Willamette University community members frequently use automobiles for trips that enhance students’ educational experience, provide recreational opportunities for students, and fulfill the operational needs of the university. Travel by automobile is inherently risky and requires procedures to mitigate this risk and maximize the safety of Willamette’s community members. This policy clarifies responsibilities for using an automobile for any university business.


This policy applies to all trips by automobile involving university related business or activities, regardless of the trip’s point of origin. This policy does not apply to commuting between home and campus, as well as between campus and any other regular parts of an academic or work routine, such as travel between Salem and the Portland Center, campus and internship sites, etc.

Transportation of Minors

The university strictly prohibits employees, students, or volunteers from transporting minors. If transportation is necessary as part of a program, a professional transportation company must be hired.

Employee Trips for University Related Business (Not traveling with students) 

Employees driving for university-related automobile trips without students must have a valid driver’s license.  Employees are encouraged to file a Trip Form with the Service Center when traveling without students. The Trip Form assists the university in locating employees in case of emergency and analyzing information about university travel activity.  

Employees must determine if they are using their personal automobile or renting an automobile to drive. Should an employee choose to use their personal automobile for university business, they must have valid personal automobile insurance which will be the first insurance that is used in case of a claim. It is the responsibility of the policy holder to consult the insurance carrier to ensure coverage applies when driving on University business.

Travel with Students/Student Travel for University Related Activities

Only Approved Drivers will be allowed to drive automobiles on behalf of the university when students are in the automobile. This includes students driving only themselves. Any community member wishing to become an Approved Driver must successfully complete all three parts of the Approved Driver program, as follows:

  1. Complete the driver education and test online module.
  2. Provide a copy of your driver's license to the Service Center in one of three ways: 1) scan both the front and back of your license and email it to safety@willamette.edu; or 2) take a photo with your cell phone of the front and back of your license and email it to safety@willamette.edu; or 3) bring your license into the Service Center during office hours and they will make a copy for you. 
  3. If you are driving a personal vehicle instead of a rented vehicle, you must provide a copy of your personal vehicle liability insurance card. The card must show that it is valid during the dates of the trip. You may submit this documentation in the same three ways as in item 2 above.
  4. Service Center staff will check the driver’s record for moving violations and accidents. Drivers may not be approved if the record indicates violations or accidents per disqualification criteria suggested by United Educators: http://willamette.edu/offices/safety/parking/safedriver/driverdisqualifications/index.html

The process to become an Approved Driver will take no less than 2 business days and is managed by the Service Center. Any Willamette University community member that will be driving on behalf of the university with a student in the automobile must successfully complete this program before commencing the trip. The Service Center will notify a community member when the community member has completed the process and is an Approved Driver.

Approved Driver status is valid for 2 years at which time the Approved Driver must go through the process again.

Approved Drivers are obligated to self-report driving or other relevant legal violations including violations that may impact the safety of students to the Service Center.

A Trip Form must be filed with the Service Center if an Approved Driver is traveling with students outside of the Salem-Keizer area. The Service Center will review all Trip Form submissions. The Service Center will alert the appropriate Dean or Senior/Vice President if a proposed trip appears to have insufficient safety and risk management measures in place.

Following are some ways that the Service Center will evaluate trips for safety and risk management:

  • Who is going?
  • What is the destination?
  • How long is the trip?
  • Are there weather or road condition concerns?
  • How many and what type of vehicles are needed?
  • Who is driving and who are the backup drivers?
  • Are the drivers capable and comfortable driving the desired vehicles?
  • No person under 21 years old may drive a vehicle that holds more than 7 passengers.
  • No vehicle that holds more than 12 passengers may be used.

Occasionally, unique circumstances or complex trip situations occur that may require a different approach than the Trip Form. A Dean or Senior/Vice President may request an alternative to the Trip Form from the Vice President for Human Resources and Risk Management.

Use of Rental Cars through Approved Contracts

Willamette University enjoys access to the State of Oregon contract for Enterprise rentals. The University only supports rental of automobiles through this approved contract with Enterprise. Rental of an automobile outside of this contract creates substantial potential legal liability and risk that could lead to costs that will be borne by the Unit renting. Costs include but are not limited to deductibles, legal fees and increased premiums. Occasionally, automobile rentals through this approved contract will not be available, such as when traveling to remote locations or reserving from out of state. In these situations, the renter must pay for the insurance provided by the rental company. If no such insurance is offered, another rental company must be used.


Status: This policy was approved in 2019
Effective Date: 12/4/2019
Last Revision Date: 05/26/2023
Next Anticipated Review: TBD
Responsible University Administrator: Director of Campus Safety
Responsible University Office: Service Center

Willamette University

Campus Safety

Salem Campus

University Services Building
Office Hours:
7:30 am–4 pm (M-F)
Officer available 24/7/365 at

Portland Campus

Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design
Office Hours:
8 am–4 pm (M-F)
Officer available 24/7/365 at

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