You may be thinking… The fleet policies are an enormous and hard to understand document. Do I really have to read them?
Yes! You must read them in order to drive a state vehicle, and for your own protection.
By requesting permission to drive a state owned vehicle, you are agreeing in writing that you have read these policies and accept the responsibility for following them. Breaking these rules can result in employment/student discipline, loss of driving privileges, or even result in you becoming personally financially responsible for collision damage, medical expenses or other costly items such as personal income tax.
Ask UW Fleet staff questions if you would like any clarification.
Please familiarize yourself with all fleet policies (UW and State) before making a reservation/requesting a department vehicle. All drivers must comply with policies.
State Fleet Driver Policies and Procedures Manual (2004) – PDF
UW Fleet Policies
Full policies can be found below. Miscellaneous policy items are as follows:
- Driving without shoes is not permitted.
- Keys are not to be left inside an unattended vehicle under any circumstances.
- Vehicle credit cards are issued to University fleet vehicles for vehicle expenses only. No snacks, soda, coffee, etc. can be charged to the card.
- The University is not responsible for personal items left in fleet vehicles.
- All driving complaints against University drivers are investigated and, based on facts, may jeopardize future vehicle use.
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All crashes/damage of any kind involving a UW fleet vehicle must be reported to UW-Madison Risk Management within 24 hours. An information packet with instructions and a vehicle incident report are located in the vehicle glove box or on the Risk Management site. After hours, the UW Police may be contacted for emergencies.
State owned vehicles are covered by the state’s property and liability program, as administered by UW-Madison Risk Management.
Liability coverage is provided through the state’s liability program, and provides coverage for all approved drivers in the course and scope of their employment. Employee injuries while in a motor vehicle are covered under worker’s compensation. Non-employees must rely on their own health insurance to take care of any auto accident related injuries, unless the accident is the fault of a University driver – in which case, the University will be responsible. Since state vehicles do not have “medical payments” coverage, spouses, relatives, etc. are not authorized to ride with a University employee. All passengers in University vehicles must be on official University business at all times.
Obtain needed medical assistance, notify local law enforcement, and request a police report. Report all injuries as soon as possible to Risk Management at (608) 262-8926. Be sure to provide your own valid contact information for follow up. Do not make statements to third parties about fault or blame for an accident/incident/injury.
Property Damage (except auto glass damage)
Contact local law enforcement and request a police report. Often, officers will quote a $1000 or similar damage threshold that triggers the report requirement and attempt to evade writing a report on that basis. Politely, but firmly, challenge them on this! Virtually all crash damage will, in fact, exceed this amount. If the officer does not initiate a police report, and the damage exceeds $1,000, you will be required to complete and submit a surrogate form called the Wisconsin Driver Report of Accident, DMV4002. This is a long and involved form you hopefully are not familiar with; it is in your interest to convince the officer to do a police report. In some cases, police priorities will not allow their cooperation but do not be afraid to ask for it.
Report all property damage using the DOA accident/incident report form (PDF) within 24 hours. Supervisors are responsible to ensure this deadline is met, including completion of the form if the driver is incapacitated.
Record the details of the accident/incident while they are fresh. Be sure to get the details of any third party’s vehicle and contact information and provide your own valid contact information for follow up. Do not make statements to third parties about fault or blame for an accident/incident/injury.
Auto Glass Damage
There is a mandatory state contract for repair of auto glass, distinct from other body repairs. This contract is managed and funded by the Department of Administration Bureau of State Risk Management. End users are not charged a per-incident fee. If you have damaged auto glass, follow the provisions in the mandatory state contract. If you are not familiar with this contract or unable to find the details on it, contact Fleet staff at (608) 262-1307 or (888) 777-7181 for assistance.
Acquisition & Disposal
All vehicles are procured and disposed by UW Fleet according to the Department of Administration (DOA) policy and applicable state laws. Departments are not permitted to undertake vehicle procurement independently.
- Procurement guidelines are found in published the State Procurement Manual section PRO-D-16.
- Surplus and disposal guidelines are published in the State Procurement Manual section PRO-F-1.
Other than vehicles supplied by Fleet, if a university department would like to purchase or lease a vehicle for longer than 90 days, they must have a vehicle to turn in for disposal and/or they must answer a series of questions to be reviewed by DOA on behalf of the Governor. There are no exceptions to this policy, regardless of the source of funds or grant requirements.
Please call the UW Fleet Supervisor at (608) 262-4693 for more information.
“Each state agency, upon written approval of the governor, may purchase necessary aircraft, trucks and automobiles for its general use. All aircraft, trucks and automobiles shall be purchased through the department of administration under ss. 16.70 to 16.82. The department of administration shall ensure that each general fleet passenger automobile at the time of procurement has a fuel economy rating of no less miles per gallon than the fleet average miles per gallon required of automobile manufacturers by the federal government at that time. Law enforcement vehicles and work vehicles for heavy passenger or equipment loads are exempt from the mileage requirement.”
In general, this section is written assuming the breakdown/malfunction occurs with a motor pool rental vehicle and traveler. While many elements of how to deal with other situations are the same, not all are. Please contact UW Fleet at (608) 262-1307 or (888) 777-7181 if you have questions relating to other situations.
- If there is a breakdown close to campus of a vehicle leased from the fleet, an exchange for a different car or repairs at the fleet garage will occur as the circumstances dictate/allow.
- If there is a breakdown far away from campus, Fleet will fund towing and repairs or reimburse allowable and limited expenses. The fleet vehicle charges will be suspended/stopped if the fleet vehicle is not usable and the traveler is unable to obtain repairs. Fleet will financially assist in a “ride home” but not with “trip insurance.” In general, vehicle expenses can be reimbursed, not travel expenses. Example: Fleet does not guarantee a traveler’s arrival time at a destination. If a malfunction or breakdown occurs, a traveler’s lodging, meals, alternate transportation, etc., are not covered by the fleet. Unexpected expenses for rental car, hotel, meals, etc. due to delays are not covered by Fleet.
What to do
First, do what is necessary to ensure your safety. Get away from traffic and contact the authorities if there is an accident. See the accidents/incident policy for situational details.
Call UW Fleet at (608) 262-1307 or (888) 777-7181. During business hours, describe your problem to the staff person. After hours, press zero (0) to be routed to a 24 hour call center for repair authorization and payment.
If you are unable to make direct contact with UW fleet staff, either:
- obtain repairs and keep receipts, or
- find a safe place to park the fleet vehicle where it can be recovered via tow truck
…and proceed with travel by other means.
Warning: if you rent a car, be sure of the drop-off arrangements. It is your responsibility to comply with drop off policy for rental cars; Fleet will not take your rental car back to a destination hundreds of miles away. Inquire with the rental car company about its one-way rental policy and whether or not there is special treatment due to a State of Wisconsin contract.
UW Fleet will recover its own vehicle via tow-for-hire companies. If you abandon a fleet vehicle, you must make every possible effort to notify fleet of the pertinent details of location as soon as possible.
To become an approved driver, you’ll need to submit a Vehicle Use Authorization (VUA) form. A driving record check will be done and, if approved, the driver’s name added to the database. If denied, the listed supervisor will receive notice. Be sure to allow at least 10 days for Risk Management to process each form. For Vehicle Use Authorization details and a walk-through instruction guide, visit the Risk Management website.
Complete the VUA form online, use the Wisconsin Fleet Management System site. To login, select your employee type, select your UW campus affiliation, then sign in with your institution credentials (UW = NetID). To search for approved drivers, you must be logged into the Fleet Management site.
**Out of state driver’s license holders and those who have had a Wisconsin license for less than three (3) years must attach special documentation to their VUA form. See the Risk Management website for full details.**
Minimum requirements to drive a State Owned Vehicle are established by the state Department of Administration. UW Risk Management has increased the minimum requirements in certain areas. For details, contact UW Risk Management at 262-8926. From the 2004 State Fleet Driver Policies and Procedures Manual chapter 1.1 for the state’s minimum driving standards:
- All occupants are required to comply with the State Fleet Policies and must be on University or State business; no family members, friends, or hitchhikers are allowed as passengers.
- All drivers must receive authorization from UW Risk Management prior to driving a fleet car.
- State policy on driving 15 passenger vans (PDF, updated July 2017). The University does not recommend the use of 12/15 passenger vans if other methods of transportation can be used. Rules stipulate all drivers must be at least 25 years of age, have completed the appropriate van-driver training course, and meet all other driver requirements.
- Van training is offered through the Department of Administration but access to the class is handled by the UW-Madison Risk Management office. If you take the class, please inform Risk Management of satisfactory completion by mailing or faxing a copy of your van driver training card (fax: 608-262-9082). The van driver training expires after three years from date of completion of the class.
- It is the responsibility of all UW drivers to comply with state traffic laws, as well as display common courtesy to others while operating state vehicles.
- All drivers are personally responsible for citations.
- Unless the Fleet Manager approves, vehicles…
- May not transport animals.
- May not be used to tow, push, or start other vehicles.
- May not be equipped with storage racks.
- May not be driven for off-road use.
- All driving complaints against University drivers are investigated and, based on facts, may jeopardize future vehicle use.
When using multiple fleet vehicles to travel to one destination, DO NOT drive the vehicles in a single file ‘convoy’. Often, the fleet has experienced ‘double damage’ due to two fleet vehicles being involved in a collision with each other. This also makes it very difficult for a group to continue travel if it is desired after a collision.
Always maintain adequate traffic following distance for all conditions. Never drive fleet vehicles so close together that other traffic is unable to merge and flow in between. A group driving in a convoy may foster the impulse for reckless or overly aggressive driving and road rage, and needlessly risk the lives and property of vehicle occupants.
The 2004 DOA Fleet Driver and Management Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF) states:
“… Drivers are responsible for promptly paying all vehicle citations. Failure to pay parking tickets immediately results in late fees and possible vehicle registration revocation or suspension. The owner agency will pay the amount due upon notice and invoice the driver and their employing agency, which may include extra charges. The responsible driver may be subject to discipline, as determined by the employing agency.”
This means written notice of an unpaid citation is sent to a vehicle owner (the Fleet office), along with the threat of title suspension for all vehicles owned. In order for state fleet registrations to not be suspended or revoked, citations are paid by the fleet. The charges, in some cases with additional administrative fees charged by Fleet, are billed to the agency or program that rented the car during the period the citation was issued.
According to University and State Department of Administration policy, payments of parking citations are considered to be unallowable expenditures. Since University funds cannot be used to pay unallowable expenses, departments are responsible for recovery of charges from those who incurred the citations. If a department is unable to identify drivers who incurred the citations, the person who rented the vehicle is ultimately responsible for payment.
Departments are responsible to reconcile fleet expense charges with fleet billing statements and SFS, to ensure proper expenditure of University funds. Departments are responsible to recover funds from those who incurred citations or other unallowable expenses (such as food purchased with the fuel card) and document the results so they can be reviewed by internal audit or other interested parties.
The DOA Central Fleet has an internal policy of doubling the citation amount in order to both recover administrative costs and provide a disincentive to ignoring the policy.
Drivers are also responsible, as above, for any and all citations other than a parking ticket. For example: if a fleet vehicle has an equipment failure such as burned out light or broken speedometer, the driver is considered responsible for any violations because they drove the vehicle in that condition. The fleet and/or the University are not responsible for driver citations; they may not be reimbursed on a travel expense report or by other means. Drivers should report equipment failures promptly and cooperate in obtaining repairs as needed. The fleet will cooperate in providing documentation of repairs for law enforcement as needed if warning or conditional citations are issued.
Using your own vehicle
The non-availability policy is currently being reviewed and updated. Once the review is complete the information will be posted here. In the meantime, please send a message to email@example.com with questions.
Personal use of a state vehicle – How to pay
- If the fleet vehicle goes to a person’s residence, check the rules about ‘de minimis’ use to determine if reimbursement is required. See the take home policy.
- If reimbursement is required, determine the number of personal miles.
- Using the number of personal miles and the county the employee/student lives in, determine the amount owed.
- Prepare a Receipt Deposit Form (opens in new window) and deposit the employee/student’s check or money order.
If you have questions about how to determine the number of personal miles based on start location, destination, and headquarters, please view these documents:
- Bulletin CC-198 1989 Dept of Employment Relations (PDF)
- DOA Personal vs. Business Miles (PDF)
- DOA Personal Mileage Reimbursement Rates (PDF)
If you have determined you owe for personal use and you have determined the number of personal miles, compute the amount owed by multiplying the miles times the rate of $0.325 per mile. Then add sales tax to that amount based on the county you reside in.
- 100 personal miles x 0.325 = $32.5
- Dane county tax is 5.5%
- The amount due is $32.5 x 1.055 = $34.29.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of personal miles and which reservation number or other means to identify which reservation to apply the miles. The purpose of this is to record the number of personal miles for the state’s fleet database.
Provide to your department a check or money order made payable to the University of Wisconsin for the amount due.
The department should treat the reimbursement in the same general way that telephone usage reimbursements are handled, e.g. deposit the funds to class code 2140 using the same fund that paid for the fleet rental.
The fleet program is not able to make payments to individuals. Travelers who incur expenses that may be covered by the fleet need to claim them via the e-reimbursement process. Departments may in turn request reimbursement from the fleet. Be sure to accurately record the fleet number or other means to positively identify the fleet vehicle that required an expense.
See the accident/incident and breakdown policy details for what to do in emergencies.
Fleet can use its procurement card to fund repairs if we are able to make direct contact with the vendor in a timely manner. Your department can use a procurement card to fund repairs and the fleet will make reimbursement. You can pay and be reimbursed for repairs.
If you are unable to make direct contact with the fleet staff, either obtain repairs and keep receipts or find a safe place to park the fleet vehicle where it can be recovered via tow truck. You can then proceed with travel by other means. Warning: if you rent a car, be sure of the drop-off arrangements. It is your responsibility to comply with drop off policy for rental cars; for instance, fleet will not take your rental car back to a destination hundreds of miles away. Inquire with the rental car company about its one-way rental policy and whether or not there is special treatment due to the State of Wisconsin contract. Fleet will recover its own vehicle via tow-for-hire companies. If you abandon a fleet vehicle, you must make every possible effort to notify the fleet of pertinent information on location and other details as soon as possible.
For all questions about personal use or taking fleet vehicles home, contact the UW Fleet office.
The following is excerpted from state fleet policy. See the New State Fleet Driver Policies link for the full text. De Minimis Use is explained at the bottom of this article.
“PERSONAL USE OF STATE VEHICLES
All drivers operating state vehicles must comply with the following personal use policies. State vehicles shall not be used for personal purposes other than commuting and may be used for commuting only if:
- The agency requires the employee to commute in the vehicle for valid business needs of the agency.
- The agency requires the employee to use the vehicle; it cannot be voluntary on the employee’s part.
- The agency prohibits the personal use other than commuting and incidental use (see below), while on official state business.
When not being used by an employee, the vehicles are parked at the agency (i.e., work shared or motor pool vehicle); vehicles are not to be used for any personal purposes. Work shared and pool vehicles may not be used for commuting unless required by the employer. […]”
The following is explanation, advice, and interpretation of the above:
- Taking any employer-provided (fleet or rental) vehicle home is considered by the IRS to be a taxable fringe benefit so it must either be counted as income or the employee must reimburse the employer.
- The state forbids agencies from adding the value of personal use of fleet vehicles to the income reported on the W2 form, so employees must reimburse the employer for personal use of fleet vehicles or vehicles rented by the employer.
- State of Wisconsin fleet policy states “[…]If the employee needs to take a pool vehicle home overnight or on the weekend when the fleet office is not open for business, written authorization from a supervisor is required. If a motor pool vehicle is taken home more than once a month the employee is required to reimburse the state for personal miles traveled. […]”
De Minimis use
The IRS recognizes use of less than once per month as something called “de minimis” use as not being a taxable fringe benefit.
This means up to eleven times per year (no more than once per month), an employee can take an employer-provided car home without having to reimburse. The Code of Federal Regulations Part 26, 1.132-6 states in part:
“[…] the fact that the commuting use of an employer-provided vehicle more than one day a month is an example of a benefit not excludable as a de minimis fringe[…] does not mean that the commuting use of a vehicle up to 12 times per year is excludable from gross income as a de minimis fringe.”