University Vehicles

Recommended By
Administration and Finance
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Current Issue Date
Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Effective Date
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Contact Office
Customer Service
Policy number
  1. Scope 
    This policy and procedure shall be followed for the use of any and all State and/or university vehicles.
  2. Purpose 
    The purpose of the Use of University Vehicles Policy is to ensure compliance with:
    1. The State Administrative Manual (Section 4100);
    2. The California State University Use of University and Private Vehicles Policy and Regulations Manual;
    3. Applicable Board of Control Rules; and
    4. The SSU Official Manual for Operators of State Vehicles.
  3. Use of State of University-owned Vehicles
    1. Use of official State and/or University vehicles is restricted to official State and University business.
    2. State and University vehicles may be driven only by State employees, including employees of Sonoma State University auxiliary organizations (and those employees defined in C below).
    3. Students who are currently enrolled at Sonoma State University and are employed by the University or one of its auxiliary organizations as a student assistant, teacher assistant, work study student, or volunteer employee, and are otherwise acceptable as drivers, may drive a University or State vehicle when driving in the performance of, or necessary to, or in the course of, the duties of such employment.
    4. Passengers in University and State vehicles must be State employees or otherwise on official State business. No hitchhikers or family members who are not themselves State employees may be passengers in any State vehicle. Regularly enrolled University students who are carried in the course of instruction or other official University business are authorized as passengers. Any special circumstance requiring deviation from this policy must be requested by written justification and receive advance written authority from the Office of Customer Services.
    5. Use of a State or University vehicle requires prior completion of an "Application for Use of University Vehicles" stating the type of vehicle requested, the departure and return dates and times, the purpose of the trip, the destination, the account number and department responsible for the costs, the name(s) of the driver(s) and the total number of riders to be in each vehicle.
  4. Authorization to Drive and Driving Record
    1. Employees and student employees (as specified in III. B. and C. above) must hold a valid current California Driver's License and a satisfactory driving record, as defined in IV.C.1.
    2. The University is required to obtain from the Department of Motor Vehicles the driving record of every driver of official vehicles to determine his or her ability to drive safely.
    3. Prior to each use of a State vehicle, every driver must certify:
      1. That during the past year he/she has not been issued more than three moving violations in the past thirty-six (36) months, or more than two moving violations in the past twelve (12) months.
      2. That he/she holds a current, valid California driver's license.
    4. A conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol may result in a loss of driving privileges.
    5. Pursuant to Section 0750.1 of the State Administrative Manual, all drivers (faculty/staff/students) of State vehicles and of personal vehicles used on official State business must attend a defensive driver-training course if driving more than once a month.
    6. Any driver who has an accident while driving a State vehicle, and is found at fault, is required to re-take the defensive driving course the next time that course is offered by the University.
    7. It is the responsibility of each driver of a State vehicle to contact the Police Services office and enroll in the Defensive Driver Training course when required to do so.
    8. All faculty, staff, student and volunteer employees of the University must complete and submit to the Office of Customer Services an "Application for Permission to Drive University Vehicles (or State Cars) on Official Business" prior to applying for or using any university vehicle. All employees must maintain a current and accurate application on file prior to using any State or university vehicle.
  5. Use of State Vehicles and University Vehicles
    1. All vehicles shall be operated in conformity with the provisions of the California Vehicle Code. Any violation of the California Vehicle Code, any mishandling of a vehicle, and any retention of a vehicle off-campus without written authority from the Office of Customer Services shall be labeled misuse.
    2. Vehicles may only be driven on all-weather, improved Federal and State highways, County roads, and Municipal streets. No vehicle may be operated on unimproved roadways or public and/or private lands where such improved roads do not exist. Operation of a vehicle on unimproved roadways shall be labeled misuse.
    3. Personal use of a State or University vehicle is prohibited.
    4. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses, when applicable, must be used by both the driver and passengers of State vehicles. Failure to do so constitutes a misuse of a State vehicle.
    5. State vehicles are checked out and are to be returned in the same configuration as originally provided by the manufacturer. Safety equipment, including seatbelts, are not to be disconnected, nor will passenger seats be removed from the vehicle.
    6. Pets may not be transported in a State or University vehicle, with the exception of service animals accompanying official passengers.
  6. Overnight Retention of University Vehicles Off-Campus
    1. Except as otherwise specified and authorized, University vehicles are to be retained in the state vehicle spaces on campus.
    2. Vehicles may be retained off-campus under two specific circumstances:
      1. When a driver is in a travel status and the "Application for Use of State Vehicles" reflects such status; or
      2. When use of the vehicle falls within one or more of the following criteria established by the Board of Control and the California State University, Board of Control Rules, Article 15, Paragraph 842(b) (1) and (2):
        1. The vehicle is to be used by the driver on official State business after hours the same day (and it requires unreasonable hardship to return to campus at the conclusion of business); or
        2. The vehicle is to be used before normal working hours the following day (and it requires unreasonable hardship to pick up the vehicle at the University at the early hour); and
        3. Such use (and retention off-campus overnight) has been specifically authorized in advance, in writing, by the agency head (delegated at this University to the Senior Director of Customer Services); and
        4. The projected use is certain, and not a mere possibility.
      3. In applying the foregoing authority established by the Board of Control, the University has adopted the following rules:
        1. The retention is more than a convenience when it is necessitated by:
          1. Extensive time and distance requirements to return the vehicle to or pick up the vehicle from the campus, constituting an unwarranted hardship; or
          2. Significant savings in cost to the University will result because of the time, distance, or per diem; or
          3. Special circumstances, such as loading and transporting, or an extensive amount of labor and/or cost is saved by retention of the vehicle.
        2. The vehicle will not be removed from the campus prior to 4:30 p.m. for use the following day and, when used in the evening, it will be returned to campus no later than 8:00 AM the following morning.
      4. Authority to retain the State vehicle off-campus overnight requires:
        1. That either item VI.2. (a) or (b) is applicable, and that item VI.2 (d) is valid; and
        2. That a least one element of item VI.3 (a) is applicable; and
        3. That use will conform to item VI.3 (b)
      5. An "Application to Retain State Vehicle Off-Campus", with justification:
        1. Must be submitted to the Customer Services office for review and approval one week prior to the requested use of the State vehicle.
        2. Must be signed by the Senior Director of Customer Services, granting authority for the authorized driver to retain the car off-campus over a given night; and
        3. The approved application must be in the hands of the driver BEFORE the vehicle leaves campus.
  7. Misuse of State or University Vehicles
    1. The University shall investigate all instances of the improper use of a State or University vehicle.
    2. Failure to follow the provisions of this policy, as specified above, or misuse of a vehicle may result in
      1. Denial to the authorized driver of the vehicle of further use of vehicles; and/or
      2. Reimbursement by the university approving department and/or the authorized driver of the vehicle to the University or the State for any resultant damage or cost.
  8. Procedures Customer Services shall maintain and update procedures for the implementation of this policy as required.

Division of Administration and Finance, Customer Services, Procedure for Use of University Vehicles

  1. Scheduling
    1. Vehicle reservations may be made either by phone (664-2308) or by submittal of an "Application for Use of University Vehicles". The usual procedure is to call in advance to verbally reserve the vehicle(s) needed and then follow up by sending in the form. The appropriate administrator responsible for funding the use of the University vehicle must approve the application.
    2. Receipt of the completed Application is required at least two working days prior to any vehicle use. Upon receipt of the application, the transportation clerk confirms the reservation and returns a copy of the application to the department.
    3. Any cancellations or changes should be communicated to Customer Services either by phone or mail. Customer Services shall charge a fee (initially established at $50.00, to be adjusted annually to reflect the increase/decrease in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cost of Living Index for the Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose Metropolitan Region) to the billed department whenever there is a failure to cancel a vehicle at least 24 hours in advance, since this precludes the use of that vehicle by another department.
    4. Failure to return a University vehicle when scheduled and without prior approval from Customer Services shall also result in a fee (initially established at $50.00, to be adjusted annually to reflect the increase/decrease in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cost of Living Index for the Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose Metropolitan Region) to the billed department.
  2. Use of University Vehicle
    1. Only State employees may drive University vehicles. Where students and/or auxiliary organization employees are employed by the University as a student assistant, teaching assistant, work-study student or volunteer employee, and are otherwise acceptable as drivers, they may drive a University vehicle in the course of such employment.
    2. University vehicles may be used for official State business only.
    3. Drivers of University vehicles must have current University approval to drive. Application forms are to be submitted to Customer Services.
    4. The California State Department of General Services and the Office of the Chancellor of the California State University system require that all drivers of University vehicles and personal vehicles on official State business attend a Defensive Driving Training Course if driving on state business more than once a month (State Administrative Manual [SAM] section 0750.1).
    5. The State carries liability insurance covering valid drivers of University vehicles. The insurance will not cover those unauthorized to ride in University vehicles. Personal insurance is required if a personal vehicle is to be driven on State business.
    6. Passengers in University vehicles must be State employees or otherwise on official State business. No hitchhikers or family members are permitted. Students carried in the course of instruction or on other official University business are authorized passengers. Special situations requiring deviation from this policy must be justified and receive advance written authorization from Customer Services.
  3. Operating Information
    1. The official storage point for University pool vehicles is the designated state vehicle parking area at the University. Vehicles may be picked up there and shall be returned to this point for overnight storage. Vehicles shall not be left in other locations, particularly off-campus, without specific written authorization from Customer Services one week before start of trip.
    2. An Official Travel Log and Dispatch Slip authorizing the driver to use the vehicle are handed to each driver when picking up the vehicle keys at the Police Services office and should always be in the possession of the driver while operating an official State vehicle. It is essential that the Official Travel Log be filled in for each trip, making sure that a daily entry is shown for a trip involving more than one day. Incomplete Travel Logs may be returned to the driver for proper completion. Each driver must print his or her name legibly on the Travel Log and must indicate the department for which he or she is driving in the "Storage" column.
    3. A multi-company credit card to be used to service the State vehicle (not to be used for personal vehicles) and all purchase tickets or receipts are to be kept in the "Automobile Maintenance Record". There is also a list of service stations authorized to accept this credit card. However, always ask if the station accepts the card before fueling. Use unleaded, regular gasoline only, and always use a self-service pump. Purchase of any gasoline other than that authorized for the vehicle will be charged against the department of the driver purchasing the fuel.
    4. The glove compartment of each vehicle contains the following:
      1. A copy of the Chancellor's Office booklet, revised November 1989, entitled "state and private vehicles: Regulations and Policies on the Use of State Vehicles -- Use, Misuse, and Responsibilities".
      2. A copy of the State "Operator's Handbook" giving instructions for reporting accidents and procedures for emergency repair.
      3. An "Accident Identification Card, STD 269" folded form. The driver is responsible for:
        1. Filling out this form completely at the scene of the accident;
        2. Detaching the front part of the form and giving it to the other driver; and
        3. Returning the filled-out balance of the STD 269 card to the SSU Customer Services office upon return to the campus.
      4. A yellow "Vehicle Performance Report" card for reporting deficiencies noted while driving the vehicle. The driver will turn in the card, along with the keys, to University Police at the end of the trip.
    5. Drivers are expected to refuel cars before returning them to campus and to use unleaded, regular gasoline only. Current use of multi-company credit cards should largely obviate any difficulty in finding an authorized service station for fueling. In emergencies, where the driver must use personal resources for fueling the vehicle, reimbursement to the driver must be handled as a travel claim through Customer Services.
    6. Since some of the vehicles leased to the University from the State Motor Pool may use excessive oil, it is most essential that vehicles, upon being filled with gasoline, always be checked for proper oil level. Add oil if needed.
    7. Tires should be checked visually. If there is any apparent abnormal condition, have the tires checked with a pressure gauge.
    8. Chains may be requested with the vehicle reservation. If chains are not returned after the trip, a $50.00 replacement charge will be assessed to the driver's department.
    9. While a State vehicle is in the possession of an authorized driver, that individual is fully responsible for the safety and maintenance of the vehicle, including servicing when appropriate, and for the safety of the passengers.
    10. The authorized driver must personally handle any citations received while driving a State vehicle. The driver will be responsible for any cost or damage to the vehicle resulting from misuse. The driver will also be responsible for any cost or damage to non-State property, resulting from driving the vehicle, beyond the cost or damages covered by the State liability insurance.
    11. Vehicles must be returned clean and ready for use by the next driver.
Updated July 19, 2000 by