The number of vehicles operated by Iowa State University generates both significant concern for passenger safety as well as the need to minimize university loss exposures. Exposures can be from third party liability, property damage, workers compensation injuries, or business interruption. This policy establishes rules regarding driving on official university business and reflects Iowa State University's commitment to:

  • Provide and monitor appropriate operator authorizations
  • Develop and implement related training programs
  • Determine specific safety requirements and recommendations
  • Define effective driving standards, consequences and corrective actions

Iowa State University vehicles may be used only for university related business purposes and driven by qualified and authorized persons. All vehicles used to conduct university related business must be operated in compliance with applicable policies, rules and regulations. Drivers who fail to adhere to vehicle policies and procedures may have their university driving privileges suspended and are subject to disciplinary action according to the severity of the infraction.

University Trailer Purchases, Inspections, Service, and Maintenance Requirements

(1) All university departments or department-sponsored student organizations wanting to purchase or acquire a trailer must work with ISU Transportation Services to acquire and assure the proper maintenance of such equipment.

(2) License plates and registrations for university trailers will be secured through ISU Transportation Services.

(3) Trailers that student organizations will be pulling may not exceed 20 feet in cargo/payload space in length.

(4) Trailers that will be used for student organizations may not exceed 10,000 GVWR.

(5) University trailers licensed for operation on public roads are required to be serviced and maintained in accordance with Transportation Services guidelines set out in this document. All maintenance and service work must be done at Transportation Services or another Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) repair facility.
               a. Every trailer must undergo an annual inspection by a certified Department of Transportation (DOT) inspector at the owning department’s expense. Transportation Services can assist departments/student organizations in finding a certified inspector in their area to conduct the inspection.
               b. The inspector shall provide a copy of the annual vehicle inspection report to the owning department. The department or department-sponsored student organization must keep the original on file and provide a copy to Transportation Services. All copies should be forwarded to Transportation Services, 919 Haber Road, Ames, IA 50011.

(6) If the trailer has no operating deficiencies on the inspection report, it shall be deemed to have passed the inspection and may be returned to normal usage.

(7) Correction of any operating deficiency identified must be corrected within seven calendar days of the inspection. After correction of deficiencies, the trailer must pass re-inspection before placed back into service.

(8) The department must maintain all inspection and maintenance records throughout the life of the trailer.

(9) Prior to each trip the departmental driver must perform a pre-trip inspection that includes, but is not limited to, checking the tires, lights, hitch, safety chains and all other features of the trailer. This link offers additional in-depth trailer-user instructions to use as a guide.

(10) Failure to comply with the service, maintenance, and inspection requirements may result in suspension of driving privileges, increased insurance charges, and/or loss of the use of trailers.

(11) Personal trailers are not to be pulled by university vehicles, unless an exception is provided in writing by the Office of Risk Management in advance of the trip. When those exceptions occur, proper agreements and information must be provided to the Office of Risk Management, and the trailer must have a completed annual DOT inspection by an authorized DOT inspector.

(12) Department-owned trailers are not automatically insured for damage to the trailer. Additional insurance can be purchased through the Office of Risk Management.

(13) Drivers for large passenger vans or any vehicle towing a trailer need to be at least 18 years old.

(14) Training is required for all undergraduate and graduate students driving a large vehicle or any vehicle towing a trailer for University business. The class is also required for anyone driving the above-mentioned vehicles for any Student Organization Travel, regardless of employment status.

(15) The unauthorized transportation, use or storage of any hazardous materials is prohibited. In extenuating circumstances, a request for authorization for transporting hazardous materials must be submitted in writing and approved by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of Risk Management before travel occurs.

(16) The Office of Risk Management or Transportation Services may require additional training or licensures.

These guidelines are subject to change.

All drivers of university vehicles must submit a request for a motor vehicle record (MVR) check and receive approval prior to driving, and annually thereafter.

NOTE: MVR checks are processed through HireRight, Iowa State University’s background check provider. After you submit your request, you will receive an email directly from HireRight with a link to complete your MVR check. The email will come from "HireRight Customer Support <>" with the subject line, “Iowa State University Background/MVR Check Request for Your Name” Please follow the instructions in the email to provide the required information. Your MVR check cannot be completed until you provide your information to HireRight.

Requests will be processed as quickly as possible; however, we cannot guarantee a specific completion timeline. Some states have additional requirements that may extend processing by days or weeks. Drivers are encouraged to submit an MVR check annually, in advance of expected travel dates.
Please see the Iowa State University Fleet Safety and Vehicle Use/Rental policy for additional information.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Risk Management or 515-294-7711, or University Transportation Services or 515-294-1882.

Department Heads and Managers

Department heads and managers are responsible for ensuring that all staff and students who drive a University-owned vehicle that your department leases/rents have a current and approved Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) check. This is the guide for Departmental MVR Checks. The good news is that now you have the capability to submit a list of those individuals in Cy Check to find out who is eligible to drive. After submitting that information, you will have the most current information about your drivers at your fingertips. You can track the status of those individuals' MVRs and their expiration dates to ensure that all drivers are in compliance with University policies.


Submit MVR Check