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The policies on this webpage have been streamlined and reformatted, and are now available on the University Policies webpage. We ask that you use this new resource, as future changes, additions to or eliminations of these policies will only be made to the University Policies webpage, and policy manuals you may have used in the past will no longer be updated. 

BPM-406 Vehicles

Revised September 18, 2012

The purpose of the University vehicle policy is to ensure that University vehicles are acquired, assigned, utilized, maintained, and replaced appropriately and all vehicles operated on official University Business are done so in a safe and appropriate manner.

A University vehicle is any licensed motor vehicle owned, loaned, rented, or leased by The  Curators of the University and used primarily to transport people or property on roads, highways or University property.  For purposes of this policy, rental vehicles are considered University vehicles when rented by an authorized employee and while used for Official University Business.

Under special circumstances a non-University owned vehicle may be provided by a supplier and permanently assigned to a University employee.  The operation of these vehicles shall be consistent with the section entitled “Operation of Vehicles on Official University Business.”

“Official University Business” means any activity conducted by an individual in the performance of duties as assigned by the University to that individual.

“Personal Use” means any trip or segment thereof that is made for the purpose of participating in an activity or function that is not Official University Business, or for which the expenses are not reimbursable by the University, or which is made to transport an unauthorized passenger.

University vehicles shall only be used for Official University Business and not for Personal Use except when authorized as compensation and its value is recognized as income or when assigned to the Chief of Police.


The supervisor or administrative head of a department or other organizational unit having administrative custody of a University vehicle or whose employees drive vehicles on Official University Business is responsible for:

  • Assuring compliance with vehicle policies covering acquisition, assignment, disposal, maintenance, appropriate use, and record keeping.
  • Taking reasonable steps to ensure that operators of vehicles on Official University Business have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated.  Completion of the Driver Notification and Verification Form is an example of a reasonable step, absent notice that operator’s legal driving status has changed.
  • Reviewing requests and approving appropriate assignments of University vehicles to non-employees, in order that such drivers may be protected under the provisions of University liability insurance.
  • Reviewing the annual mileage of each University vehicle in the department and justifying the continued use of any vehicle driven fewer than 10,000 miles per year.

For further information on Administrative Responsibilities, review the Risk & Insurance Management FAQs website.  If you do not find the information you need, contact them at MgmtU@umsystem.edu.


When planning a business trip, supervisors or administrative heads of departments and travelers should determine the most cost effective travel option for trips, taking into consideration the following options:  vehicle rental from an outside agency, using a University owned vehicle, and mileage reimbursement for the use of a personal vehicle.

All relevant factors such as employee time and effort, proximity to rental or University vehicles, length of trip, and other administrative costs should be considered when selecting the most cost effective method of travel.


All purchases of University vehicles shall be handled through Procurement Services.  Purchase from state contracts, or other existing contracts that offer exceptional value is strongly encouraged.  Purchase of used vehicles should be considered.  The vehicle type, size and accessories specified must be appropriate for the intended use.

Before any new or replacement vehicle is purchased, a review of both the overall need for the vehicle and a cost-benefit analysis of purchasing a vehicle should be completed.  Departments should evaluate the cost per mile to operate the vehicles taking into consideration acquisition costs, expected retail or trade-in value, and operating costs such as fuel, maintenance and other administrative expenses.  The Cost/Benefit Analysis of Purchase vs. Rental spreadsheet is available for use in making these calculations.

If anticipated annual mileage of a non-exempt* vehicle is fewer than 10,000 miles, the administrative head of the department should consider use of fleet vehicles, rental vehicles or encourage employees to use their personal vehicle instead of purchasing a vehicle.  Written justification for purchase of a non-exempt vehicle that is expected to be driven fewer than 10,000 miles each year must be approved by the division head and provided to the department fiscal officer.  Vehicles used on a daily basis, for example mail delivery vehicles, are exempt from this requirement.

*See list of exempted vehicles under CAFE Standards.

Sport Utility and Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles

In order to justify the purchase or lease of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and four-wheel drive vehicles, each department seeking to purchase or lease either SUVs or four-wheel drive vehicles must demonstrate in writing, to the satisfaction of the division head that the vehicle is required to perform an essential function.  If it is so demonstrated, priority consideration shall be given to the purchase or lease of an alternative fuel or hybrid SUV or four-wheel drive vehicle.

15 Passenger Vans

Due to safety issues, all 15 passenger van acquisitions must be approved by the Director of Risk Management. Consult the Risk and Insurance Management website for Safety Guidelines for use of 15 passenger vans.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Seventy percent (70%) of non-exempt fleet vehicle purchases must be Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV).

REFERENCE: RSMo §414.400-414.417 and RSMo §37.455

Bid specifications must include requests for bids for both standard fuel vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.  Based on anticipated usage information provided by the department, Procurement Services shall calculate life cycle costs based on bids for each.  When the life cycle costs for the alternative fuel vehicle are less than, or exceed the life cycle costs of a standard fuel vehicle by no more than 10% (17% in Kansas City and St. Louis) the alternative fuel vehicle must be purchased.

Prior to achievement of the percentage of AFV purchases, the requirement to purchase AFVs may be waived by a Vice Chancellor or Vice President in exceptional circumstances when justification is provided in writing.  Justification may include:

  • The department’s vehicles will be operating primarily in an area in which alternative fuel is not reasonably available; or
  • The University is unable to acquire or operate vehicles within the life cycle cost limitations cited above.

After a campus has achieved the required percentage of AFV purchases in a biennial period, Procurement Services may waive this requirement, so long as it does not jeopardize the attainment of this goal for the campus.

Alternative Fuel

State legislation requires at least 30 percent of all fuel used in alternative fuel vehicles be the designated alternative fuel.

REFERENCERSMo §414.400.2

For more information see the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website regarding Alternative Fuels

CAFE Standards

The criteria used to specify and evaluate bids for new vehicles shall consider fuel economy.  All non-exempt vehicles must meet Corporation Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards set by the EPA

Exempted Vehicles

Vehicles exempted from this requirement are:

  1. primarily used off road, for construction or road maintenance;
  2. regularly used in the movement of maintenance or construction equipment;
  3. trucks or utility vehicles that are regularly used to transport trailers;
  4. vehicles with manufacturer-stated seating capacity exceeding six persons and the department head has certified that the vehicle will be used to transport its rated capacity;
  5. vehicles used primarily for criminal law enforcement or motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, ambulances;
  6. vehicles over 8500 lbs; or
  7. any type of vehicle for which the EPA has not published fuel economy comparisons.
Replacement of Vehicles

When a vehicle is unsafe, unreliable, uneconomical to operate, or when annual maintenance cost exceeds 30% of the value of the vehicle, consideration should be given to replacing the vehicle.  Departments should strive to replace vehicles before operating costs become prohibitive.  The suggested replacement cycle for standard passenger vehicles is 100,000 miles or seven years. 

All vehicle purchases shall be made using the UM Purchasing Policy guidelines.

Titling and Licensing of University Vehicles

When University vehicles are purchased, an individual designated by each campus will be responsible for completing the appropriate documents for the titles and license plates for new or used vehicles.  Titles for University vehicles will be maintained and filed in a location designated by each campus.


Vehicles driven on Official University Business shall only be operated by authorized employees or when to the advantage of the University, by non-employees.  All individuals who drive any vehicle on Official University Business must have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated.  All individuals who drive a vehicle on Official University Business must notify their supervisor if their driving privileges are suspended or revoked.

REFERENCEHR-504 Background Checks and Criminal Convictions

Any individual who drives a vehicle on Official University Business without a valid driver’s license may be ineligible for defense or protection for any claims, causes of action, liabilities or damages arising from or occurring as a result of the operation of a vehicle on Official University Business without a valid driver’s license.

REFERENCECRR 490.010 Defense and Protection of Employees

The operation of any vehicle on Official University Business in violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including but  not limited to termination of employment.

Assignment of University Vehicles

The assignment of University owned vehicles is limited to employees or, when to the advantage of the University, to non-employees.  The use of any University vehicle is restricted to the conduct of Official University Business, and not for personal use, except when authorized as compensation and its value is recognized as income or when assigned to the Chief of Police.

Assignment to an Individual

A University vehicle may only be assigned to a licensed individual to be used in a commuting capacity under one or more of the following circumstances:

  • An employee works from his/her home and the division head has determined that it is unreasonable for the employee to pick up and drop off the vehicle each day
  • The employee is subject to 24-hour call
  • The employee must operate a special use vehicle
  • The President, or the Board of Curators, has determined that by virtue of the employee’s position, it is in the best interests of the University to assign a vehicle to an individual
  • A non-University vehicle is provided by a supplier as a courtesy vehicle for use by a University employee

An employee using an exclusively assigned vehicle must report personal usage annually to the designated campus office so the correct value can be included for W-2 reporting.  The information required to be provided can be found on the Payroll Information site on the Controller’s website.

Driver’s License Required

Operators of vehicles on Official University Business must have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated.

NOTE:  When golf carts are driven on roads and highways, they are considered motor vehicles under Missouri law, and shall follow all state and local traffic laws and ordinances.  Therefore, the applicable driver’s license would be required. 

Individuals who are employed for the purpose of operating commercial motor vehicles must obtain the applicable commercial driver’s license (CDL).

A CDL is necessary to operate:

  • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.
  • A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds.
  • A vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons (including the driver).
  • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards.

REFERENCE:  See HR-511: Commercial Driver’s License, for information regarding testing and training requirements.

Passengers in University Vehicles

Passengers in University vehicles are limited to employees, students or guests of the University traveling on Official University Business.  Authorized passengers who are properly licensed to drive in accordance with the provisions above are authorized to assist in the driving of a University vehicle.

Compliance with Traffic Regulations and Safety

Established speed limits and all other traffic rules and regulations must be observed.  The University is not responsible for traffic violations by drivers on Official University Business.  Operators must drive carefully, safely and courteously.

Alcohol and Controlled Substances

Operators shall not drive while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or any other substance that impairs their ability to drive.  Transportation of controlled substances in University vehicles is prohibited except when necessary in the conduct of Official University Business.

Seat Belts

While on Official University  Business, all drivers and passengers shall wear seat belts when traveling in any University vehicle or any personally owned vehicle which is equipped with passenger restraints.  No vehicle shall be operated when the number of occupants exceeds the number of passenger restraints available.  It shall be the driver's and each passenger's responsibility to wear their seat belts.

Cellular Telephones and/or Other Wireless Devices

Due to the risks associated with use of cellular telephones and/or other wireless devices while driving on Official University Business, such use by drivers is discouraged.  In some cases, cellular telephone usage and/or use of other wireless devices (“texting”) is prohibited by law.  Drivers shall not text while operating a vehicle on Official University Business.  Drivers must comply with applicable law in jurisdictions which prohibit or limit use of cellular telephones and/or other wireless devices.  In all other areas, due to the risks when such use is necessary, the vehicle should be pulled off the road and stopped while the device is in use.

Safety When Refueling

Consult the Risk and Insurance Management website for Safe Refueling.


Smoking is not permitted in any University vehicle.

Overnight Parking

Drivers of official vehicles are subject to, and responsible for compliance with all University and governmental traffic and parking regulations.  Except for vehicles assigned to an individual to be used in a commuting capacity (see Assignment of University Vehicles), the following parking regulations apply.

  • University owned vehicles not being used for out-of-town trips are to be returned each night to their usual parking place on the campus.
  • Any vehicle being used for an out-of-town trip for which a departure time is scheduled before 8:00 a.m. may be taken to the home of the driver the evening before the trip, or when the arrival time back from a trip is after 5:00 p.m. the vehicle may be parked at the home of the driver the night after the trip, provided the vehicle can be safely parked during the night.
  • Any vehicle taken to the home of the driver under the above circumstances is not to be used for personal business or to transport an unauthorized passenger even as part of the trip to or from the campus.


University vehicles shall be operated and serviced in an efficient and environmentally sound manner.  At a minimum, organizational units having administrative custody of a University vehicle shall follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for each vehicle.  Each unit, or designated department, shall have a vehicle preventative maintenance policy listing the required maintenance activities for each type of vehicle the unit owns or leases.

All maintenance and repairs performed on University vehicles must be documented and retained for the life of the vehicle.

Safety Inspections

All University owned vehicles must have a valid motor vehicle safety inspection completed biennially as follows:

  • Any vehicle manufactured as an even-numbered model year vehicle shall be inspected in each even-numbered calendar year; and
  • Any vehicle manufactured as an odd-numbered model year vehicle shall be inspected in each odd-numbered calendar year.

New motor vehicles not previously titled and registered are not required to be inspected for the five year period following their model year of manufacture.  Specialty vehicles, such as solar cars and low-speed vehicles, do not require safety inspections.

Emissions Testing

In order to meet the national health-based standards for air pollutants as established by the Clean Air Act of 1964, the University follows EPA guidelines. Emissions testing is required as a part of the safety inspection for all University vehicles owned and operated in the St. Louis area. 


Personal Vehicle Used for Business

When employees use their personal vehicle for business, a record of such activity should be maintained.  The University has two forms available for this purpose, and these forms can also be used to request and approve reimbursement for the business use.  The forms can be found on the Records Management web site under Finance/Budget Forms.

The first form, UM 11B, "Travel - Trip Expense Detail" is to be used when a single trip is made.  It documents the business use of a personal vehicle as well as any other expenses of the trip.  Date, destination, purpose of the trip, and the number of miles driven are all required on the form.  See the website and the completion instructions for additional information.

The second form, UM 11A, "Travel - Daily Expense Detail" is to be used when multiple trips are made in the same personal vehicle.  It also allows for any other related expenses for each trip to be documented for reimbursement.  Date, destination, purpose and mileage of each trip are all required on the form.

University Vehicle Records

To the extent possible, all direct costs of owning and operating University vehicles must be fully documented.  Appropriate managerial review of vehicle usage and maintenance shall be conducted on a regular basis.

Annual Reporting on University Vehicles

In compliance with state reporting requirements, each department or division will annually provide the campus Vehicle Coordinator with information regarding vehicle acquisitions, disposals, mileage, fuel use and fuel expenditures by fuel type, and maintenance and repair costs.

The following logs are provided to assist in maintaining the necessary data for each vehicle.  Departments may develop alternative forms, or an equivalent data entry system authorized by the campus Vehicle Coordinator as long as the necessary data is captured.

Forms for recording Vehicle Usage (UM 72), Fuel (UM 73), and Maintenance (UM 74) are available at the Records Management website. 


University Surplus Property policy and procedures shall be followed for disposal or sale of University vehicles.  If a University vehicle is to be offered as a trade, it must be through a competitive bid process handled through Procurement Services.

REFERENCEBPM-308:  Resale, Sale, or Disposal

After sale, trade or disposal, an inventory form (UM 27) shall be completed to record transfer of ownership.