Fleet Policies and Procedures

I. University Motor Pool

A. Transportation & Parking Services maintains the university’s motor pool for vehicles needed to conduct day-to-day business activities.

B. University departments are required to utilize the motor pool unless the department can demonstrate that a cost savings can be realized by the purchase, lease, or vehicle rental from an external source.

  1. Purchase must be more cost effective than renting a similar vehicle on a daily basis or reimbursing staff for use of his/her personal car when used for business purposes.
  2. Cost savings for purchase or long-term leases must be shown over the minimum term of a leased vehicle or expected useful life of a purchased vehicle.

II. Acquisition of Vehicles

A. Acquisition of any motor vehicle regardless of the method obtained (purchased, leased, donated, intra-departmental transfer, or other), source of funding or intended use requires approval of the authorizing department, dean/vice president or designee and the director of transportation and parking services before acquiring the vehicle.

B. An approved Vehicle Acquisition Form and an approved requisition should be submitted to the Purchasing Department for each purchased or leased vehicle requested.

C. When requesting transfer of vehicles between departments, an Intra-Departmental Transfer form with a copy of an Equipment Ownership Transfer Form must be submitted to Transportation & Parking Services by the appropriate dean/vice president or designee.

D. Transfer of vehicles acquired through the Research Foundation must have prior approval of The Ohio State University Research Foundation property administration.

III. Vehicle Standards

A. Motor vehicles acquired by the university must meet or exceed safety, mechanical, and appearance standards as determined by the director of transportation and parking services.

B. All university vehicles must display the official university logo.

  1. Transportation & Parking Services is responsible for affixing the university logo on the vehicle.
  2. No other lettering, insignia, decals or signs can be affixed without the authorization of University Relations.
  3. Requests for exceptions to any of the above requirements must be submitted in writing by the appropriate dean/vice president or designee to the assistant vice president for business operations.

IV. Receipt, Acceptance, and Registration of Vehicles

A. Transportation & Parking Services acts as the receiver for all newly obtained university vehicles regardless of source.

B. Before a vehicle can be accepted by the using department, Transportation & Parking Services must ensure that:

  1. The vehicle complies with specifications.
  2. The vehicle adheres to mechanical, appearance and safety standards.
  3. The title and registration are properly filed.
  4. Insurance is in force.

C. Transportation & Parking Services maintains all legal documents pertaining to the titling, registration, and transfer of all university owned vehicles.

D. The director of transportation and parking services authorizes all titling and registration transactions and coordinates registration and licensing with the lessor and the Purchasing Department for all vehicles leased by the university.

E. All vehicles owned or leased by the university must display a State license plate as assigned by Transportation & Parking Services. Unmarked vehicles used exclusively for law enforcement activities may be exempt from this requirement.

V. Business Use of Vehicles

A. University vehicles are to be used only for authorized university business. It is the responsibility of the department head to enforce proper use of university vehicles assigned to the using department.

B. Usage of university vehicles must be documented on a mileage/use log. Service vehicles (marked cruisers, service trucks and vans, etc.) are exempt from this requirement.

C. University vehicles are to be housed on university property when not in use.

D. The university’s motor pool should be used whenever possible for approved business travel by automobile that originates from Columbus.

E. University vehicles are to be operated only by authorized individuals.

  1. An individual is considered authorized once the Driver Registration Form has been completed and submitted to Transportation & Parking Services.
  2. Individuals who have not completed the Driver Registration Form will not be covered by university insurance when operating a university owned, leased or rented vehicle, and may be liable for all damages and claims.
  3. It is the responsibility of department heads to ensure that drivers of university vehicles are licensed, registered, properly trained, and registered with Transportation & Parking Services for insurance coverage (see section VII. Driver Qualifications).

F. Drivers of any university operated vehicle must comply with all state and local traffic laws. Drivers are responsible for payment of any fines resulting from violation of motor vehicle regulations while operating university vehicles.

G. Only authorized passengers may ride in university vehicles. These may be faculty, staff, students, or guests of the university.

VI. Personal Use of Vehicles

A. Personal use of a State vehicle is prohibited except when employees are required to travel for business on a regular basis, and it is inefficient and more costly to return to a central point and exchange a State vehicle for a personal vehicle.

  1. Personal use (as defined above) must be authorized in advance by the vice president or dean. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the dean or vice president and the senior vice president for business and finance.
  2. In such cases, the individuals are required to keep documentation for tax and benefit purposes as directed by the associate vice president for human resources.
    1. All personal use miles must be documented, and a tax certificate must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources by October 31 each year.
    2. The employee will be taxed on the annual lease value of the vehicle for the percent of personal use identified.
    3. If documentation designating the percent of personal usage is not maintained or if it is not submitted to the Office of Human Resources by October 31, the employee will be taxed on the entire annual lease value.

VII. Driver Qualifications

A. At a minimum, all drivers of university vehicles:

  1. Must have a valid United States or Canadian Drivers License.
    1. Must be at least 18 years of age.
    2. Must be a university faculty, staff, student employee, or otherwise working in an official capacity for the university.
    3. Must be authorized by the using department head.
  2. Must meet university standards, as specified by Transportation & Parking Services, to operate a university owned or leased vehicle.
  3. Must be registered with Transportation & Parking Services for insurance purposes.

B. It is the using department’s responsibility to ensure that all driver qualifications are met.

C. The composite driving record, both personal and professional, may be considered when assessing driver qualifications.

D. When assessing driver qualifications, the university may obtain a copy of the official driving record of any registered driver from the applicable state.

VIII. Insurance and Accident Reporting

A. An accident is defined as any incident that causes damage to persons or property.

B. If an accident involving a vehicle that is owned, leased, donated or otherwise managed by the university results in personal injury to either party or results in property damage that equals or exceeds $400, an accident report must be filed with local authorities.

C. Departments are required to report all accidents (even those not requiring a report to local authorities) to Transportation & Parking Services within 48 hours after the occurrence.

D. Transportation & Parking Services processes all insurance claims for university vehicles.

E. Departments may not authorize repairs (other than emergency repairs to safely return to their lodging/destination) until authorization is received from Transportation & Parking Services.

F. Departments are liable for the deductible for each incident as established by the university.

X. Use of Gasoline Credit Cards

A. University vehicles on the Columbus campus should be fueled at university facilities.

Exceptions must be approved by the director of transportation and parking services.

B. If use of the university’s fueling station is not feasible, or when the vehicle is to be used off campus or on extended trips, departments may apply for a commercial gasoline credit card.

  1. Use of the commercial gasoline credit card is restricted to university vehicle fuel expenses and repairs.
  2. To avoid federal fuel tax charges, no other university credit card should be used to purchase fuel.
  3. All requests for commercial gasoline credit cards must be approved by the appropriate using department authority and the director of transportation and parking services.

XI. Return or Disposal of Vehicles

A. University Owned Vehicles

  1. When returning a university owned vehicle, the using department must complete an Intra-Departmental Transfer Form or State Vehicle Disposal form, surrender all commercial gasoline credit cards, State license plates, and copies of the vehicle registration to Transportation & Parking Services.
  2. Transportation & Parking Services will facilitate the disposal/transfer of the vehicle, adjust the inventory list and cancel the registration and insurance, as appropriate.
  3. The director of transportation and parking services will authorize the transfer of title to the buyer to facilitate the change of ownership of any university owned vehicle.

B. Donated or Leased Vehicles

  1. Leased vehicles may not be returned to the lessor before the completion of the lease term without the authorization of the director of the purchasing department.
  2. Vehicles returned at the termination of leases or donation periods must be processed and coordinated with Transportation & Parking Services so that the university’s inventory and insurance coverage can be properly adjusted.
  3. Departments are responsible for arranging vehicle return to lessor/donor at the end of their agreement.
  4. Departments must remove the State license plates and return them to Transportation & Parking Services with a letter of return that includes the name of the vendor/donor to whom vehicle was returned, date returned, and mileage at the time of return.
  5. The using department is responsible for reporting any change in fleet status to Transportation & Parking Services when the change occurs.

IX. Preventive Maintenance and Annual Safety Inspections

A. Department Responsibilities 

  1. Each using department is responsible for maintaining its assigned vehicles and must establish regular annual safety inspections, service schedules and preventive maintenance programs in cooperation with Transportation & Parking Services.
  2. Departments are responsible for making repairs as necessary to maintain the vehicle in compliance with university standards. Vehicles must be repaired and maintained by professional automotive technicians.
  3. Departments must keep maintenance/repair records for each vehicle as required by Transportation & Parking Services. These records must be provided to Transportation & Parking Services during the vehicle’s annual safety inspection.
  4. Using departments are encouraged to make sure vehicles receive a basic safety and mechanical inspection prior to use.
  5. Deficiencies found in safety and mechanical inspections should be corrected immediately. Using departments with vehicles that have questionable safety or road worthy status should have the vehicles inspected by Transportation & Parking Services or their approved designee.
  6. The using department is responsible for correcting deficiencies identified in the annual inspection. Using departments will be charged a fee for the annual inspection. Failure to have deficiencies corrected may result in loss of use of the vehicle and impoundment fees.

B. Transportation & Parking Services’ Responsibilities

  1. Transportation & Parking Services is responsible for ensuring that the mechanical, safety, and appearance conditions of each vehicle meet the university’s standards.
  2. Transportation & Parking Services will confirm that the using department is maintaining the vehicle according to the prescribed service schedule.
  3. Transportation & Parking Services will coordinate the annual inspection of all university vehicles in accordance with current inspection standards.
  4. Adherence to the annual inspection schedule will be monitored regularly by Transportation & Parking Services and non-compliance will be reported to the dean or vice president.