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Vehicle Use on University Business

University officers, employees, students, and agents may be approved to operate a vehicle for University business only after obtaining a Driver Authorization, after which you will be eligible for liability coverage.

Liability Coverage

Upon approval of a Driver Authorization, you will become an authorized user and eligible under the University’s liability protection while acting within the scope of your employment.  Without this authorization, an employee/agent would be considered to be operating outside of the scope of their employment and not covered under this protection.  

Worker’s Compensation Insurance does not cover students or volunteers traveling on University business. Therefore, medical costs incurred because of an auto accident while traveling on University business will be the responsibility of the student or volunteer.

Vehicle use approval will only be given for University business to include Incidental Use (activities necessary to sustain a traveler away from home such as dining within a reasonable distance). To obtain authorization, see Driver Authorization.

Permitted Vehicle Use

Conditions and standards for vehicle use are outlined within the Permitted Vehicle Use Matrix or the UW System Driver Authorization Policy.  

No personal use of either a fleet (University owned) or rental vehicle is allowed (except for incidental personal use as defined in the State Fleet Driver and Management Policies and Procedures manual).

Approved Usage Examples
  • Class related field trips that are for educational purposes and have on-site supervision by a UW authorized driver.
  • While in travel status, stops at an ATM or financial institution or for lunch.
  • Students driving and attending University-related conferences, meetings and events; provided that a designated instructor/faculty advisor approves of the trip.
  • Students participating in institutional governance activities may be considered University business.
  • Transportation of student athletic teams.
  • Field Research under the supervision of a principle investigator.
  • Volunteer programs that are under the supervision and control of the University and that provide benefit to the University.
  • Long distance trips over 300 miles in one day are allowed if two authorized drivers change off driving during the trip.
Inappropriate Use Examples
  • Individual research projects or course-work primarily for the personal benefit of a student working toward a degree.
  • Student field trips that do not have the approval of the faculty or advisor and/or are not class related.
  • 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 the scope of their employment, thereby removing the University's liability protection in the event of an accident.
  • A person taking a fleet vehicle home more than once per month will have to reimburse the University for personal milage.
  • Non-University passengers are not allowed.  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.  When traveling for University business in a personal vehicle, non-University passengers are not allowed.  Exceptions arise when transportation is necessary or convenient for individuals who are dealing directly with, or involved in, University business.