1017: Vehicle Policy


The University expects that any employee or student driving a University vehicle in connection with University-related activities will operate the vehicle in a safe and responsible manner with respect for other drivers and due consideration for acting as a representative of Georgetown University.


This policy establishes the basic requirements and procedures for driving a University vehicle that is owned or leased in connection with University related business or sponsored activities; for using personally owned vehicles in connection with University-related business or sponsored activities; for safely operating a University vehicle; for using a University vehicle for personal use; and for reporting accidents and damage. The term “University vehicle” includes automobiles, 12-passenger vans, and golf carts but not commercial vehicles.


1. Authorized Driver Standards 
A driver must meet the following minimum standards in order to become an “authorized driver”, and operate a University vehicle that is owned or leased. Approval as a driver is a privilege rather than a right, and authorization to drive University vehicles may be revoked for reasons deemed appropriate by the University, as explained below:

1.1. Authorized Drivers

1.1.1. Must have a valid U.S. drivers license for at least one (1) year issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) from the state of residence or the District of Columbia.

1.1.2. Must have the correct license for the vehicle type that they will be driving, including any endorsements.

1.1.3. Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.

1.1.4. Must complete a Georgetown University Driver Authorization Application before driving, and annually thereafter. The application must be submitted to, and approved by, the Office of Risk Management prior to driving.

1.1.5. Must agree to have a Motor Vehicle Record check prior to using University vehicles and annually thereafter. This report must show a driving record that meets the standards of the University‟s insurance carrier set forth below: Minimum criteria acceptable for operation of a University vehicle:

a) No more than three (3) moving violations and/or chargeable accidents in the most recent three (3) years.

b) No more than two moving violations and/or chargeable accidents in the most recent year.

c) Drivers should have no “major convictions” within the last five (5) years. Major convictions include:

a) Driving while intoxicated or „under the influence‟ (DWI or DUI).

b) Leaving the scene of an accident.

c) Careless or reckless driving violations.

d) Homicide or assault through use of motor vehicle.

e) Attempting to elude a police officer.

f) Racing

g) Permitting a minor to operate a vehicle.

1.1.6. Any driver whose driving record does not meet these standards will not be permitted to operate a University vehicle until such time as the driving record conforms to these standards.

1.1.7. Must complete Risk Management‟s driver training and/or van certification if: You are an employee and operating a vehicle is an essential function of your job. Students and employees if you operate a 12-passenger van or tow items.

1.1.8. Must meet the federal regulations applicable for drivers when driving a vehicle that weighs between 10,001 pounds and 26,000 pounds.

1.1.9. Must report any incident to the supervisor or Risk Management that would render an employee ineligible to drive under this policy. 

2. Loss of Driving Privileges
In addition to the situations listed in Section 1 as resulting in revocation of driving privileges, the following actions may result in suspension or termination of driving privileges for those operating University vehicles or other vehicles while on University business:

2.1. Operating a vehicle outside of the scope of the destination and school related activity.

2.2. Operating a vehicle in a reckless or unsafe manner. 

2.3. Failing to report an accident involving a University-owned or leased vehicle to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the employee‟s supervisor (where applicable), DPS, and Risk Management. 

2.4. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

These actions may also result in appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the University‟s applicable policies and procedures. 

3. Vehicle Operation
All drivers are expected to safeguard and maintain University vehicles. In addition to restrictions and requirements placed upon University vehicle drivers by individual departments, drivers must also:

3.1. Always

3.1.1. Use University vehicles for authorized University-related activities only, unless your individual employment contract specifies otherwise.

3.1.2. Prevent any unauthorized person from driving the vehicle.

3.1.3. Be aware and prepared for special weather and emergency situations. Do not drive in hazardous conditions unless necessary.

3.1.4. Use seat belts or other available occupant restraints and require all occupants to do likewise in accordance with state laws.

3.1.5. Ensure that under ALL circumstances the number of passengers does not exceed the number of seat belts, if provided.

3.1.6. Follow the safety guidelines as discussed in the driver training course, where applicable.

3.1.7. Operate vehicles in accordance with applicable local and federal laws and University regulations.

3.1.8. When traveling over 150 miles from Georgetown recommend that, either (1) stay overnight before or after the event/activity that is the purpose of the trip or (2) name an additional, approved driver designated for driving responsibilities who is not a participant in the event/activity.

3.1.9. Immediately report all accidents to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the employee‟s supervisor (where applicable), DPS and Risk Management.

3.2. Before Driving

3.2.1. Be aware of the load and handling characteristics associated with the vehicle(s) you are driving.

3.2.2. Before leaving the parking area or garage, inspect the vehicle for safety issues; check the tires, wipers, lights, and other safety equipment for observable defects; and report any defects immediately to the departmental fleet coordinator or their designee to determine if the vehicle is safe to operate.

3.3. After Arrival

3.3.1. Turn off the vehicle, remove the keys, secure all windows, lock the vehicle, and arm the security system (if applicable) whenever the vehicle is left unattended, even if only for a moment.

3.3.2. Return all vehicles in good clean condition, removing all garbage, food items, and personal items.

4. Special Restrictions:

4.1. Golf Carts

4.1.1. Golf carts must be treated with the same respect and care as any larger motor vehicle. Drivers of golf carts must undergo the authorization process described above. Drivers must take care in the operation of these vehicles and follow all applicable rules for operation of the cart and personal safety.

4.2. Fifteen Passenger Vans

4.2.1. Due to safety issues identified by the National Transportation Safety Board, fifteen passenger vans will not be rented, leased or purchased by the University and may not be used for University-related activities.

4.3. Towing Items

4.3.1. Only employees authorized to drive University vehicles may use a University vehicle for towing items. These drivers must first contact Risk Management to receive training on towing. Risk Management must approve all towing before it takes place.

4.3.2. No students will be allowed to tow items with University vehicles.

4.3.3. No personal vehicles will be used to tow items on University business. Only specific designated University vehicles may be used in towing, and only approved items may be towed.

5. Personal Use of University Vehicles 
Special IRS regulations apply to the personal use of University automobiles that are garaged at home. Therefore, for all University vehicles that are authorized for personal use by University employees, the following rules will be observed: 

5.1. Personal use of University vehicles is a taxable fringe benefit, and an appropriate amount will be included in the gross income of each employee receiving this benefit. See Financial Affairs Policy 1013 for more information on the tax treatment and reporting of Universityprovided vehicles.

5.2. The University‟s office of Purchasing and Contracts policies will govern the acquisition of vehicles.

5.3. Only employees who have undergone the driver authorization process described above are permitted to drive a University vehicle.

5.4. Only the employee may use a University vehicle as a primary vehicle. Use by a spouse may be permitted on a limited basis if the spouse becomes an authorized driver pursuant to the standards listed above. No other individuals including children and other family members may drive a University-owned vehicle for personal use.

5.5. Modifications or alterations to the vehicle will not be permitted unless they are authorized as necessary for safety reasons and the work is completed by a trained professional.

5.6. Regular maintenance of the vehicle must be completed as required per the University‟s motor vehicle policies and procedures.

6. Use of Privately Owned Vehicles

6.1. Use of privately owned vehicles is generally discouraged for conducting University business or sponsored activities. It is recommended that individuals seek alternative transportation options such as rental cars, public transportation or charter services.

6.2. Faculty and staff who transport students, faculty, staff or affiliates in their private vehicles on University business outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area must become authorized drivers and are subject to the requirements of this policy. For the purposes of this provision, faculty who transport students on a trip that is a course requirement or at the direction of their department chair or other University administrator, are considered to be on “University business.”

6.3. Students who transport other students in their private vehicles outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for University-sponsored activities must become authorized drivers.

6.4. All employees or students who drive their private vehicles on University business or sponsored activities are responsible for:

– Maintaining automobile liability insurance in accordance with state law.

– Maintaining current state vehicle inspections when required.

– Maintaining own vehicle in safe operating condition.

6.5. Insurance Faculty, staff and students using their private vehicles on University business or sponsored activities are required to carry auto liability insurance with minimum limits as required by the state where the vehicle is registered. In an accident involving a privately-owned vehicle, the owner must use his/her individual automobile insurance coverage as the primary insurance.

The University’s excess liability coverage will apply when the driver was an authorized driver on University business at the time of the loss, and the vehicle owner’s policy has been exhausted. The University will not reimburse an employee, or other private owner, or his/her insurer for any deductible or liability claim paid by their personal auto insurance policy or for any damage to the vehicle.

If any personal property is damaged or stolen as a result of being transported or stored in a privately-owned vehicle, the property is not covered by the university‟s insurance. Employees should consult with their personal lines insurance provider to determine if coverage for property in vehicles is included in their homeowner‟s insurance policy.

Authorized drivers conducting University business in a privately-owned vehicle shall be reimbursed for mileage at the annual Standard Rate found on the Financial Affairs/Payroll website, as well as parking and toll expenses. 

7. Acquisition, Lease, Rental and Disposal of Vehicles

7.1. Required Approval for Acquisition

7.1.1. The University‟s office of Purchasing and Contracts policies will govern the acquisition and lease of vehicles.

7.2. Short-Term Rental of Vehicles

7.2.1. Students who rent vehicles for use in University-related or sponsored activities must become authorized drivers.

7.2.2. Employees or students who rent vehicles for use in University-related activities, insurance for liability and physical damage (collision damage waiver) must be purchased through the rental company. All other coverages should not be purchased. If an employee or student fails to purchase the insurance for physical damage and causes damage to the rental vehicle, the department sponsoring the activity will be responsible for the costs of repair.

7.2.3. Depending upon the rules of the individual rental agency, persons under the age of 25 may not normally be able to rent vehicles at a commercial agency. Rental agencies may waive the age requirement if the University agrees to cover the individuals on its automobile liability policy and provide evidence of insurance coverage to the agency.

7.3. International Rental of Vehicles

7.3.1. If Departments or organizations find it necessary to rent vehicles from an agency in a foreign country for approved University functions or business on a short-term basis, the vehicle should be rented in the name of the University. Because of the difference in insurance requirements in other countries, departments should always purchase all available insurance provided by the rental agency.

7.4. Disposal of Vehicles

The Office of Property Accounting Policies and Procedures govern the disposal of a University vehicle. Vehicles may be disposed of in a number of ways, but it is important to notify the Office of Property Accounting whenever this takes place. Any of the following situations constitutes a disposal of property, and should be processed accordingly:

7.4.1. Vehicles not needed by a department but still in good working condition must be listed on the Excess Property Bulletin for two weeks before donation or sale outside the University. Contact Property Accounting to list an item on the bulletin. For the first two weeks it is listed, the item may only be made available to other Georgetown University departments for University use. After that, any buyer may purchase the vehicle for any use.

7.4.2. Vehicles that are sold must be identified to the Office of Property Accounting before the transaction takes place. Please provide Property Accounting with an Equipment Disposal Form.

7.4.3. Vehicles that are totaled must be identified to Property Accounting and the Equipment Disposal Form must be provided.

7.5. Transfer/Donations of Vehicles

Vehicles which are being transferred or donated to another department or institution must be identified to the Office of Property Accounting before the transaction takes place. Please provide Property Accounting with an Equipment Transfer Form.

8. Accidents, Damage, Claims, and Insurance 

For any accident involving a University owned, leased or rented vehicle, drivers must follow the procedures outlined below:

8.1. Check for personal injury and seek medical attention if necessary by calling (911).

8.2. Activate hazard lights to prevent further damage or injury.

8.3. Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency for assistance and request that an accident report be completed.

8.4. Check for the University‟s insurance ID card in the glove compartment of University-owned vehicles. The ID card is required by law and provides evidence of the University‟s fleet insurance coverage.

8.5. Report the accident to your supervisor (when applicable) as soon as possible.

8.6. Report the accident to DPS.

8.7. Report the accident to Risk Management and complete a Georgetown University Vehicle Accident Report.

8.8. Do not discuss what happened with anyone except with the police, the supervisor, DPS, and Risk Management.

8.9. Do not admit responsibility for the accident or sign a statement.

8.10.The department will be responsible for paying applicable insurance deductibles for every claim submitted.

9. Parking and Moving Violations

9.1. Parking tickets or similar fines and related penalties and interest are the personal responsibility of the authorized driver and should be paid promptly to the appropriate jurisdiction to avoid further penalties.


1. Department Fleet Coordinator

Every department that uses University vehicles should designate a fleet coordinator who oversees all issues related to the vehicles used by the department. It is the responsibility of the fleet coordinator to comply with state and local regulations and University procedures pertaining to the registration, inspection and use of such vehicles, and in granting driving authority to employees and students. The name of the fleet coordinator must be given to the Office of Risk Management. The duties of the fleet coordinator include:

1.1. Implement the University‟s motor vehicle use policies for the department and develop department-specific procedures where necessary (i.e., a key check out system).

1.2. Provide individuals who apply for driving privileges with the following policies:

1.2.1. Georgetown University Vehicle Policy

1.2.2. Department Vehicle Policy (if applicable)

1.3. Coordinate the driver authorization procedure by ensuring that the following documents are received by Risk Management, and drivers are approved prior to operating a vehicle:

1.3.1. Driver Authorization Application

1.3.2. Motor Vehicle Report Authorization

1.3.3. Legible copy of a valid U.S. driver’s license

1.4. Maintain a current inventory of University-owned and leased vehicles and notify Risk Management of changes.

1.5. Notify Risk Management of a vehicle purchase, leased vehicle contract or trade-in, transfer or disposal.

1.6. Forward vehicle titles to Risk Management.

1.7. Ensure that vehicles are maintained in safe operating condition.

1.8. Maintain the following documents in each University-owned or leased vehicle:

1.8.1. Vehicle Registration (a copy should be retained in the department).

1.8.2. Vehicle Accident Report Form

1.8.3. Insurance Identification Card

2. Supervisor

2.1. Report all accidents to Risk Management within 24 hours of being notified of the event and ensure that the driver completes a Vehicle Accident Report.

2.2. If the employee is injured, complete a Supervisor’s Report of Injury and submit it promptly to Risk Management.

2.3. Report any information received from an employee as it pertains to Section 1, item

3. Office of Risk Management

3.1. Perform routine checks of the Motor Vehicle Record for drivers as required.

3.2. Provide a list of authorized drivers.

3.3. Provide a list of van certified drivers.

3.4. Conduct Driver Safety Awareness training.

3.5. Process all accident reports and oversee the settlement of claims.

3.6. Identify and understand the range of vehicle uses on campus.

3.7. Communicate criteria for permitting vehicle use. Maintain, distribute and revise this policy as needed.

3.8. Review accidents involving campus vehicles and determine the necessary course of action to minimize losses.

3.9. Ensure adequate resources are made available for obtaining motor vehicle records, conducting driver education and maintaining and repairing vehicles.

3.10. Ensure the procedures for obtaining Motor Vehicle Records remain in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


  1. Questions concerning the reporting of accidents or injuries should be directed to the Office of Risk Management.
  2. Questions concerning claims should be directed to the Office of Risk Management.
  3. Questions concerning the purchase, lease or rental of a vehicle should be directed to the office of Purchasing and Contracts in Financial Affairs.
  4. Questions regarding reimbursement of expenses while driving a University-owned vehicle or a personal vehicle should be directed to Payroll in Financial Affairs.