Vehicle Stewardship

This page outlines some of the key responsibilities of the Vehicle Custodian and highlights several significant policies governing vehicle operation. Because this information impacts anyone who operates a University vehicle, please communicate it to your drivers. Alternatively, if your department has developed and distributed a more specific policy for vehicle use, please ensure that at a minimum, it meets the standard set forth below, and send a copy to Fleet Services at

Official Use

  • A University vehicle shall only be used for official University business
  • A University vehicle shall not be regularly used for transportation to or from personal residences
  • For further information, please refer to:

Authorized Drivers

  • Authorized drivers may include properly licensed faculty, staff, and students aged 18 and up
  • Authorized drivers may also include properly licensed non-University persons, such as consultants, provided they have been approved by the appropriate campus official, and the vehicle is used only for official University business
  • In the next few months, we expect to formally require Driver Training and Driver Record Monitoring as elements of Driver Authorization (see chart)

Driver Record Monitoring

  • Your department must have a system in place to ensure that every driver of a University vehicle is properly licensed
  • Currently, your department must enroll the following drivers in Driver Record Monitoring: any employee hired specifically as a driver or any person (employee or otherwise) who routinely drives a University vehicle in the course of regular business. Other drivers may be enrolled at departmental discretion.
  • In the near future, we expect to roll out additional requirements for Driver's License Verification and Driver Record Monitoring (see chart)

Driver Training

  • Online Defensive Driver Training is available here at no cost to campus customers
  • In the next few months, we expect to formally require the training for specific types of drivers (see chart)

Required Inspections/Smogs

  • University vehicles must pass a safety inspection every six months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first. The safety inspection must be performed by a Fleet-approved service provider, using a Fleet-approved form.
  • Vehicles with an internal combustion engine must pass any required emissions inspections. Gasoline, E85, and light-duty CNG vehicles require smog inspection every other year. Effective April 2015, hybrid vehicles now require a smog test the same as a conventional vehicle. Diesel vehicles require an annual test (smog or opacity test, depending on vehicle weight). 

Departments will receive a reminder one to two months before the smog test deadline.  An $89 per month administrative charge will be assessed to each vehicle beginning the first month the smog test is past due and lasting until the smog test has been completed.  Further, vehicles past due for smog tests are subject to being ruled ineligible to be driven until the smog test is completed.

Vehicle Trip Logs

  • Trip logs must be maintained for each University vehicle
  • At a minimum, the trip log must allow the identification of the driver of the vehicle for any given date and time

Parking Citations and Moving Violations

  • Parking citations and moving violations may not be paid from any source of University funds
  • A driver who incurs a citation or violation is responsible for paying any associated fine
  • When you receive notice of a citation or violation, use the vehicle trip log to identify the driver.  Your department is responsible for compelling the driver to resolve the citation.

15-Passenger Vans

  • The University may not purchase, lease, or rent 15-passenger vans
  • We do own a number of 15-passenger vans that were acquired under obsolete policy.  These vehicles will be phased out.  In the interim, they may only be operated by drivers with a Class B license, and may not carry any passengers under 18 years of age.

Cell Phone Usage

  • California law prohibits driving while using a cell phone, unless the device is hands-free

Required Markings and Documents

  • All University vehicles require the following markings and documents:
  • Two California exempt license plates (front and back)
  • Two “Official Use” stickers (front and rear bumpers)
  • Fleet numbers (two inch numbers on front and rear of vehicle)
  • An equipment tag (currently top of steering column, but location is under review)
  • A copy of your registration card (glove box or similar location)
  • An accident reporting packet (glove box or similar location)
  • A copy of California Vehicle Code section 16020 (glove box or similar location), printed from: Highlight paragraph b4, which explains that for a publicly owned vehicle, proof of financial responsibility consists of demonstrating that the vehicle is publicly owned.  In other words, your registration card doubles as your proof of insurance.  Be sure that all your drivers are aware of this provision. 
  • All University vehicles with commercial registration, such as trucks and service vehicles, require additional markings:
    • Two University Seals (driver and passenger door)
    • Two instances of the department name (two-inch letters on driver and passenger doors, underneath the Seal)
    • Two additional sets of Fleet numbers (two-inch numbers on each side of the vehicle, towards the rear end)
  • Any other markings placed on a University vehicle must serve a valid business purpose

Vehicle Access Policy

  • Operation of a vehicle on the central campus is subject to the Vehicle Access Policy, found at
  • A campus service or maintenance vehicle may operate on the West Crescent, Wickson Road, Frank Schlessinger Way, University Drive, the Haas and Hilgard access roads, Optometry Lane, Barrow Lane, Eshleman Road, and the South Campanile Pathway
  • Other areas are considered restricted, and are typically blocked with barrier poles.  Access to restricted areas requires permission from UCPD.
  • Carts: the acceptable area of operation for electric carts and similar motorized equipment is currently under review.
  • University vehicles are not permitted to park in Red Zones and Fire Lanes.