Insurance and Risk Management -2022

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Vehicle FAQs


What form must I complete if I frequently drive my private vehicle for official State business?

a. Employees driving their private vehicle on State business are REQUIRED to annually verify personal auto liability coverage with the form STD 261 (Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business) to their Department Supervisor. Employees who use their private vehicles on State business must certify they have the following minimum amounts of auto liability insurance coverage as required by California state law:

  • $ 15,000 for personal injury to, or death of, one person
  • $ 30,000 for personal injury to two or more persons in one accident, and
  • $ 5,000 for property damage

b. In addition, employees that sign this form are certifying they have a valid driver's license, the privately owned vehicle is adequate for the work to be performed, the private vehicle is equipped with operating safety belts, and that the private vehicle is in safe mechanical condition.

Who must complete a CSU approved defensive driver course?

Every state employee (or official volunteer) who drives a motor vehicle on University or State business must satisfactorily complete a CSU approved defensive driver course every four years.

How do I enroll in a CSU approved defensive driver course?

Defensive Driving Certification courses are free and available through the campus EH&S Department (Environmental Health and Occupational Safety) at (818) 677-2401 to all CSUN employees.

Who may drive a State owned, leased, or rental vehicle for official State business?

a. Only State of California employees are allowed to drive any State owned, rented, or leased vehicles on State business. The policy on State vehicle use prohibits any student or non-State employee to drive any State owned, leased, or rented vehicle unless given special permission by the State of California or the University.

b. Volunteers (Job Class Code 0050) may become authorized vehicle drivers on State business.

Non-academic staff, student volunteers and others are appointed by the use of the Human Resource Services CSUN Volunteer Identification Form (number OHRS 20-64, Rev. 10/2004) which is completed and returned to the Human Resources Department. Approved volunteer drivers are then subject to the CSU employee vehicle driver requirements.

What are the CSU driver requirements to drive a vehicle for official University business?

a. All authorized CSUN (State) drivers must be CSUN employees or CSUN appointed volunteers.

The general public, students or employees of the CSUN Auxiliary Organizations are not allowed to drive on State business. The requirements that apply to individuals driving a State-owned, State rented or privately owned vehicles while on State business are:

b. A valid California driver's license

c. A current Defensive Drivers Training certificate

d. A good driving record: DMV Pull Notice

e. A completed STD 261 (Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business) form if using a privately owned vehicle for state business. This form must be submitted to the person authorized to approve travel expense and is renewed annually.

What kind of certification do I need to drive a state owned, leased, or rental vehicle for official State or University business?

a.  A valid California driver's license and a current defensive driver-training certificate are required to drive on official State or University business. Call the campus Environmental Health and Occupational Safety (EHOS) department at (818) 677-2401 for a schedule of the next defensive driving certification course on campus. An on-line course is also available.

b. You may also check the California State Office of Risk and Insurance Management (ORIM) website for their Defensive Driving Training courses offered throughout the state of California. All courses are free to all state employees.

What is the DMV Pull Notice Program?

The DMV Pull Notice Program is the University's procedure to request driving records of its employees directly from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Department of Police Services, under the direction of the Chief of Police, administers the program. It is a California State University mandated requirement that all State employees authorized to drive on state business, whether by using a state vehicle, personal vehicle or electric cart be enrolled in the program.

Who should be enrolled in the DMV Pull Notice Program?

a. All California State University, Northridge employees that drive on State business must have their driving record verified through the DMV Pull Notice Program. 

b. In order to operate vehicles on University business, you must maintain a good and safe driving record. The DMV will provide the University with periodic updates of your driving record.9. Who initiates the DMV Pull Notice Request and what is the procedure?

Supervisors may verify whether an employee is authorized to drive on State business by submitting a name and California Drivers License number to the Department of Police Services. The DMV Pull Notice Program requires 3-4 weeks to respond to any request for information. Therefore, sufficient time should be allowed to verify an employee's authorization to drive on State business. The DMV pull notice request is a free service to the University. The DMV pull notice request satisfies the CSU requirement to verify the California driving records of all State employees authorized to drive on State business.

Can an employee operate a University owned vehicle with only an out-of-state driver's license?

Please note that authorized State employee drivers must possess a California driver's license to drive on State business. Since out-of-state drivers' license information and driving history cannot be verified through the California DMV Pull Notice Program, employee drivers with out-of-state driver's licenses may be ineligible to drive on State University business. Contact the Chief of Police for alternatives.

What responsibility does a professor have when transporting a student in the professor's personal vehicle?

The professor has full liability responsibility as the driver. If the transport activity is University related, the University's liability coverage may be excess over the professor's auto liability insurance if the transport and driver were authorized.


What is the vehicle liability coverage for State owned or leased vehicles under the State Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance program?

The State of California provides for only third-party liability coverage. This means the State provides vehicle repair damage payment only for the third party's vehicle. The physical damage repair of the employees' State vehicle (either State owned/leased) is paid (budget permitting) by the budget of the department that owns the vehicle.

Who pays for the vehicle damage expense to the State owned University vehicle after an accident?

When the State driver is at fault for a vehicle accident the State driver's University department budget pays for the vehicle damage repair expense. When the other driver is at fault for an accident, the responsible party or their insurance carrier pays for the vehicle damage repair expense for the State owned University vehicle. ORIM claim adjusters assist with vehicle damage recovery efforts when the other party is at fault for the accident.

All motor vehicle accidents involving a State-owned vehicle or any vehicle being used on State business must be reported on the Vehicle Accident Report (STD 270) form within 48 hours to the State Office of Risk and Insurance Management (ORIM). If the accident results in bodily injury or significant property damage, the accident must be first reported by telephone and/or fax copy of the STD 270 to the ORIM fax phone number at (916) 322-6006. The ORIM website (link: allows individuals to download a copy of the STD 270 Vehicle Accident Report form.

Who pays for damage to my private vehicle when an accident occurs during official State business?

If your private vehicle is damaged in an accident during official State (University) business, your private auto insurance provides primary coverage for any damage or loss to your vehicle. When an accident occurs, the employees' private vehicle insurance provides payment for any vehicle repair damage to the employees' private vehicle and/or repair damage to the other party's vehicle. In addition, any insurance deductible payment is the employees' responsibility. The State Motor Vehicle Insurance Account (SMVIA) will pay for excess expenses not covered by your private vehicle liability insurance.

How does a State employee get reimbursed for repairs to his/her personal vehicle if it is damaged in an accident while on state business?

a. The “rules” for these circumstances are outlined in the State Administrative Manual (SAM 0757). There are some conditions for reimbursement that the employee should understand.

b. The accident cannot be the State employee's fault.

c. The employee must collect his/her collision/comprehensive coverage first, and then request reimbursement for the deductible amount.

d. The employee without any collision/comprehensive coverage on their personal vehicle cannot collect anything.

e. Also, the Travel Expense Claim Form, completed by the employee, is submitted for payment to his or her own department, NOT to the State Office of Risk and Insurance Management (ORIM).


May I use the rental car for personal use at the conclusion of the official state business and pay for the difference in expense?

No. A state employee may never drive a rented vehicle under the State Contract for personal use. If a rental car is needed for personal use, the employee must return the vehicle and obtain a new and separate car rental agreement. The State Contract does not cover any liability or loss that occurs while on personal business. This requirement applies even if extending the rental of the vehicle would not

be an additional expense to the University. When the rental car is needed for an extended stay on personal business, the employee must return the rental vehicle, terminate the existing State rental agreement, and obtain a separate, personal rental agreement from the rental car agency.

How do I get home from State business if I extend my stay and obtain a separate rental car agreement for personal use?

Your return drive home is considered a continuation of your official State business. To extend the terms of the State Contract for vehicle liability for the return trip home, the rental car used for personal business must first be returned. The employee must then obtain another new and separate car rental agreement for a vehicle using the American Express (State) Government Card or a prearranged and State approved billing procedure.

Which rental car vendors provide the State's contract negotiated vehicle liability coverage?

The State's current contract for vehicle liability extends to Enterprise only for travel within the State.

Which rental car vendors extend the contracted vehicle liability coverage for use outside of the State of California?

Only the following State contracted rental car agencies allow liability coverage for use outside the State of California: Enterprise. Check the DGS website for changes before traveling out-of-state.

May I use a non-State contracted rental car agency in a location where a State contracted rental agency is not available?

Yes. If an employee driver is able to justify that a State contracted car rental agency is unavailable in a specific travel location, the State of California will allow reimbursement of the car rental and related expenses. When a non-State contracted rental car agency is used, the State employee must purchase separate vehicle liability and physical damage insurance for the duration of the vehicle's use on State business. 

May private rental car insurance be purchased at the car rental agency in lieu of using the American Express (State) Government Card?

No. Private rental car insurance is not a State reimbursable travel expense because of the State's existing vehicle liability contract with the designated rental car vendor(s). If you are involved in a vehicle accident on official State business, the State of California, your CSU campus, your employing department, and you may be held personally legally and fiscally liable in the incident regardless of the separate rental car insurance purchase.

May I use my personal credit card, check, or cash for payment of a rental car on official State business?