Driving and Motor Vehicle Record Check Policy

Effective January 1, 2024

This policy is to govern the use of the Washington University-owned, rented and leased vehicles (referred to herein as “university vehicles”) used for Washington University business and sponsored events.

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to ensuring the safety of its employees, students, and the community. This policy aims to establish the requirements and procedures for conducting Motor Vehicle Record Checks (MVR checks) on employees who drive university vehicles or drive as part of their regular job duties.

The determination of applicability is based upon the job description of the position of the employee, including those positions that allow a grace period to obtain the required motor vehicle license.  Approved drivers for the University do NOT include: family members, contractors, consultants or vendors, visiting faculty or staff, visiting artists or speakers, special event groups, visiting athletic teams or community organizations.


Prior to making an offer of employment, hiring managers are responsible for confirming the applicant understands the motor vehicle license requirement for the position, and that the applicant confirms the ability to perform the duties as per the job description. Following a conditional job offer and as part of pre-employment screening process, new employees who are considered for positions that involve driving university vehicles or driving as part of their job duties must consent to a Motor Vehicle Record Check during the pre-employment screening process. This check will be completed as part of the other background screenings with the university’s vendor. Job offers for positions involving driving will be contingent upon a satisfactory MVR check.

Annual MVR Check

In addition to the pre-employment responsibilities and checks, all employees who operate university vehicles or drive as part of their regular job duties are required to undergo an annual MVR check. The annual MVR check will be conducted on the anniversary of the employee’s hire date or at a date determined most appropriate by the university.  Employees will be notified of their upcoming MVR check in advance.

Employees who refuse to consent to or fail the MVR check may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Other Responsibilities

Drivers must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid US driver’s license for at least one year.  Employees are responsible for promptly notifying their manager in the event their driver’s license has been restricted, suspended or revoked, and to follow applicable policies regarding accidents while driving on university business and to comply with the university’s drug and alcohol policy.

During onboarding, the new employee is responsible for entering their driver’s license information and attaching proof. Thereafter, employees are responsible for ensuring their license information is kept up to date.

Additional requirements are needed for positions requiring a Commercial Driver License (CDL) as provided below. Departments with CDL drivers are responsible for maintaining additional applicable compliance requirements for their drivers.

The university requires a Class E Driver’s license for Missouri residents who are employees and regularly drive university vehicles (more than once per week). Residents of Illinois are required to have a Class D license.

Review Criteria

For applicable positions, the MVR check will review the employee’s driving history, including but not limited to:

  • Traffic violations
  • Accidents
  • License suspensions or revocations
  • DUI/DWI convictions

Employees in applicable positions must have a satisfactory driving record over the past 36 months. Examples of unacceptable infractions include but are not limited to:

  • Driving on an invalid, restricted, suspended, or revoked license.
  • Any alcohol- or drug-related driving offense.
  • Three or more at-fault accidents over two consecutive years.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Citation for reckless behavior while operating a vehicle.
  • Significant prior history of violations.

An unacceptable driving record within the past 36 months will bar employment in an applicable position.

Employees who fail an MVR check may, depending on the particular circumstances, be considered for employment in an alternate position that does not require driving university vehicles or driving as part of regular job duties. It is the responsibility of the employee to pursue such employment through regular university channels.

Long Distance Driving

Special circumstances apply when traveling more than 500 miles one way away from campus:

  1. More than one approved driver must be in the vehicle for trips exceeding 500 miles.
  2. Drivers must take a 15 minute break or change drivers when driving more than four (4) hours. No driver will drive more than ten (10) hours in a 24-hour period.
  3. No drivers will drive between the hours of 1:00-4:00am.
  4. Equipment, supplies, etc. should not be loaded at a height above the seats as to block the driver’s view.

Use of Privately-Owned Vehicles

Use of privately-owned vehicles is generally discouraged for conducting University business or sponsored activities.  It is recommended that individuals seek alternative transportation options such as rental cars, rideshare, public transportation or charter services.

Individuals who choose to drive their personal vehicle on University business or sponsored activities are responsible for:

  • Maintaining automobile liability insurance in accordance with state law
  • Maintaining current state vehicle inspections when required
  • Maintaining vehicle in a safe operating condition

If an employee chooses to use a privately-owned vehicle, the individual’s personal automobile insurance will be primary at all times.  If an employee’s vehicle is damaged while traveling on University business, the University will reimburse the employee for damages up to the collision deductible, maximum $1,000.  If the employee does not carry collision coverage on the vehicle, the University will reimburse for damages up to $1,000.

Human Resources Responsibilities

Human Resources will review the results of the MVR check. If the results raise questions concerning unacceptable infractions, Human Resources will inform the hiring unit of the concerns and consult with, as applicable, the hiring manager, Insurance & Risk Management, Vice Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor, Dean, and/or Provost.

Human Resources will maintain records of MVR checks and results in accordance with the university’s record-keeping policies and applicable laws and regulations.

The results of the MVR check will be confidential and will only be accessible to authorized personnel involved in the hiring or annual verification process.

Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the University through the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources or designee. Questions regarding this policy can be directed to the Office of Human Resources.

Other Applicable Policies & Resources

Government CDL

Other University Policies

Workday Change My License Task