When driving for your student organization, it is important that you and your passengers remain safe. To this end, Center for Leadership and Involvement works with the Office of Risk Management to comply with their Student Vehicle Loss Prevention Program. This program is designed to set expectations for safe driving conditions and to ensure that student drivers meet a minimum set of requirements, including having insurance and a responsible driving record.
If you plan to drive on behalf of your student organization, either in your personal car or in a rental car, you must comply with two key policies:
Registering Your Trip
See the Student Organization Travel Policy for instructions for how to submit your plans to your organization advisor for approval. Trips must be submitted at least 11 days in advance of the trip, and funding and expenditures related to travel will not be approved without an approved travel registration.
Getting Your Drivers Approved
Driver approval involves submitting personal information about your trip and your insurance coverage, as well as submitting to a check of your driving record. If you have any moving violations on your driving record you will not be approved to drive for your organization.
We recommend that you read the full Student Vehicle Loss Prevention Program for a list of expectations and requirements related to driving for your student organization.
Minimum Driver Qualifications
To drive a vehicle on University-sponsored travel, students must meet the following minimum standards:
- 18 years of age (for vehicles other than passenger vans or trucks)
- 20 years of age (for passenger vans or trucks)
Acceptable driving record
- Valid U.S. driver’s license for two years
- More than 2,000 miles of driving experience
- No moving violations, convictions or license suspensions on record
- No medical conditions that would impair the ability to drive safely
Drivers not meeting these qualifications will not be eligible to drive under this program and will not be eligible for University provided automobile insurance. Rental companies may have additional requirements applicable to students attempting to rent a vehicle.
Applying for Approval
Students must be approved prior to driving a University vehicle or driving on University-sponsored travel. To become an approved driver, students must follow the steps below. This process will qualify a student to drive on University travel for a period of 12 months.
- Make a photocopy of the front and back of your valid U.S. driver’s license;
- Complete and sign the Student Vehicle Use Authorization Form
- Submit this documentation to your RSO Advisor.
Advisors will request a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) through the University’s vendor, General Information Services (GIS). MVRs that return with a history of tickets, accidents or other indications of unsafe driving practices need to be reviewed with the Office of Risk Management to determine eligibility under this program. For questions or assistance in running MVRs, please contact the Office of Risk Management.
Students seeking approval to drive trucks or vans with 10or more passengers must complete these additional steps:
- Complete an approved computer-based driver simulation program. Programs are available through the Office of Risk Management.
It is also recommended that student drivers take a short (30 minute) online general driver safety course provided free of charge by United Educators. The Office of Risk Management can assist with providing access to this service.
All student groups and clubs must have written University approval BEFORE taking any road trips.
When a schedule has been completed, an officer must submit a written list of trips that will be taken during the school year. This list should including the following information: destination; date and time of departure; date and time of return; names and number of participants traveling; number and type of vehicles to be used (e.g. rental vehicles or personal vehicles), etc.
A travel itinerary must be submitted for approval for each trip. Your advisor can provide information on how to submit your travel itinerary (through Blueprint, email, etc.).
Failure to file for advance authorization may result in non-reimbursement of expenses (and also possible suspension of the club).
For extended trips (typically those over 250 miles), the following precautions are required:
- Students may not drive for more than three consecutive hours or six hours in one day.
- At least one person other than the driver shall be awake at all times and remain in the passenger seat.
- Vehicles may be driven between 6am and 12am only. Groups requiring overnight travel should plan on staying in hotels or other accommodations and not driving through the night.
Driving Rules and Regulations
Students driving under this program are expected to follow the rules and regulations outlined below. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the removal of driving privileges and additional disciplinary procedures as determined by the Dean of Students.
Prior to departure:
- Make sure you have a copy of your driver’s licenses and applicable proof of insurance (personal, University, or rental).
- Be alcohol and drug free, including any prescription drugs that could impair your ability to drive safely.
Check the vehicle for:
- Working lights, brakes, horn and steering.
- Complete the Vehicle Inspection Form prior to use.
Limit passengers to the number of seatbelts and ensure all passengers are belted prior to departure.
- Family members, friends, or anyone else not involved in the University business shall not be transported in a University owned or rented vehicle.
While in transit:
- Cell phone use (talking or texting) is prohibited while driving.
- Obey all traffic rules and ordinances.
- Do not operate the vehicle in unsafe or hazardous conditions (ice, snow, heavy rain, dense fog).
- No smoking, eating or drinking while driving.
Avoid consistent adjusting of controls for the radio, CD player or navigation system.
- Radios should be used at a reasonable volume which allows the driver to hear car horns or sirens from emergency vehicles.
- The use of headphones or earplugs while driving is prohibited.
When the trip is over, or you are making a stop, remove the keys and lock the vehicle. A vehicle stolen while the keys are in the ignition will not be covered under the University’s insurance program.
A note on traveling with minors (children under the age of 18):
- In general, it is strongly suggested that students not transport minors, even when minors are part of a University program.
- If such transport is unavoidable, students should avoid one-on-one situations in vehicles with minors.
A note on 15 passenger vans:
- Students are not allowed to rent or drive 15 passenger vans on University-sponsored travel.
Accidents and Insurance
All accidents that occur while driving on University-sponsored travel must be promptly reported to the Office of Risk Management and the group/club advisor or applicable Dean of Students. Any traffic citations must also be reported as it may impact the ability to drive under this program.
Any group or club responsible for physical damage will be responsible for a portion of the University’s deductible. Currently, that responsibility is:
- $250 for University-owned vehicles
- $500 for rented vehicles
Failure to notify the appropriate offices of an accident or citation in a timely manner will result in disciplinary action and an additional $500 deductible for any physical damage or liability claims arising out of such incident.
Details on automobile insurance for University-owned, rented and personal vehicles can be found at www.rmia.uchicago.edu/automobile-insurance.