Use of Personally Owned Vehicles

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 driver authorization 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.


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.

Reimbursement Rates

Personal Mileage Reimbursement Rates and Application

Prior to performing any driving on University business, the driver must consult with his or her budget authority to confirm; that the budgetary authority will authorize use of a personal vehicle on University business and whether the driver will be eligible for the IRS rate or the “turn down rate” for mileage reimbursement.  It is at the discretion of each budget unit to determine which rate will be available.

If approved by the budget unit, business mileage may be reimbursed at the IRS authorized mileage rate in effect on date of travel using the most direct route. Institutions may not pay a different mileage rate than stated in policy but may place limits on the overall trip expenses to be reimbursed. To be eligible for mileage reimbursement travelers must list the point to point (departing origin and destination location and distance traveled) mileage on the expense report. MapQuest or Google Maps are the official tools for determining the most direct route. Deviations from the most direct route must be explained on the expense report.

The reimbursement rate for personal vehicle mileage covers all costs related to the operation of the vehicle, including service, maintenance, insurance, depreciation, and gas. When two or more persons traveling on University business share transportation in a personal vehicle, only the driver may claim reimbursement for mileage.

Business miles will also be reimbursed for the following scenarios:

  • Miles traveled to pick up additional passengers when traveling together on business;
  • Mileage to and from airport, train station, etc. when traveling on business.
    • Two round trips will be permitted if the traveler is being dropped off and picked up rather than incurring parking costs. Airport choice for ticket price comparisons must consider mileage costs as additional costs when not selecting the closest airport.
Business versus Commuting Miles
From Regularly Assigned Headquarters:

Reimbursement for business mileage from regularly assigned headquarters will be based on miles traveled from assigned headquarters to temporary worksite(s) during the workday and return mileage to home or headquarters, whichever is less.

From Home or Temporary Headquarters:

If mileage is incurred by traveling directly to a temporary worksite from home and then to the regularly assigned headquarters, business mileage will be based on miles from home or headquarters to the temporary worksite, whichever is less, and then from the temporary worksite to headquarters. If the traveler returns home rather than going to headquarters, mileage is based on home or headquarters, whichever is less.

Multiple Worksites:

For those employees with multiple worksites, the appointing authority must determine which business location (i.e. must determine which worksite qualifies as the headquarters – typically the campus or administrative office) constitutes the clear majority for reimbursement of business mileage

Non-workday travel:

When employees are not scheduled to be at work, but are required to drive to a temporary worksite or an airport for further travel, mileage from home will be permitted.

When two or more employees from the same institution are traveling to the same destination, it is expected that every attempt will be made to travel together reducing the cost of the trip. Approving authorities may require coordination of travelers for this purpose, and limit mileage reimbursement to one driver.

For current IRS rates and question, please go to: and click on the link for the UW TravelWIse website.

Related Reimbursable Expenses

The following vehicle related expenses are reimbursable:

  • Toll costs incurred while traveling for business. Advance deposits placed on an individual’s toll pass account are not reimbursable, only the pass dollars used to cover the business tolls for the trip will be reimbursed.
  • Parking while traveling for business purposes, including headquarter city.
  • Short term parking costs incurred by driver when traveler is being picked up/dropped off at airport terminal, etc.
Following are the links to UW System policies which provide additional guidance:
Use of Personal Vehicle for Business Transportation
Purchase & Payment Miscellaneous Travel Expenses