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Commute in State Vehicles

Commute in State Vehicles

Except as specifically provided for in this document, all University employees who are authorized to use an assigned Institutional vehicle for commuting purposes will be subject to a commute charge, which will be collected by payroll deduction each pay period.

The Institutional President may exempt certain individuals from the commute charge. These exemptions may be made only if (1) the exemption, on balance, serves to benefit the Institution and not the individual driver and (2) the President has made a determination that the vehicle assignment comes within any of the following conditions:

  1. The vehicle is assigned to an employee whose duties are primarily field assignments and who reports to the designated office an average of once a week or less as certified by the President.
  2. The vehicle is assigned to an employee who is on call to respond to work assignments at times other than his/her normal working hours. The assignee must have been called to work at least 20 times annually to warrant an exemption.
  3. The vehicle is equipped with specialized equipment necessary to respond to emergency needs or other immediate and essential requirements, and the assigned driver is subject to call at times other than scheduled working hours. Examples include snow plows, road service trucks, and the like.

Approved exemptions must be documented using the Certificate of Exemption, State Motor Vehicle Commute Charge. Such exemptions are subject to audit and must be maintained on file by the Institutional Fleet Coordinator. In addition, all Institutions must forward a copy of the Certificate of Exemption to the University Fleet Administrator (i.e., University of Maryland Motor Transportation Services).

Assignment of University vehicles to individuals will be made solely on requirements for official use. Commuting usage may only be considered in terms of evaluating the overall cost effectiveness of the assignment.

The Institutional President may determine an employee's assigned office to be the employee's home or residence if the home or residence of the employee serves as the principal place of employment. The business reasons for specifying the employee's home or residence as the principal office must be detailed in a written document signed by the Institutional President and retained by the Institutions at the departmental level for audit. Such determination must not be made for the convenience of reporting minimal commuting mileage. Such determination should take into consideration factors such as the employee's base of operation, assigned business phone, file location, and geographical jurisdiction.

No adjustments will be made in commute fee for University Holidays, Annual Leave, Sick Leave, or Personal Leave for periods of less than one week. Where such leave exceeds five working days, the vehicle is to be left at the principal office for other use.

Commute charges paid via payroll deduction by an employee for use of a University vehicle to commute will be credited to the employee's department. Drivers who have paid commute charges may be eligible to receive a refund under the following conditions:

  1. Absence from Work
    If the driver has been absent from work on University holidays or leave or any combination thereof, in excess of five consecutive normal working days, that driver may be eligible to receive a refund of commute charges paid. The refund will be calculated on a per diem basis and only for those days absent in excess of five consecutive working days.
  2. Change in Amount of Commute Miles
    A driver may be eligible for a refund if the driver has moved and the move resulted in a reduction of commute miles, which in turn changes the commute rate. The driver will be reimbursed for the difference between what was paid and what should have been paid from the time the change becomes effective until the time the change is reflected in the payroll deduction.
  3. Change in Vehicle Assignment
    A driver may be eligible for a refund for periods of time when the vehicle assignment is not subject to a commute charge, such as when an Institutional vehicle is no longer assigned to the driver or a change in the driver's work assignment results in an exemption. The refund will be calculated on a per diem basis, not to exceed the amount actually withheld for the subject period.