Policies of Colorado State University

University Policy

University Seal
Policy Title: University Vehicles Category: Administration
Owner: Vice President for University Operations Policy ID#: 5-6030-009
Parking and Transportation Services
Web: http://parking.colostate.edu
Email: parking@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-7041
Original Effective Date: 1/28/2015
Last Revision: 1/13/2022


This policy governs the use of vehicles that are owned, leased, rented or otherwise secured for use by the University. Its purpose is to provide for the safe, efficient and economical use of such vehicles for University business purposes.


This policy applies to all persons while using a University Vehicle or driving a personal vehicle for university business, and to all Departments and organizational units.


Authorized Driver means a person who has had the required Motor Vehicle Record check, has not met any disqualifying condition as defined herein, and has been authorized by the Department of Transportation Services to drive a University Vehicle.

Department means any CSU department or other organizational unit.

Department Head means the CSU department head, department chair, or other organizational unit head.

Impaired means driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to the slightest degree so that the person is less able than the person ordinarily would have been, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.

University Vehicle means any motor vehicle owned, leased or otherwise secured for use by the University or used for University business purposes.


The University values the safety of its students, employees, volunteers, visitors and the public, and will take reasonable steps to assure that only safe drivers operate its vehicles.

University Vehicles are available for required official university use and may be secured on a temporary basis or, in certain circumstances, assigned to a specific Department for a period of time. University Vehicles must be used only for official university business purposes in accordance with the provisions of this policy.


Authorization to Use a University Vehicle; Violations

1.  Before driving a University Vehicle, each prospective driver must provide a valid driver’s license to Transportation Services and submit to a motor vehicle record (MVR) check if such a check has not been done by CSU within the past 12 months. Costs associated with university MVR checks will be charged to the driver's department.

To be qualified to rent or drive a University Vehicle, an individual must meet all the following requirements:

  1. Have for the past two years a current, valid driver’s license issued in the US or by a US territory, or by their country of residence
  2. Be at least 18 years old
  3. Be an employee, student or authorized volunteer of CSU
  4. Not be disqualified according to the chart below*

* NOTE: qualifications for commercial vehicle operations (DOT-regulated drivers) are different. Contact Environmental Health Services for information on driving commercial vehicles.

DISQUALIFYING CONDITIONS: A person will not be authorized to drive a University Vehicle if the person has any of the following:

  1. More than two at-fault accidents in the past three years (includes accidents resulting in claims, regardless of citation)
  2. Any Type A violation in the past three years
  3. Three or more Type B violations in the past three years

TYPE A VIOLATIONS—conviction in any jurisdiction for:

  1. Two or more DUI/DWAI or equivalent convictions
  2. Negligent vehicular homicide, manslaughter or similar offense
  3. Use of auto in commission of a felony
  4. Vehicular assault or equivalent
  5. Operating without a license
  6. Reckless driving
  7. Speed contest
  8. Hit & Run
  9. Leaving the scene of an accident

It is also a Type A violation to fail to report an accident involving a University Vehicle to one’s supervisor as required by this policy.

TYPE B VIOLATIONS—conviction for:

  • Any moving violation not Type A

Disqualification shall be for no less than one year from the most recent disqualifying event.

2.  An employee whose job description requires driving for CSU and who meets a disqualifying condition, but still retains a valid license to drive, may be subject to certain driving restrictions and/or corrective actions before driving privileges are revoked. The employee’s supervisor or Department Head will consult with Human Resources to determine the action to be taken when this occurs.

3.  Authorized drivers and Departments shall not, under any circumstances, allow unauthorized persons to drive.

4.  All University Vehicles are to be operated in a lawful manner. Drivers are personally responsible for any traffic citations incurred while using the vehicle; university funds may not be used for such purposes. This includes university and non-university parking tickets. Employees shall report any moving violations to their supervisor.

5.  Driving a University Vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or possession of alcohol or illicit drugs while operating a University Vehicle is a serious matter and will not be tolerated. Anyone found to have violated this policy in such a manner will be prohibited from renting or operating a University Vehicle for a period of two years from the date of the violation. Supervisors who have a reasonable suspicion that an employee or student is impaired must immediately take action to prohibit the person from driving any vehicle and must call CSUPD or other local law enforcement authority if the person proceeds to drive. See the CSU Policy on Alcohol and Drugs for more information about reasonable suspicion of impairment. Other procedures apply to employees who are covered under the CSU Policy on Alcohol and Drug Testing for Commercial Drivers and DOT regulations.

6.  Any instance of negligently causing an accident with damage to a vehicle or object, or injury to a person or animal, while driving a University Vehicle will lead to a review of the driver’s MVR and a determination as to suspension of driving privileges in accordance with the disqualifying conditions described above. 

7.  A decision to suspend or revoke a person’s privileges to rent or drive a University Vehicle under this policy may be appealed once, in writing, to the Vice President for Human Resources, whose decision on the matter shall be final.

8.  When a University Vehicle is assigned to a Department for use by its employees and authorized volunteers (including students), the responsible Department Head or designee must specifically authorize in writing every person who will be allowed to operate the vehicle and ensure the vehicle operator has been provided with all vehicle use policies and procedures.

9.  To be authorized, each driver of an assigned University Vehicle must pass an MVR check as for renting vehicles, above. Drivers must acknowledge their understanding of the policies and procedures in an agreement kept on file within the driver’s Department.

10. Allowing an unauthorized driver to drive an assigned or rented vehicle will result in the Department being responsible for all damages to the vehicle caused by that driver.

11. The CSU Department of Transportation Services may specify other procedures and requirements for renting and using vehicles and will publish them on its website.

Compliance with Laws, Regulations and Policies

  1. State laws and regulations require that the use of all University Vehicles be confined strictly to conducting official business for the University. Except as expressly authorized by the CSU Policy on Commuting, personal use of University Vehicles is prohibited.
  2. A University Vehicle may be driven to the employee’s residence and parked overnight if the driver is to depart on business from home the next day or kept overnight to return to CSU the next workday if the employee cannot return to campus on the same rental day. The vehicle must be legally parked and locked.
  3. All smoking, vaping and tobacco use in University Vehicles is against state law and the University’s smoking and tobacco policy. Alcohol, marijuana and illegal drugs are not allowed in University Vehicles at any time.

Seat Belt Use

Colorado State University recognizes that seat belts are effective in preventing injuries and fatalities. We care about our community members and want to reduce the risk of injuries in the event of an accident. Therefore, pursuant to Colorado law, all drivers and passengers in a University Vehicle or in a personal vehicle being used for university business must wear seat belts. Where appropriate, child restraints must also be used.

Vehicle Accidents and Damages

  1. Anyone involved in an accident with a University Vehicle, whether or not there are any physical damages or personal injuries, must report the accident to local authorities before leaving the scene of the accident. If this is not possible, then the report must be made within 24 hours. Employees and volunteers must also report the accident to their CSU supervisor at the first available opportunity. The supervisor is responsible for assuring that an accident report has been filed online with Risk Management and Insurance. Where a motor vehicle accident involves damage or injury to another party, contact Transportation Services to make the report, or file an incident report online. Insurance information is contained in the operator’s manual in the blue packet inside the vehicle.
  2. Departments are responsible for the first $2,500 in repairs to a University Vehicle regardless of fault. If the vehicle is a total loss as assessed by Transportation Services, the deductible will be $5,000. If damages are recovered from a third party, the Department’s deductible will be reimbursed to the extent of the recovery.
  3. Employees utilizing personal vehicles for business use are not covered under the University’s insurance policy. The driver’s personal auto policy will be in force.
  4. Whenever a vehicle is damaged through abuse or misuse, the Department employing the driver of the vehicle will be responsible for all damages.

Department Assigned Vehicles

  1. Short-term and permanent vehicle assignments are made by Transportation Services when a department requires the continuing use of a University Vehicle beyond the reasonable period for a motor pool rental. All such assigned vehicles are billed monthly for mileage, administrative, and other fees that apply.
  2. Transportation Services requires the monthly submission of a vehicle mileage report for billing purposes. In addition, these logs may be required for use by the employee’s Department and Business & Financial Services for tax and expense reporting purposes.
  3. All University vehicles will be maintained using the manufacturer’s preventive maintenance schedule/recommendation for that type of vehicle. Under no circumstances should a University vehicle be driven if it is not in good operating condition. Preventive maintenance is the routine scheduled maintenance of motor vehicles and includes the inspection of motor vehicles, tune-ups, oil changes, filter changes, verification and replenishment of fluids, lubrication, mechanical inspections, alignments, tire wear, and pressure checks. Good preventive maintenance will detect many problems before they become serious. This will reduce the amount of unscheduled maintenance and repair, as well as the costs and inconvenience associated with vehicle downtime. Vehicle operators are responsible for checking and adding the vehicle's gas, oil, battery fluid, and coolant when needed, and check and inflate the air pressure in the tires on a routine basis. All other maintenance must be performed by Transportation Services, which is responsible for overseeing a preventive maintenance program that provides notice (via email) to the assigned vehicle driver/department when maintenance is due. Failure to comply with preventive maintenance notices could result in losing the privilege to maintain the vehicle on the department’s inventory.

Fuel and Oil Purchases

Rental vehicles and some Department vehicles are assigned a Wright Express credit card. The card is unique to each vehicle and must remain with the assigned vehicle. The credit card may be used only for purchases for the vehicle to which the card is assigned. The Wright Express Credit Card is for fuel and oil purchases only. Repairs or other purchases should be referred to Transportation Services for approval.

Misuse of the credit card and unauthorized charges will be reported to CSU Police and the Department Head of the user Department for appropriate actions. The Department and/or the individual will be responsible for all unauthorized charges. Present the Wright Express credit card to the vendor prior to purchases (except for pay-at-the-pump purchases) to ensure acceptance of the card.

When a personal credit card is used to purchase fuel, please be sure the following information is clearly shown on the charge slips for reimbursement:

  • The vendor’s name, address
  • The date of purchase, the vehicle license and unit number, odometer reading, the amount/gallons purchased and cost of each item

Cell Phones and Texting

Cell phones should not be used while driving a University Vehicle. A single earpiece (covering one ear only) is allowed for cell phone calls only. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1411 Texting while driving is against the law in Colorado and most states and includes reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device. As with phone calls, if a text must be read or answered, the driver should pull off the road to a safe location before answering the text.

Portable Audio Devices

Colorado State University does not allow earphones or headphones of any type to be worn by a person operating a University Vehicle. Listening to portable audio devices or the car’s music system through earphones or headphones while driving a vehicle is illegal in most states, including Colorado. It has also been proven to be very distracting and dangerous. A single earpiece (covering one ear only) is allowed for cell phone calls only. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1411.

Tire Chains

Tire chains will not be provided for use on University Vehicles. If weather conditions are so bad that tire chains are necessary to travel, for safety reasons University Vehicles should not be on the road. All-season tires are installed on all vehicles and provide acceptable handling in most types of weather conditions. Tire chains are very hard on vehicle parts and tires. Any Department using chains will be responsible for any and all resulting damage to the University Vehicle.

Out of State/Country Travel Authorization

Colorado State University Vehicles may be used for out-of-state travel if the Department Head determines it is more economical than public transportation. The Wright Express credit card is valid anywhere in United States at service stations listed on the Wright Express publication in the glove box.

University Vehicles may not be taken into Canada or Mexico without prior written consent from Transportation Services. Special insurance and other requirements may affect these types of trips and must be taken care of prior to the trip being authorized. Additional costs may apply.

Student Use for University Business

  1. Students acting on behalf of a registered student organization may use University Vehicles only when the following conditions are met:
    1. The organization is officially recognized by Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SliCE).
    2. The organization funds must be on deposit with the University and the organization must be subject to budgetary control and other university procedures.
    3. Reimbursement must be made for the use of the vehicle, including direct and indirect costs. For student organizations with funds residing in SLiCE, internal Orders are approved by SLiCE.
    4. In the case of conferences, workshops, or meetings attended by residents of a campus housing unit, the University Housing professional staff member is authorized to serve as the employee accompanying the students.
  2. When a student drives on behalf of a Department, use of the vehicle must be approved in writing by an academic Department Head or designee. Such approvals may be valid for up to one year and are subject to the requirements for authorizing drivers, above.
  3. All student drivers must be currently enrolled at the University.
  4. Any placard, sign, decal, sticker, or other such item to be attached to a University Vehicle will need to be authorized and approved through Transportation Services and, where CSU logos or designs are included or a vehicle wrap is used, by Creative Services.


Compliance with this policy is required. For assistance with interpretation or application of this policy, contact Parking and Transportation Services


CSU Policy: Commuting
CSU Policy: Wheeled Conveyances
CSU Policy: Service Carts
CSU Policy: Alcohol and Drugs
CSU Policy: Vehicle Safety and Access, Core Campus
C.R.S. § 42-4-1411
CSU Vehicle Use Authorization Form


Approved May 18, 1993, by Vice President for Administrative Services

Revision approved January 28, 2015, by Office of Policy & Compliance

Revision approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations, on January 13, 2022