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4:022 Operation of State-Owned and Rental Automobiles


Austin Peay State
Operation of State-Owned and Rental Automobiles

Issued:  March 9, 2017

Responsible Official:  Vice President for Finance and Administration

Responsible Office:  Physical Plant


Policy Statement

It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to allow the use of vehicles for approved business purposes. 


The purpose of this policy is to establish regulations and procedures concerning the use of motor vehicles owned by APSU or by off campus rental service for university business.


-State vehicle or motor vehicle

- General Provisions
- Motor Pools
- Usage of University Vehicles
-Policy for Assignment of Motor Vehicle to the President
-Insurance and Accidents
-Marking Plans

Related Forms
-Vehicle Request Form

-Vehicle Use Information
-APSU Policy 4:015


State vehicle or
motor vehicle

Any motor vehicle owned by Austin Peay State University or purchased or leased from state funds.


Any person employed full or part-time by Austin Peay State University or any person serving as an ‘official volunteer’ at Austin Peay State University.  An ‘official volunteer’ is defined as a person whom the institution has properly registered with the Tennessee Board of Claims pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-42-101(3)(B).


General Provisions
  1. Motor vehicles are maintained at Austin Peay State University to facilitate the official business of the University. It is the responsibility of all employees who use state vehicles to ensure the efficient and economical utilization of such vehicles.
  2. All state vehicles shall be used in accordance with the provisions of this policy.
  3. All state vehicles shall be marked in accordance with the current APSU Marking Plan as contained in this policy.

Motor Pools
  1. Austin Peay State University may maintain a central motor pool from which vehicles may be dispatched by employees for official business.
  2. When motor pool vehicles are maintained, an employee who needs to use a motor vehicle on state business shall use a pool dispatched vehicle if one is available, unless the employee elects and obtains authorization to use a personally-owned vehicle as provided in the Travel Policy 4:015.
  3. Motor pool vehicles shall be available for either trip assignments or special assignments.
  4. Motor pool vehicles available for trip assignments will be centrally controlled by the institution and made available for specific trips and returned to the motor pool upon completion of trips and shall be used only for official business and not for personal use.
  5. Special assignment of motor pool vehicles may be made to a division or a person when necessary for use on a regular basis.
  6. Motor pool vehicles, including those used for trip assignments and special assignments may not be used for commuting purposes unless the employee:
    1. Is departing upon or returning from an official trip away from his or her headquarters or the employee needs the vehicle to conduct institution business after regular working hours or before his or her usual working hours on the next day; or
    2. Has been approved by the President to be authorized to use the vehicle for commuting purposes.

Usage of University
  1. The vehicles may be used only for an approved University activity.
  2. The drivers of a vehicle must have a valid driver’s license and will be required to present that license prior to obtaining vehicle keys.
  3. The person to whom the vehicle is assigned must abide by approved policies and procedures during the period of assignment.  Limitations on numbers of passengers and types of vehicles to be used may be imposed. 
  4. Vehicles shall be brought back in a condition satisfactory for the next user.  All trash must be removed from the vehicle.  All personal items should be removed from the vehicle.  The university is not responsible for personal items left in the vehicle. 
  5. A fee may be charged if vehicle reservations are not cancelled by the scheduled depart date or vehicle is not returned by the scheduled return date without notice or if the vehicle is not brought back in a satisfactory condition the direct supervisor of the person to whom the vehicle is assigned will be notified.
  6. Seat belt use is required in all vehicles used by any department and drivers are responsible for enforcing this requirement for all vehicle occupants. 
  7. Once a reservation has been confirmed, the university will not cancel the reservation except for causes beyond its control, such as a breakdown of the scheduled vehicle.  Prompt notice of a cancellation to the person with a confirmed reservation is required.
  8. The use of a cell phone is not allowed while operating a University vehicle.
  9. The use of tobacco products is not allowed in any University vehicle.
  10. The use of alcohol is not allowed in any University vehicle.
  11. The use of any prescription, over-the-counter medication or other substance that could impair the ability of the driver to safely operate the vehicle is prohibited.
  12. Regular full-time or part-time employees are the only persons allowed to drive APSU vehicles.  As a general rule, students are not permitted to drive state motor vehicles.  However, a student may drive a state motor vehicle provided he/she is an employee of the institution, is acting within the scope of his/her employment in driving the state vehicle, has been given proper authorization and would be paid by the institution for services rendered. 
  13. Student Government Association (SGA) officers are not considered university employees although they may receive a stipend.  Therefore, even if their travel is in connection with SGA business, such students are not permitted to drive state motor vehicles.
  14. Passengers in Austin Peay State University vehicles or leased vehicles should be limited to Austin Peay State University employees within the scope of their job, students engaged in school sponsored activities and other individuals with an approved travel authorization.
  15. Vehicles not routinely designated for use by a specific university department will be available on request on a first-request basis and will be assigned by the Physical Plant.
  16. Employees who chose to use personal vehicles for official university business are compensated under Austin Peay State University travel policy 4:015.
Policy for Assignment
of Motor Vehicle to the President
The president of Austin Peay State University may be provided an assigned motor vehicle for his/her use or receive an automobile allowance. The terms of such use shall be set forth in his/her employment agreement. At the time of employment, the Austin Peay State University President may elect to receive an assigned Austin Peay State University motor pool vehicle for his/her use or a motor vehicle allowance. Assigned Austin Peay State University motor pool vehicle: 
  1. An appropriate motor vehicle is defined as a late model (no more than five years old) four-door passenger sedan.
  2. Operating and maintenance cost of the assigned motor vehicle shall be the responsibility of the institution. 
  3. The replacement should occur as needed based on the useful life of the vehicle and accumulated mileage.
  4. If the vehicle is used for non-business purposes, the institution should report on the employee’s Form W-2 the value in the employee’s income as compensation subject to withholding for federal income taxes and applicable FICA taxes.  In addition, these amounts shall be considered as compensation for employee benefit purposes. 
 Motor Vehicle Allowance
  1. The President shall receive a monthly cash allowance from the institution.
  2. The President will be responsible for  all expenses to include a purchase or lease of a motor vehicle defined as a late model (no more than five years old) four-door passenger sedan.
  3. The President will be responsible for the operation, insurance, maintenance, and repair cost of the said vehicle.
  4. The monthly automobile allowance amount shall be set in the President’s employment agreement and consist of: 
    1. The estimated monthly lease value of the suited motor vehicle.
    2. The operating component that applies a mileage rate that considers only the marginal operational cost of a vehicle and assumes 12,000 business miles are driven annually. 
  5. The Business Office is responsible to calculate and periodically update the monthly vehicle allowance amount.
  6. Adjustments should be made periodically in conjunction with future compensation studies. 
  7. The monthly automobile allowance must be included in the compensation on the employee’s Form W-2 and is subject to federal withholding and applicable FICA taxes. In addition, these amounts shall be considered as compensation for employee benefit purposes. 
  8. A log that documents the President’s business related travels that exceed 12,000 miles annually are eligible to be reimbursed for business related mileage.  The log should comply with IRS guidance for documentation of business usage of a motor vehicle and submitted for reimbursement.  The reimbursement rate is equal to the current approved mileage rate less the current IRS standard mileage rate attributed to depreciation.   Mileage reimbursement paid under this item is not considered compensation for income tax purposes and not subject to federal withholding and applicable FICA taxes.     

Insurance and
  1. Neither the state nor APSU carries an automobile liability insurance policy for the protection of faculty, staff, and students driving University-owned vehicles.
  2. The State Board of Claims, Nashville is the agency established to function in lieu of liability insurance. Using staff attorneys, the board investigates and adjudicates all claims against the state, including those arising from negligence of state employees.  The board makes decisions regarding the awarding of damages and the amount.  The board endeavors to make awards consistent with what would be awarded in a civil court of law. 
  3. In accidents involving automobiles, two criteria must be met before the board will consider a claim:  (1) The driver must be a state employee and (2) the state employee must be on official business. If these conditions exist, the claimant must establish that he/she was injured and that the injury was the result of negligence of the state employee.
This guide is to inform state employees of the proper procedures to be followed in the event of an accident involving a state-owned vehicle.  The following steps should be taken by the state employee to whom the vehicle is assigned, should an accident occur:
  1. STOP IMMEDIATELY - Aid any injured people.  Do not move an injured person if movement may increase injury (unless it is to avoid further injury).  If necessary or in doubt, call an ambulance immediately.
  2. NOTIFY POLICE (State, City or County and Campus Police) - Police must investigate any accident involving a state vehicle.  Do not move vehicle until the proper investigating authority has arrived.
  3. REPORT TO THE UNIVERSITY - A breakdown or accident should be reported immediately to the APSU Physical Plant Department (221-7456) or after hours to Public Safety (221-7786).
  4. RESPONSIBILITY - Make no statement regarding the accident except to police.  The law requires that name, address and license number be given.
  5. INSURANCE COVERAGE - Secure the name of the agent or company with which the other party has liability insurance. Inform the other party that you are a state employee operating a state-owned vehicle.  The agency of state government that can adjudicate/or pay for any damages and injuries is the State Board of Claims, 1206 Andrew Jackson Building, Nashville, Tennessee, 37219.
  6. A state employee should notify his/her supervisor or department head as soon as possible, providing essential facts.  Then, the employee and his/her supervisor should prepare a Departmental Incident Report, APSU/FA/PA/010 (form available in the Human Resource Office), and send to the Human Resource Office and Physical Plant Department.  The supervisor or department head should notify the Human Resource Office immediately.  If the parties involved require assistance in filing a claim, the Human Resource Office should be contacted. 

Marking Plan
  1. Austin Peay State University will develop and/or affix their own individual decal containing a minimum surface area of sixty square inches to all licensed vehicles.
  2. The identifying emblem will be displayed on the passenger and driver’s door unless otherwise stated. Some vans will be marked on the side at mid-panel height, and some vehicles will be further identified as security, maintenance, etc.
  3. Vehicles for use by commissioned campus police offices will have markings as deemed appropriate by the APSU Police Chief.
  4. Vehicle(s) assigned to the president will carry regular series license plates and no decal identification.


Any exception to this policy must be approved in writing by the President.

Related Forms

Vehicle Request Form http://www.apsu.edu/sites/apsu.edu/files/physical-plant/Form-Veh_Request_2.pdf


Vehicle Use Information


APSU Policy 4:015


Revision Dates

APSU Policy 4:022 (previously 4:025) – Rev.: March 9, 2017
APSU Policy 4:022 – Rev.: April 27, 2011
APSU Policy 4:022 – Issued: January 24, 2007

Subject Areas:

Academic Finance General Human



President: signature on file