management Policies and Procedures Manual. These policies and procedures were consulted in the development of this policy. In some cases the UW System policy is more restrictive than the State’s policy. Individuals driving on University business should be familiar with the contents of the manual.

5. Definitions

Agents: Students and volunteers who have been approved by the University to drive on University-sponsored business.

Authorized Driver: University officers, employees, and agents that have a Vehicle Use Agreement application on file and are approved to perform University business as described in section 6.A of this policy.

Personally Assigned Vehicle: An owned or leased State vehicle assigned to an individual University employee for University business use.

University Vehicle: A University owned, rented, or leased vehicle or any State Fleet vehicle.

Additional Authorized Driver(s): Drivers that are added to the vehicle rental agreement by the University renter at vehicle pick-up per section 6.B.I.e of this policy

Valid Driver’s License: Operator’s Driver’s License as defined by state of origin. Specific restrictions and requirements on the usage of out-of-state and international licenses and permits can be found in section 4.B of UW System Administrative Procedure 615.A, Driver Authorization Process and Requirements.

6. Policy Statement

A. Driver Authorization

I. University Vehicles

Driver Authorization is mandatory for University officers, employees, or agents who are required to drive on University business and who are using a University Vehicle. The University Driver Authorization Standards are outlined in UW System Administrative Procedure 615.A, Driver Authorization Process and Requirements.

a. Personally Assigned Vehicles

Driver Authorization is required for University officers, employees, and agents to receive a personally assigned vehicle. Individuals assigned such vehicles should contact their institution’s Business Office regarding any questions on related business and personal use policies.

b. 12/15 Passenger Vans

Driver Authorization is required for any individual requesting to drive a State or University 12/15 passenger van. Additionally, individuals must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Twenty-five (25) years of age or older*,
  • Completion of a van training program which meets the standards established by the Department of Administration/Bureau of State Risk Management. Authorization and proof of certification as a van driver must be received by the UW System institution’s risk manager, or delegated party, prior to using the van,
  • Abstinence from the use of drugs or alcohol, and
  • Absolutely nothing is to be towed by or attached to 12/15 passenger vans.
  • Rental of a 12/15 passenger van will require individuals to demonstrate proof of van driver certification at the time of rental. A university issued wallet card certification will be the only acceptable proof of certification, and
    * Institutions may forego the age restriction if a van is permanently converted to a cargo-only vehicle (restricted to one driver and one passenger).
c. Commercial Motor Vehicles

Driver Authorization is required for any individual requesting to drive a State or University Commercial Motor Vehicle. Employees renting a commercial motor vehicle must be in compliance with the current Commercial Driver’s License Program.

II. Personally owned vehicles

University officers, employees, or agents are authorized to use their personally owned vehicle on University business. The individual must possess a valid driver’s license and be in compliance with any restrictions associated with that license when operating their personally owned vehicle on University business. A completed Vehicle Use Agreement must be filed with the institution. Institutions may specify other requirements for University officers, employees, or agents to be allowed to use personally owned vehicles on University business and are responsible for communicating these requirements to those affected and the UW System Office of Risk Management.

B. Vehicle Use

I. Use of University Vehicles

a. General Provisions

University officers, employees, and agents who obtain Driver Authorization, as described in Sec. 6.A.I of this policy may be approved to use a University Vehicle while on University business.

Vehicle use approval should only be given for University business including Incidental Use (activities necessary to sustain a traveler away from home such as dining within a reasonable distance). Substantial or unreasonable personal use of a University Vehicle while on University business may result in a decision that a driver was operating outside of their scope of employment or agency. If an employee/agent has an accident outside of the scope of their employment, the state’s insurance program could determine the accident was not covered by insurance.

Examples of approved usage are:

  1. Class related field trips that are for educational purposes and have on-site supervision by a UW authorized driver.
  2. Stops at an ATM or financial institution or for lunch.
  3. Students driving and attending University-related conferences, meetings, and events; provided that a designated instructor/faculty advisor approves of the trip.
  4. Field Research under the supervision of a principle investigator.
  5. Volunteer programs that are under the supervision and control of the University and that provide benefit to the University.

Examples of inappropriate use are:

  1. Individual research projects or course-work primarily for the personal benefit of a student working toward a degree.
  2. Student field trips that do not have the approval of the faculty or advisor and/or are not class related.
  3. Fraternity or sorority trips which are not related to student participation in institutional governance.
b. Passengers

There are different provisions related to passengers in University owned vehicles versus rented or leased vehicles.

University owned vehicles

In general, only employees, agents, and students are allowed to ride in University owned vehicles due to the additional liability exposure posed to both the University and the passenger. Exceptions to this rule arise when transportation is necessary or convenient for individuals who are dealing directly with, or involved in, University business. Passengers who are not employees or agents must have approval from the UW System institution’s risk manager. Transportation of student athletic teams and students participating in institutional governance activities may be considered University business. Exceptions have also been made for disabled employees who need the assistance of a non-employee driver and long distance (300 miles round trip) trips where alternating drivers are necessary.

Rented or leased vehicles

There are no restrictions for passengers under the Big Ten vehicle rental/leasing contract. However, passengers must be pre-authorized by risk management under all other State vehicle rental/leasing contracts.

c. Driving Vehicles Outside of Wisconsin

Drivers who take a University Vehicle on University business into another state should be aware that many states require proof of insurance. Proof of Vehicle Registration/Insurance is designed to provide proof of liability protection. A copy of the signed certificate must be placed in each University Vehicle.

d. Use of Vehicles on University Business in Foreign Countries

Canada

When driving a University Vehicle into Canada, a Canadian Automobile Liability Card must be carried in the vehicle at all times. These cards provide the necessary proof of insurance as required by Canadian officials. Institutional risk managers will provide these cards upon request. The cards can be used throughout the policy year and are valid for University owned vehicles used on University business. It is recommended these cards be collected and reused throughout the year.

Mexico

Mexico does not recognize foreign insurance (U.S. insurance). Therefore, it is required that all University drivers procure adequate auto liability and damage waiver prior to entering Mexico. This coverage is not provided by the University and must be obtained from the rental agency or an outside insurance carrier. Drivers should contact Risk Management for assistance to purchase insurance for a university vehicle.

Authorities in Mexico also require proof of ownership of the vehicle being driven. It is very important to have a copy of the title to the vehicle before entering Mexico. The title copy to University/State vehicles should be obtained well in advance of the travel. Contact DOA Central Fleet, at (608) 266-0793 for a copy of the title to the vehicle.

All other countries

Adequate automobile insurance limits and damage waiver must be purchased when renting or leasing vehicles in all other countries. Individuals should contact their institution’s risk manager for assistance.

e. Use of Rental Vehicles Under Contract

The University requires use of contracted rental vehicle suppliers when traveling on University business. Refer to UW System Administrative Policy 425, Use of Personal Vehicles, Rental Cars and Fleet for Business Transportation (formerly Systemwide Travel Policy 1204) and related procedures for use and insurance provisions when utilizing University rental vehicle contracts.

When traveling on University sponsored business the requirements of vehicle use and driver authorization contained within this policy extend to additional authorized drivers added to the vehicle rental agreement.

f. Trailering and Towing

Trailering is not recommended, but when trailer rental is necessary for University business, individuals shall use the approved State rental car vendor, if possible. If it is not possible, individuals must purchase the damage waiver. Trailering shall be done only by trained drivers.

g. 12/15 Passenger Van

A Damage Waiver and Additional Liability Insurance must be purchased when renting a 12/15 Passenger Van.

II. Use of Personally Owned Vehicles

a. General Provisions

University officers, employees, and agents may drive their personally owned vehicles on University business as long as they maintain a valid driver’s license and have a completed Vehicle Use Agreement on file with the UW System institution. Individuals’ must be in compliance with any restrictions associated with their driver’s license when operating their personally owned vehicle on University business. In the event of a loss, the employee/agent’s personal auto liability insurance will provide the primary insurance coverage for the loss. The State will only provide excess liability coverage to drivers if using their personally owned vehicles on University business. The employee/agent’s personal insurance will provide the only coverage for property loss. All drivers using their personally owned vehicle should carry personal auto liability insurance with limits of at least $100,000/$300,000/$50,000. Employees should consult their insurance carrier to confirm coverage prior to using a personal vehicle for University business.

Transporting work-related hazardous materials in your personal vehicle is not recommended and may be prohibited by institutional policies. Some insurance carriers will not cover an accident claim if it involves work-related materials as many personal vehicle insurance policies include a business-use exclusion.

b. Passengers

There are no restrictions for passengers while using personally owned vehicles on University business. In the event of a loss, however, the officer, employee, or agent’s personal auto liability insurance will be primary to the State’s coverage.

C. Driver Authorization and Vehicle Use matrix

VEHICLE TYPE
Requirement/Restriction UW Fleet Rental Under University’s Big Ten Contract Rental under State Contract Non Contract Rental Personally Assigned Vehicle Personal

Vehicle

Required to meet all University Driver Authorization Standards  

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

No. Requires a State Valid Driver’s License + completed Vehicle Use Agreement form on file with institution
Restricted to Business Miles only

 

 

Yes

 

No

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

No

 

No

Personal Use Allowed

 

 

 

No

 

Yes

 

No

 

No

 

Yes

 

N/A

Driver Purchases Auto Insurance

 

 

No

 

No*

 

No

Yes. Collision and Liability Yes. Extended Non-Owned Vehicle Endorsement Yes. Auto Insurance
** Special Permission required for Non-University and Non-State Passengers  

Yes

 

No

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

No

 

No

Business Miles: Miles that are University related. Incidental stops while on University business are included in business use.

Collision and Liability: For rental locations not served by contract or in situations where vehicles are not available, a non-contract vendor may be used but the collision and liability insurance must be purchased. Vehicle rental Damage Waiver and Additional Liability Insurance must be purchased when renting from non-contract suppliers. *For non-U.S. originating rentals, review the vehicle rental contracts to determine when standard insurances are provided. In the cases where insurances are not included under contract the necessary coverages must be purchased and will be reimbursed.

Extended Non-Owned Vehicle Endorsement: Individuals must purchase liability insurance through their personal insurance agent for personally assigned vehicles, which are to be driven for personal use miles. What commonly is called an “Extended Non-Owned Vehicle Endorsement” can be added to the individual’s personal auto insurance for a modest expense to insulate an individual when operating the leased vehicle for personal miles.

University Driver Authorization Standards: Two years licensed driving experience, age 18 or older, no drug or alcohol moving violation over the past 12 months, does not have three or more moving violations over the past 24 months.

**Passengers allowed in University Vehicles without prior approval include: University and State employees, and agents of the University. Where prior approval is required, the approval must be in writing and approved by the institution’s risk manager.

Personal Use: Miles driven that are not University business related. Commute miles are considered personal use. Personal use of a UW Fleet Vehicle or a State Contract Rental vehicle is not allowed.

7. Related Documents

UW System Administrative Policy 425 (Formerly Systemwide Travel Policy 1204), Use of Personal Vehicles, Rental Cars and Fleet for Business Transportation

UW System Administrative Procedure 615.A, Driver Authorization Process and Requirements

Section 340.01 (41g), Wis. Stats., Operators License

Department of Administration Fleet Driver and Management Policies and Procedure Manual

IRS Publication 463 (2015) Travel Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses, Chp. 6: How to Report

8. Policy History

First approved: October 31, 2016*

*Previously part of UW System Risk Management Manual (Part 7 – Vehicle Programs, Vehicle Use and Driver Authorization)

9. Scheduled Review

October 2021