University Vehicle: Risk Management - Northwestern University

The safety of Northwestern students, faculty, staff, and the public is a central concern of Northwestern University. The policies governing the use of University vehicles by students, faculty, and staff are designed to support safe prudent use of vehicles.

Requests for exceptions to any of the following rules must be made through the group's designated advisor and then the Office of Risk Management.

List of Approved Drivers

Defensive Driving Course

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Approved Drivers

Northwestern University adheres to vehicle rental industry driver's licenses standard practices

International Renters (Renting in the US or Canada):

If the driver's license is in a language other than English, but the characters are in English (i.e.alphabet is an extended Latin-based alphabet like German, Spanish, etc.), an International Driver's Permit is recommended but not required.

Note: An International Driver's Permit is a translation of the individual's home country driver's license and is not an indication of the status, restrictions or type of license the individual holds.

If the driver's license is in a language other than English and the characters are not in the English language (i.e. Russian, Chinese, etc.) an International Driver's Permit is required.

Note: Customers are not allowed to rent a vehicle with only an International Driver's Permit

Student-driver Approval Process

Students must have two years of driving experience. Students are required to provide a copy of their current operator's license. The Student's license must be one recognized by the State of Illinois.

Students must successfully complete the University's Defensive Driving Course. Student drivers involved in an at fault accident or ticketed for a moving violation in a University vehicle will lose their approved driver status for one calendar year from the date of accident or ticket. Student drivers suspended from driving University vehicles must repeat the approval process.

Driver Responsibilities

Those driving University vehicles:

Operational Rules

Loss of Driving Privilege

Noncompliance with this policy will result in loss of University driving privilege.

Students involved in accidents while not conducting University business and not en route to the specific University function will lose vehicle privileges for one year and will have no insurance coverage for the accident.

Students lose University driving privileges if:


All accidents shall be reported to the Office of Risk Management (847-491-4334) within 24 hours of the accident. Drivers that fail to contact the Office of Risk Management within 24 hours will lose their driving privilege and the student organization will lose their privilege for one year. A police report must be made in the police jurisdiction the accident happened. In addition, the Northwestern University Accident Report Form must be filled out and delivered to the Office of Risk Management.

Vehicle accident deductible is a minimum of $500.00; the deductible is to be paid by the sponsoring organization. Accidents reported 24 hours after the occurrence will result in a $1,000.00 deductible and further sanctions as determined by the Office of Risk Management. Insurance coverage is not provided for losses that occur from accidents that do not involve University business.

Commercial Vehicle Rental Policy

Non-University rental vehicles should be used only when it is not possible to use a University-owned vehicle. Rental vehicles should not be used if less expensive transportation is available. Use of rental vehicles shall be limited to University business. Student groups shall arrange commercial rental vehicles through the University Motor Pool.

Drivers should use the University's designated rental agency (National Car Rental). In the event of an accident departments not renting vehicles from National Car Rental or the University Motor Pool will be subject to $1,000.00 deductible plus any administration fees charged. Drivers should rent the vehicles in the University's name with the approved driver as the named driver. Under no conditions should the approved driver allow another person to operate their rental vehicle.

Do not purchase a collision damage waiver (CDW) from the rental agency, except for international rentals. On foreign business rentals (including National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car under the Big Ten Agreement), the driver should accept the CDW/LDW and liability insurance in the minimum amount offered by the rental agency. Should an accident occur, the driver must follow the rental agency accident report instructions, in addition to forwarding a copy of the report to the Office of Risk Management.