Student Driver Policy

Effective Date

Saturday, September 1, 1990

Office of Primary Responsibility

Transportation Services

Reason for Policy

This policy provides additional requirements for student drivers to assure their safety in operating vehicles on behalf of College business.

Affected Parties

All Undergraduates

Policy Statement

Please note that there are additional general driver policy provisions that apply to students that are not contained in this document. They can be found under the link for the Dartmouth Driver Policy under the Driver Safety Program section of this website. It is the responsibility of each individual operating a motor vehicle on behalf of the College to become familiar with and adhere to the Driver Policy.

College-Sponsored Activities

"Students may be authorized to drive College cars for use in connection with College-sponsored activities. Such requests must be approved by the sponsoring department or office pursuant to rules and regulations issued by the Office of Parking and Transportation Services (P&TS)" (Refer to the Student Handbook for Use of College Vehicles by Students)

This Student Driver Policy, effective September 1, 1990, sets forth the College's regulations and procedures for all students who drive College-owned, rented, leased or personal vehicles in connection with College-sponsored activities and programs. By way of definition, College-sponsored activities and programs include all activities funded in any way through the College such as all recognized student organizations, Student Life, Residential/CFS Life, and Tucker Foundation programs, athletic or academic programs, and off-campus programs sponsored by the College, etc. For purposes of clarification, activities within the Hanover/Lebanon/Norwich/White River Junction area that can be characterized as "errands," such as trips to the store for food, supplies, etc., are not subject to the College Student Driver Policy. If there are any questions regarding College sponsorship as it pertains to the applicability of the Student Driver Policy, program directors or student drivers are responsible for raising their questions with P&TS.

Regulations and Procedures

I. Trip Approval

All student travel related to College-sponsored activities and programs must be approved in advance of the trip by the faculty member, coach, administrator, dean or director responsible for the activity or program. Use of College funds will not be authorized for any trip not receiving advance approval.

II. Driver Approval

Each student driver must complete a Student Driver Application Form (Form I) prior to being considered for inclusion on the College-approved student driver list. Applications should be submitted to P&TS and will be processed on a first come basis.  Please plan accordingly and allow at least one week to complete the process.  Depending on demand it may take up to two weeks. Approval as a student driver will require:

  • Minimum of one year of driving experience;
  • Minimum of 1,500 miles driven per year(motorcycles excluded);
  • No moving traffic violations (normally, one minor speeding ticket will be allowed) within the prior two (2) year period;
  • No convictions for vehicular accidents resulting in damage in excess of $2,000 (bodily injury or property damage);
  • Absence of College disciplinary sanctions which might reflect negatively on a student's ability to drive safely, such as a sanction for repeated intoxication.
  • Completion of the College-sponsored on-line Defensive Driver course associated with approval as a student driver.

Any students who are on the approved student driver roster and subsequently found not to meet the above requirements will be notified by P&TS that they have been removed from the approved drivers list. Students removed from the list will not be permitted to drive a vehicle on College-sponsored activities, but may reapply for designation as an approved driver as outlined in the Driver Policy located on the FO&M website under the Driver Safety Program tab. Students not being granted approved driver status will be notified in writing as to the reason(s) for denial, and will be informed of the process to reapply for approval.

III. First-Year Student Driver Approval

Under normal circumstances, first-year students are not allowed to bring a vehicle to Hanover or its environs (cf. The Dartmouth Driver Code, Student Handbook.) However, first-year students, as part of a College-sponsored program, may operate a vehicle if the following apply:

  • The first-year student is requested by the program director to be a student driver.
  • The first-year student's name is listed on the College's approved driver list, and written authorization by that program director is on file with OIRMI.
  • The first-year students will not operate a vehicle for the program in excess of a 100-mile radius of Hanover.
  • The first-year student operating a vehicle as an approved driver may only drive for the specific program requesting the approval as a student driver.

IV. E-350 Van Testing

Students who will be driving the Sprinter vans must be on the driver-approved list, and pass the College-sponsored van testing program, coordinated by P&TS prior to driving such a vehicle. Contact P&TS at 6-2340 (email Driver Safety) for more information or to schedule a road test.

V. Microbus Testing

Students who will be driving the microbuses must be on the driver-approved list and pass the microbus driving test. Contact P&TS for more information.

VI. Trips in Excess of a 150-mile Radius of the Campus

When traveling to College-sponsored activities which involve one-way travel in excess of 150 miles from campus, the following will apply:

  • an overnight stay in the vicinity of the specified event the night before or the same night as the event, or
  • name an additional approved driver not participating in the activity to share the driving responsibilities.

VII. Use of Personal Vehicles

Effective January 1, 1991, it will be necessary, prior to the use of a personal vehicle for College-sponsored activities and programs, for the legal owner of the vehicle to file an Owner Approval Form (Form II) authorizing use of the vehicle for College-sponsored activities and identifying the student(s) authorized to drive the vehicle. The intent here is to ensure that vehicle owners know that their cars are being used in connection with College activity and that they may be assuming some liability. To assist students when requesting owner authorization to operate a vehicle, a sample letter requesting an owner's permission to operate a private vehicle is included as Form III.

Note: Additional copies of the forms may be obtained from P&TS at 6 Vox Lane.

Exclusions & Exceptions

This policy affects all undergraduate students who bring vehicles to campus, and to first-year students who are approved to operate a College-owned vehicle on College business. 


Failure to adhere to this policy may result in denial of Approved Driver status. Appeals should be directed to Transportation Services. 


Facilities Operations and Management (FO&M) Risk and Internal Controls Services

Last Revised

Wednesday, July 1, 2015