University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Motor Pool Policies and Regulations

(Approved by the Executive Vice President by authority of Administrative Order No. 9)

1.  Description of Motor Pool Operations

Motor Pool Operations provides rental vehicles at economic rates for individuals authorized to travel on official University business. This is accomplished by maintaining a rental pool of University-owned vehicles and supplementing the pool, when necessary, by arranging services with an authorized commercial rental agency. Motor Pool Operations can also provide assistance with vehicles designed for the mobility limited. Motor Pool Operations is part of Transportation Services and is responsible for the purchase, rental, service, maintenance, and surplus of the University's fleet.

2.  Motor Vehicle Management and Use

Use of a University vehicle is governed by the state Office of Financial Management (OFM) as regulated in the State Administrative Accounting Manual, Section 70.40, "Motor Vehicle Management and Use."

  • "State-owned, leased, or rented passenger motor vehicles are to be used only for official state business of state agencies." Section 70.40.05.

  • "State agencies authorizing the use of state-owned or operated passenger motor vehicles are financially accountable for all costs resulting from the violation of these rules relating to the use of state-owned or operated passenger motor vehicles." Section 70.40.15.a.

  • "Agencies must advise employees that personal use of state-owned or operated passenger motor vehicles or violation of traffic safety laws constitutes grounds for disciplinary action which may include deductions from salaries or other allowances due, suspension without pay, or termination of employment in the case of repeated violations, suspension, or termination of the right to operate state-owned or operated motor vehicles." Section 70.40.15.b.
In addition, the following restrictions apply to University vehicles:
  • University vehicles may not be used for transportation between personal residences and the University campus or a University station without expressed written permission from Motor Pool management, whether on short-term or long-term rental.

  • Travel outside the prescribed area requires special written approval.

  • Animals may not be transported in University vehicles or commercial rental agency vehicles rented through Motor Pool Operations without prior approval. Exceptions are companions for the disabled and/or visually impaired.

3.  Persons Authorized to Use Motor Pool Vehicles

The following is a list of renters, drivers, and passengers authorized to operate and/or ride in University vehicles:

A.   Authorized Renters

  • UW Faculty with valid UW identification card.

  • UW Staff with valid UW identification card.

  • UW Student with valid UW identification card.

  • Authorized volunteers formally affiliated with an official UW program, supervised by a UW employee, and covered under the Worker's Compensation Program.

  • Individuals under contract to the University with a letter of authorization from their sponsoring department.

B.   Authorized Drivers (same as Authorized Renters including)

  • Government employees (State, Federal, County, and Municipal) covered by a specific indemnification agreement.

C.   Authorized Passengers (same as Authorized Renters and Authorized Drivers including)

  • Research subjects unable to transport themselves.

  • Patients and patient's families that require transport for patient care services.

  • Vendors in the course of University business.

  • Visiting dignitaries, speakers and scholars.

  • Disabled persons attending conferences sponsored by the University.

D.   Unauthorized Drivers and Passengers

  • Conference attendees (see Disabled Persons above for exception).

  • Spouses, children, friends, and acquaintances of faculty, staff and students.

  • Continuing Education students and instructors.

  • Experimental College students and instructors.

  • Work experience program participants.

  • Recruits, prospective employees, and/or graduate school candidates.

Any questions concerning this authorized list may be addressed by contacting Motor Pool Operations. Allowing an unauthorized driver or passenger to operate and/or ride in a University vehicle, may invalidate the University's insurance coverage and will make the renter and/or the department responsible for damages.

4.  Responsibilities of Vehicle Operators

Operators of state-owned vehicles are continually under the scrutiny of the public and are vulnerable to criticism. University vehicles are considered "high profile" and vehicles and operators must adhere to all traffic laws and regulations at all times.

Although the operator of a University vehicle is held responsible for its operation, department heads are also responsible for making certain internal procedures are implemented to ensure the following:

  • Only employees, students of the University, authorized volunteers, or other persons on official University business may operate or ride in a university vehicle.

  • Operators are familiar with and abide by the policies specified herein, rules specified in Chapter 478-116 WAC, "Parking and Traffic Rules of the University of Washington," and applicable state and local laws.

  • Each person authorized to operate a University vehicle:

    • Has with them at all times, a driver's license recognized as valid under Washington State Law.

    • Has with them at all times, a University of Washington ID card. Temporary employees other than students, staff, or faculty must have an official letter from their sponsoring department granting them authorization to operate or ride in a University vehicle.

    • Has the Motor Pool Rental Agreement in the vehicle at all times during the trip.

    • Has a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) as required by law when operating a vehicle designed to carry more than 16 passengers or a vehicle that weighs in excess of 26,000 GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).

    • Has become familiar with these regulations.

  • Investigation and appropriate disciplinary action may be taken by the operator's department if warranted if violations of these regulations or complaints regarding suspected improper use of a University vehicle occur.

  • Operators observe commonly accepted rules of courtesy toward pedestrians and other drivers.

  • Operators respond promptly when the Motor Pool Maintenance Shop requests a vehicle assigned to a department be returned for maintenance services.

  • Operators properly care for the University vehicle including:

    • No smoking in a University vehicle.

    • No open alcoholic beverage containers in a University vehicle.

    • Fueling and servicing the vehicle at the Motor Pool facility unless the vehicle is kept or travels outside the Seattle area.

    • Immediately reporting service, damage, or needed repairs to the Motor Pool Maintenance Shop.

    • Maintaining the vehicle by bringing it to the Motor Pool Maintenance Shop for regularly scheduled service, oil change, and lubrication every 3,000 miles or four month interval, whichever is sooner. If unable to bring the vehicle to the Motor Pool Maintenance Shop an alternate contractor may be designated by Motor Pool management.

    • Cleaning and washing the vehicle as needed to maintain a positive appearance. A cleaning fee of $25 per hour may be charged to clean vehicles with exceptionally dirty interiors.

    • Locking the vehicle when unoccupied.

    • Taking personal responsibility for all traffic violations, parking violations, and towing and/or storage fees resulting from parking violations. Departments are responsible for towing resulting from off-road use, parking fees, storage fees, tolls, and ferries.

    • Using and parking the vehicle in a manner that will not reflect unfavorably on the University.

    • Returning the vehicle to Motor Pool Operations at the appointed time.

    • Maintaining a trip log showing departure and return dates, destination, vehicle operator, and the person who authorized each trip.

5.  Additional Information

To rent a vehicle or for other detailed information regarding Motor Pool procedures, see the UW Motor Pool website.

May 1, 2002.