SUNY Policy 5601 on Passenger Vans requires that before students are authorized to drive passenger vans, they must have their drivers' licenses verified by the Department of Motor Vehicles under the NYS License Event Notification Service (LENS) program and, for I5-passenger vans, receive appropriate training.
Furthermore, students may be authorized as van drivers only:
- If it is not feasible to use another driver who is an employee;
- A designated campus staff person appoints each student driver; and,
- A staff member must accompany the transport of students for the approved purposes.
Student-owned vehicles cannot be used for official University business. Students are to be authorized to drive state vehicles under the same conditions as above for van use: when not feasible to use another driver and when authorized in advance by a campus designee. Additionally, policy limited the occasions when student drivers could be used to transport other students in a state owned or rented vehicle to University-sponsored field trips or intercollegiate athletic events and other social, recreational, cultural and educational programs authorized by the president or designee.
Where students are authorized to use state-owned vehicles for student activities such as club sports or club programs or residence hall outings, the University as the registered owner of the vehicle will be liable for the operation of the vehicle by anyone who is driving that vehicle with the consent or permission of the owner. It is recommended that a staff member accompany any trip where students are transported for a University-sponsored program or field trip.
Use of state vehicles by students for student government association (SGA) purposes should be considered carefully, as any SGA-obtained liability insurance will not cover state vehicles. SGAs should have auto liability coverage to cover vehicles rented by or on behalf of the SGA.
Student drivers should be notified in advance that use of rental vehicles paid for by the campus will place their own automobile liability policy at risk in case of an accident. If students are asked or expected to use their personal vehicles to transport others to or from University-sponsored activities, campuses must advise those drivers, in writing, that if injury or property damage should occur as a result of an accident, the driver will have to look first to their own personal automobile liability insurance for liability coverage. Only if that primary coverage is inadequate will the State's protection under Section 17 be available as excess insurance, conditioned, of course upon the Attorney General's determination that the student was an authorized SUNY employee or volunteer in a state-sponsored program.
Office of Procurement & Travel Services
34 Cornell Drive
Canton, NY 13617
Fax: (315) 386-7925