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Transportation/Travel Policy and Processes

Purpose: To outline the official processes and policy for transportation/travel.

If you have a comment or concern about this policy, please send it to Donna Blunck.
Phone: 515-271-3116/515-271-2804

Responsibility for Administration: Chief Administration Officer
Policy Resides in: Administration Office

Table of Contents

All forms in this document can be found at:


1.01 Purpose

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To provide a framework for safe and efficient travel for Drake University.

2.01 Applicability

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For purposes of this policy, those traveling on behalf of the University are: Any persons traveling as part of a university-sponsored event, e.g., sports, field trips, etc.

3.01 Responsibility for Administration

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  • The Senior Administrator shall be responsible for overall administration of this policy and shall assign a member of the traveling party to be responsible for policy compliance, oversight, and necessary recordkeeping. (The Senior Administrator is defined as a SAC level administrator for purposes of this policy). The Senior Administrator or his/her designee shall remind each traveler that the policy and its forms need to be reviewed including the Acknowledgment.
  • The Senior Administrator of the Department or his/her designee shall have the responsibility to verify the type of vehicle recommended for travel to ensure that the vehicle choice is in compliance with this policy. This should be done at least 1 week prior to travel. Athletic post-season travel shall be handled according to NCAA guidelines and approved by the Senior Administrator of the Department or his/her designee.
  • Charter Flights. According to FAA regulations, the Pilot-in-Command (i.e. Captain) will always have the final say over the safe operation of any flight. The Captain has the most current travel condition facts, including the latest weather forecasts, to make an accurate decision on the safe operation of a flight. If university travelers decide that they do not want to fly and the Captain deems it is safe to fly, cancellation penalties can apply.
  • The Senior Administrator of the Department or his/her designee shall review the travel policy and recommend any revisions to the Administration office.

4.01 Accountability

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Any staff member who knowingly violates this policy could face disciplinary action or termination. The Senior Administrator of the Department or his/her designee will investigate the violation and submit a written report to his/her senior manager detailing discipline for the violation. Final disciplinary action would be determined by the Senior Administrator.

5.01 Supplemental Insurance

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Drake University will procure and maintain in effect accidental death benefits for travel connected to athletic competition and practice (in accordance with NCAA Bylaw 16.4.1-(b) or as amended). Coverage per person will be in addition to any other coverages for those traveling while on authorized university sponsored business.

6.01 Types of Vehicles Used for Travel and Driver Requirements for Operation

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General Requirements: Approved qualified drivers may drive on behalf of the university those vehicles offered via rental, university leased, courtesy vehicles, or personal vehicles.

A. Drivers Requirements:

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  1. Drivers must pass the Driver Approval Process including a motor vehicle check before the driver can be approved to drive on behalf of the university. (See B in this section: Driver Approval Process).
  2. Those driving >8 passenger rated van must complete the Driving Over 8 Passenger Rated Vehicle Approval Process.
  3. Drivers are required to limit the number of driving hours at one sitting to 4 hours with a minimum of 30 minutes rest before driving again. A student driver may drive up to 350 miles per day maximum. A staff driver may drive up to 500 miles per day maximum.
  4. Drivers must hold a valid driver's license. Every effort should be made to use 21 or older drivers. Exceptions should be the last resort.
  5. There must be more than one student driver if traveling >350 miles or more than one staff driver if traveling >500 miles, one way or if the trip is expected to extend later than 2 a.m.
  6. The driver must sign the "Use of Personal Vehicle" form if driving a personal vehicle on Drake University Business.
  7. The possession of alcoholic beverages, firearms, or illegal drugs are prohibited inside the vehicle(s).
  8. Driving, operating, or using a vehicle on Drake University business by anyone who has consumed or ingested alcohol, any controlled or illegal substance, or drug is strictly prohibited, unless the drug has been prescribed by a physician having knowledge that a vehicle may be operated or used by that person while under the influence of the controlled substance or drug.
  9. Drivers are prohibited from operating a vehicle on Drake University business when their judgment is impaired by any circumstance, such as fatigue or taking over-the-counter medications causing drowsiness.
  10. The driver of the vehicle must obey all local and state traffic rules, laws and regulations at all times. Drake University will not be responsible for any moving violations or parking citations received by the driver.
  11. Drivers are prohibited from picking up hitch-hikers or giving rides to strangers.
  12. Overloading the vehicle with people or equipment beyond manufacturer’s specifications is prohibited.
  13. Drake University will not be responsible for personal items in vehicles.

B. Driver Approval Process

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  1. Upon scheduling the trip, the driver(s) must be approved to drive a vehicle on behalf of Drake University by completing the University's driver approval process.
  2. Once a driver has been approved, he/she does not need to be rechecked for one year. If during the course of that year, the driver receives a traffic violation or has a vehicle accident, it is the driver's responsibility to contact the insurance office (271-3116) before they drive again on behalf of the university to ensure their driver eligibility.

Driving Over 8 Passenger Rated Vehicle Approval Process. 

C. Professional Driver

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  1. If hiring a professional driver(s), the company that schedules the driver must acknowledge that the driver has met the requirements of his/her professional license.
  2. A qualified, paid driver (one that Drake hires to drive a rental vehicle) must limit the number of driving hours at one sitting to 4 hours with at least a 30 minute rest period before driving again. The driver can drive up to 500 miles per day maximum.
  3. Charter professional drivers follow the guidelines stipulated for their professional license and certification. A Certificate of Insurance is required from the Charter Company.

D. Accidents

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The following guidelines are offered in the event of an accident involving a vehicle used on Drake University business:

  1. Request a police report be made at the time of the accident if possible. Obtain the Accident Number and Reporting Officer's name.
  2. Obtain the names of the other drivers involved, how they can be contacted, and their insurance information.
  3. At the time of the accident or soon after, notify the Insurance office of the accident by calling 515-271-3116/515-271-2804.
  4. Write down everything you can remember about the accident, including the names and phone numbers of all the vehicle occupants.
  5. As soon as possible, fill out the Drake online incident form. See Accident Injury Incident Reporting and Process

Modes of Travel. The following modes of travel shall be approved under the conditions noted for university-sponsored travel.

**NOTE: All persons driving on behalf of Drake University, e.g., field trips, work, etc., must complete the driver approval process at least 1 week before the trip.

Insurance office will run the driving forms and notify the key contact for the trip that the proposed driver(s) are or are not approved to drive on behalf of the university. It is the responsibility of the key contact for the trip to ensure the approved drivers are the only persons driving on behalf of the university.

E. Vehicles

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1. Personal Vehicles

  • Any person authorized to travel on University business may choose to use his/her personal automobile if other modes of transportation are more costly, not available or impractical. The driver must complete the driver approval process before driving on University business.
  • When using a personal vehicle on University business, the owner of the vehicle must carry vehicle liability insurance with a minimum of $100,000 combined single limit coverage. The owner's vehicle liability insurance coverage is primary coverage. There is no physical damage coverage through the University's insurance on personal vehicles and no reimbursement will be made for accident-related repairs.  The employee is responsible for the deductible portion of the personal collision coverage and is responsible for any increased personal automobile insurance premiums as a result of any accident. The owner's vehicle liability insurance card received from their insurance agent needs to be in the driver's possession when using his/her personal vehicle for University business.
  • Reimbursement for parking expenses is available by submitting to Accounting an itemization of expenses detailed on a travel expense voucher. Employees should travel together in one vehicle when possible; only the owner of the vehicle will receive reimbursement. Valet parking is not reimbursable. Parking and/or traffic violations are not reimbursable. See 
  • Mileage will be reimbursed for the actual miles driven during employee travel and calculated using the current IRS reimbursement rate. Accounting will review and adjust travel expense vouchers to ensure that employees receive reimbursement at the current rate, since these rates are subject to change. Budget Officers are responsible for confirming the reasonableness of the miles stated before signing the voucher. Traffic and/or parking violations are always the employee's responsibility. Tolls are reimbursable. Please provide documentation of tolls paid on your travel expense voucher. See  for most current reimbursement policies.

2. Leased or Rental vehicles/vans:

If you plan to rent or lease a vehicle for a trip review the Vehicle Rental Processes and Information

3. 12 and 15 Passenger Vans

  • Drivers are required to complete the >8 Passenger Rated Vehicle driver approval process.
  • The State of Iowa requires that anyone transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver) must have a Commercial Driver's License and be 21 years old if driving outside the state or 18 years old if only traveling within Iowa. Most rental companies require drivers that rent these "specialty" vehicles to be 25 years or older.
  • Request vans with a maximum of a 155-inch wheelbase equipped with "E" rated radial tires or equivalent. Check tires to ensure they are properly inflated for travel greater than 100 miles from a point of departure. 155 inch/"E" criteria are defined as follows:
    • E rated radial tires. (The E rating was used when tires were first made. The E rating is comparable to a maximum 10 ply radial tire today. For example, Charles Gabus has this 10 ply tire on their vans.)
    • 155-inch wheelbase is measured from front tire to rear tire. This maximum length of wheelbase is a safer mode of van travel.
    • A "Van(s) Wheelbase or "E" Rated Verification" Form that verifies the van meets the minimum wheelbase criteria must be confirmed by the rental company.
  • If vans do not meet the E Rated requirements, then mini-vans or another approved mode of transportation must be used instead.
  • 12 passenger vans shall be loaded with no more than 8 passengers, 1 driver, and equipment or 11 passengers, 1 driver with no equipment. Equipment is anything extra that is 20 pounds or more. (Equipment exception: equipment can be stored in the back of the van for trips no greater than 20 miles.)
  • Use of a 15 passenger van use should only be considered when other smaller van(s) is not a viable option. Drivers of over 8-passenger rated vehicles must complete the University's driver approval processes and checklist.

4. Buses

Buses may be used as transport.  Minimum Insurance ‌ for charter buses must meet the Bus/LimoCertificate of Insurance coverage requirements that are summarized below:

Auto coverage must be at least $5 million

  • list umbrella/excess coverage if the bus company has it
  • list medical payment coverage if the bus company has it

Workers Compensation coverage must be at least $100,000 per accident per employee/$500,000 policy.

  • Motorcoach common carriers operate over-the-road rental bus transports.
  • Charter bus companies must ensure that the driver has met the CDL requirements, such as a valid and approved Class B(P) Commercial Driver's License and that the driver's current health check is on file.

5. Mini-buses

Mini-Buses may be used as transport. Minimum insurance coverage limits for charter buses are:

Auto coverage must be at least $5 million

  • list umbrella/excess coverage if the bus company has it
  • list medical payment coverage if the bus company has it

Workers Compensation coverage must be at least $100,000 per accident per employee/$500,000 policy.

  • Motorcoach common carriers operate over-the-road bus transports for rent.
  • Charter bus companies must ensure that the driver has met the CDL requirements, such as a valid and approved Class B(P) Commercial Driver's License and that the driver's current health check is on file.


F. Air Transportation

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Commercial air carriers, charter, time-share, and other aircraft may be used for travel purposes and are subject to the provisions below:

  • Commercial Airlines are an acceptable means of travel. Tickets must be procured under the travel guidelines established by Drake University.
  • Minimum liability insurance guidelines for commercial air is $3 million per seat.

1. Charter Aircraft Travel

The university prefers that chartered aircraft mode of travel not be used. If, however, there is an immediate need for this type of travel, the following process is to be followed:

  1. Notify the Chief Administration Officer that a charter aircraft is needed for travel. 
  2. The proposed charter agreement will be reviewed for insurance and liability issues.
  3. The University's Contract Policy will dictate who is authorized to sign the Agreement. 

2. Use of Aviation Charterer

  • The charterer must have expertise in operations, safety and certification for the purpose of evaluating the certifications and safety records of charter air carriers, time-share and other aircraft, and assure pilot certifications are in keeping with this policy and FAA guidelines.
  • Prior to flying, the aviation charterer must acknowledge that charter companies, time-share companies, or other aircraft and all pilots flying aircraft meet the requirements of this policy and FAA guidelines.
  • The University shall maintain final authority to approve a firm/aircraft.
  • The minimum requirements will be included in the Air Charter Agreement between Drake University and the Charterer, e.g.,

General Minimum Requirements for Charter, Time-Share, and Other Aircraft.

The University is provided with a copy of the appropriate 121 or 135 certificates from the charterer as proof of satisfying FAA requirements. 
(The FAA police's all FAA Part 121 & 135 Aircraft/Airlines on a regular basis. A current 121 or 135 certificate, provides evidence that the airline has passed and continues to satisfy all FAA requirements pertaining to maintenance, flight crew training, drug testing, inspections, etc.)

3. Aircraft Insurance University Requirements.

The University does not carry Aviation insurance. Therefore, airline insurance guidelines below are critical because it is the only insurance that is enforced for the traveler. Drake's insurance Broker must review any exceptions to the minimum guidelines.

4. Minimum Liability Guidelines

For 30 or less seats are: $1 million per seat based on the number of seats/million, with $5 million being the minimum for any aircraft other than Commercial aircraft which is a minimum of $3 million per seat.

Certificate of Insurance Requirement. Consideration of the current insurance market trends and maximum market coverage limits will be considered if small aircrafts of 1-10 seats cannot provide coverage limits of the $1 million per seat coverage over the initial $5 million of coverage. The aircraft carrier is required to provide the insurance office a  certificate of insurance including listing both A and B coverages. "A" coverage is Aircraft liability coverage and "B" coverage is Aircraft Combined Single Limit Bodily Injury (including passengers) and property damage liability coverage. Drake University needs to be listed as additional insured on the Certificate of Insurance provided to Drake by the insured.

  • Every charter company used must have and demonstrate evidence of a current air carrier certificate under FAA Part 135 or 121. Only FAA Part 135 or 121 Certified Aircraft are to be utilized for Drake University's Charter Flights. (No FAA Part 125 or Part 91 certified aircraft are to be used for Charter flights because these types of certifications are strictly meant for private/corporate ownership usage of aircraft and these aircraft are not intended to be used for commercial charters for the general public. They are not as heavily regulated or inspected by the FAA, since they are not intended to do as much flying as a Commercial or Charter Airliner.)
  • The aviation charterer shall assure the Senior Administrator of the Department or his/her designee that written verification has been received for all charter flights from the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) that an Air Carrier Operating Certificate has been filed and is being maintained in good standing.
  • Other Aircraft (Time Share, Donor): Requirements include the same as Section 6.01 F.1. of this policy, "Charter Aircraft Travel". This includes meeting the University's insurance and FAA requirements. Use of other aircraft should only be used if a commercial or charter air service is not available.

G. Field Trip Guidelines

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1. The faculty member or key trip contact is required to complete the trip risk management processes

2. If you plan to rent or lease a vehicle for a trip:

  • If renting a vehicle through the University's preferred rental vehicle provider (Enterprise/National) within the United States do NOT take out additional insurance as the university's negotiated rate includes CDW (insurance). Drake's preferred vehicle rental provider information: Vehicle Rental Processes and Information.
  • Drake strongly recommends not renting vehicles in a foreign country. If vehicles are rented outside the United States, the renter needs to add the damage insurance to the rental. Drake's preferred vehicle rental provider information.
  • If renting a vehicle within the United States, that is not through a Drake preferred vehicle rental provider, contact the Insurance Office for a proof of insurance card. There is a $1000 deductible that will be paid by the department renting the vehicle.
  • Request proof of insurance card for use with a nonpreferred vendor rental or lease vehicle.

3. An Adult Release of Liability/Waiver form must be signed by each student before traveling on a class trip. 

4. All persons driving on behalf of Drake University, e.g., field trips, work, etc., must complete the driver approval process at least 1 week before the trip begins.

a. The Insurance Office will run the motor vehicle check and notify the senior staff or contact person who initiated the trip that the proposed driver(s) are or are not approved to drive on behalf of the university. It is the responsibility of the senior staff/key trip contact member to ensure the approved drivers are the only persons driving on behalf of the university. 

H. Study Abroad

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Drake International is to be contacted for direction on study abroad trips.

I. Cell Phone Use

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Cell phone use is restricted while driving a vehicle on behalf of Drake University.  A driver's first responsibility is the safe operation of the vehicle and the safety of his/her passengers. The best practice is to not use electronic devices including cell phones while driving.  However, the limited use of a hands-free cell phone device is acceptable.

Download the Transportation Policy Acknowledgementhere.


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