CSU Policy: University Vehicles

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 Major Revision: 1/28/2015
Print Version: Click Here to Print


This policy governs the use of vehicles that are owned or leased by the University.


This policy applies to all persons while using a university vehicle, and to all departments and organizational units.


“University vehicle” means any vehicle owned, leased or otherwise secured for use by the university. It does not include private vehicles of students or employees that are merely being used in the course of university business.


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 university department or business unit for a period of time. University vehicles must be used only for official University business purposes in accordance with the provisions of this policy.


Compliance with Laws and Regulations

State laws and regulations required that the use of all university vehicles be confined strictly to conducting official business for the university. Personal use of university vehicles is prohibited. In the case of a vehicle assigned to a department or business unit for continuing use, the unit head must authorize the use of the university vehicle and ensure the vehicle operator has been provided with all vehicle use policies and procedures.

Drivers must acknowledge their understanding of the policies and procedures in an agreement kept on file within the driver's department. All University vehicles are to be operated in a lawful manner. Drivers are responsible for any traffic and parking violations incurred while using the vehicle. Employees shall report any moving violations to their supervisor. In the discretion of the unit head, along with Human Resources and Risk Management, steps may be taken to address bad driving behavior, which may include revoking the privilege to use university vehicles.

Commuting in university vehicles is not allowed except as provided in the CSU Commuting Policy. A University vehicle may be driven to the employee’s residence and parked overnight if the driver is to depart early in the morning when Transportation Services is not open, or, kept overnight to return to CSU the next work day if the employee cannot return to campus on the same rental day. The vehicle must be legally parked and locked.

Smoking in University vehicles is against state law and the university’s smoking policy. Alcohol is not allowed in University vehicles.

Seat Belt Use

Colorado State University recognizes that seat belts are effective in preventing injuries and fatalities. We care about our students, faculty, and staff, and want to reduce the risk that, in the event of an accident, a passenger is injured or killed. Therefore, all students, faculty, and staff of Colorado State University must wear seat belts when operating or riding in a university vehicle. Where appropriate, child restraints must also be used when riding in a university vehicle or in a personal vehicle being used for university business.

Vehicle Accidents and Damages

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 within 24 hours. Employees must also report the accident to their supervisor at the first available opportunity. In addition to the police report, a university accident report must be completed. Contact the Office of Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) at 970-491-6745 1432 to make the report. Insurance information is contained in the operator's manual in the blue packet inside the vehicle.

Departments are responsible for the first $1,000 in repairs to a university vehicle. Employees utilizing personal vehicles for business use are not covered under the University’s insurance policy. Your personal auto policy will be in force.

Whenever a vehicle is damaged through abuse, negligence, misuse, or when driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, the department employing the driver of the vehicle will be furnished with a police report or with a complete statement of the circumstances by the Department of Transportation Services. The department and/or the individual shall be responsible for all damages.

Vehicle Mileage Log

Short-term and permanent vehicle assignments are made by Transportation Services when a department or organizational unit requires the continuing use of a university vehicle beyond the reasonable period for a daily rental. All such assigned vehicles are billed monthly for mileage, administrative, and other fees that apply. Transportation Services requires the monthly submission of a vehicle mileage log for billing purposes. The department will be contacted if there are discrepancies in the mileage reported. In addition, these logs may be required for use by the employee’s department and Business & Financial Services for tax and expense reporting purposes.

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 campus 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 (with the exception of pay-at-the-pump purchases), to ensure acceptance of the card.

NOTE: The Wright Express Fuel credit card can be used at point of sale pumps when they are available.

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 and name of company represented.
  • The date of purchase, the vehicle license and unit number, odometer reading, the amount/gallons purchased and cost of each item.

Citations for all parking and traffic violations will be the personal responsibility of the vehicle operator. This includes parking tickets received while parking on the CSU campus.

Cell Phones and Texting

Cell phones should not be used while driving a university vehicle. In cases where a call must be taken, the driver should pull off the road and stop to complete the call. Texting while driving is against the law in Colorado and includes reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device, e-mailing, instant messaging, web browsing, obtaining navigational information, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication. As with phone calls above, 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 for vehicle drivers. This includes, but is not limited to: MP3 players, CD players, DVD players, and cell phones.

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 student, faculty, and staff safety reasons, university vehicles should not be on the road. All-season tires are installed on all vehicles and provide acceptable handle 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 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.

Student Use for University Business

Students involved in departmental business may use University vehicles only when the following conditions are met:

  • The use is consistent with the policies of the University, including the policy on Authorized Users of University Vehicles. See: Vehicle Rental General Information - Daily or Short-term.
  • Use of the vehicle is approved in writing by an academic department head or administrative head of an administrative or academic-support unit.
  • The student is currently enrolled at the University, and
  • Signs should be used on the automobiles whenever the use of the automobiles might be misunderstood. The signs should specify the purpose for which the automobiles are being used, such as a physical education ski class.
  • Any advertisement attached to a University vehicle will need to be authorized and approved through University Administration.

There is a separate policy on use of university vehicles by registered student organizations.


CSU Commuting Policy


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

Revision 1.01 approved January 28, 2015 by Office of Policy & Compliance


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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