5.1 What is
the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes how we
use, operate, and store motor vehicles we own, lease, and manage through
5.2 What are the
authorities for this chapter? See 320 FW 1.3 for a list of
authorities for all the chapters in Part 320.
5.3 Who is responsible
for motor vehicle use, operation, and storage? We describe our general responsibilities for motor
vehicle management in 320
FW 1.6. Following are our responsibilities for motor
vehicle use, operation, and storage.
A. Regional Directors ensure that:
(1) All employees in their Regions are aware of the policy
requirements in this chapter, including limitations on using Service motor
(2) Volunteers, employees of grantees, contractors,
(a) Have proper authorization before using Service
(b) Use motor vehicles only to perform official
Government business authorized under volunteer agreements, grants, contracts,
and subcontracts; and
(c) Establish and enforce penalties for employees who
knowingly use or authorize the use of Service motor vehicles for other than
(3) Fleet charge cards for buying fuel and services
are properly issued and used.
B. Accountable Officers are
responsible for our motor vehicles, including:
(1) Safeguarding motor vehicles and fuel cards
by establishing measures to prevent loss, theft, misuse, or abuse;
(2) Maintaining records for all the
vehicles for which they are responsible; and
(3) Reporting vehicle performance
information as required by Federal regulation when requested by the Regional
Vehicle Operators must:
(1) Properly operate, care
for, and secure Service motor vehicles;
(2) Comply with all local,
State, and Federal laws and motor vehicle operator regulations; and
(3) Comply with 243 FW 1, Safe Operation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Equipment and 321 FW 1, Operator Requirements and Responsibilities.
5.4 What is official use of a U.S.
Government motor vehicle? Official use of a motor vehicle is using
a motor vehicle to perform your agency’s mission(s), as authorized by your
is official use when we use a Government motor vehicle to:
A. Carry out authorized programs,
including program work under contractual arrangements;
B. Assist in major disasters or
C. Perform assignments while on official temporary duty (TDY) travel as
documented and approved on a travel authorization (DI-1020). This includes using a
Government motor vehicle:
(1) Between the official duty station
and temporary duty locations.
(2) Between residence and common
carrier terminal and from the common carrier terminal (e.g,
airport, train station) to the residence.
(3) Within the metropolitan area of
the official station.
(4) From common carrier terminals at a
temporary duty station to place of business and between such places if more
than one is involved.
(5) From common carrier terminals at a
temporary duty station to place of lodging.
(6) From place of lodging to place of
business at a temporary duty station where reasonable public transportation
is not available or where the use of a Government vehicle for such purposes
would be advantageous to the Government.
(7) From place of lodging at a
temporary duty station, where other reasonable means of transportation are not
available, to obtain goods or services necessary to the health and well-being
of the employee. This includes travel, of up to 25 miles, in a Government
vehicle to obtain medical services, attend religious services, and to obtain
goods and services at restaurants, barbershops, beauty shops, drugstores,
laundries, and dry-cleaning establishments.
What are the limitations for using Service motor vehicles?
A. You may only transport non-official
passengers (non-official passengers are people not engaged in the work for
which you are using the vehicle) and private property:
(1) During an emergency:
(a) As part of an
overall Emergency Operations Plan that Regional management or the Accountable
Officer has approved and which is designed to facilitate aid before, during,
and after a major disaster, or
(b) When necessary to prevent
serious injury, loss of life, or property.
(2) If the Regional Property
Manager develops a policy for transporting non-official passengers and
private property that the Chief, Division of Contracting and Facilities
Management and the Department’s Director – Acquisition and Property
Management have approved.
B. You may transport people from other Federal
agencies and non-Federal employees when conducting official business when it
benefits the Government and does not interfere with accomplishing your
C. Non-official passengers
in Service motor vehicles must comply with all Service policies. Transporting
the passengers must:
(1) Be at no additional cost,
(2) Not delay Service
(3) Not involve
profit-seeking or commercial activities.
D. You must not transport family members, friends, or
other people who are not conducting official business in a Government vehicle
(except as section 5.5A describes).
E. You may not use Service
motor vehicles for personal errands or shopping unrelated to work (unless you
are on official temporary duty travel—see section 5.4C). You may use a Service motor vehicle for shopping
related to work (e.g., stopping at a drug store if an employee needs sunblock while doing fieldwork).
5.6 May a Service employee
use a Service motor vehicle to travel between his/her residence and permanent
duty station? See 320
FW 10 for information on Home-to-Work transportation.
employees use their own vehicles for Government business? You may use your Privately Owned
Vehicle (POV) if you have approval from your supervisor. See DI-1020, Travel
Authorization, “Mode of Travel” to ensure you comply
with Federal Tort Claims Act provisions. Otherwise, you use your vehicle at
your own risk. We reimburse you for the use of the POV based on the costs per
5.8 What are the requirements for contractors and grantees
to use Government vehicles?
A. Managers who provide contractors or grantees with
Government-owned or leased motor vehicles are responsible for ensuring that
the contractors/grantees only use the vehicles to perform the work authorized
under the contracts and grants (see 43
for more guidance).
B. Managers must ensure that contractors and grantees establish
and enforce suitable penalties for their employees who willfully use or
authorize the use of Government motor vehicles for other than official
C. Contractors and grantees assume any cost or expense
for any incidents that occur when use is not related to the performance of
the grant or contract.
May volunteers use Service-owned and leased motor vehicles? Yes. Volunteers may use
Service motor vehicles if they:
A. Receive written
authorization from the Project Leader,
B. Have a valid State
driver’s license, and
C. Comply with Service motor
vehicle operator requirements in Parts 320 and 321.
What are the penalties for unauthorized use? With the Director’s
approval, your supervisor may suspend you without pay if you willfully misuse
or authorize someone else to misuse a Service vehicle. Your supervisor may
suspend you from duty immediately, and the suspension must be for at least 30
5.11 What are the standards
of care vehicle operators should take when driving? Operators must take
good care of Service vehicles at all times and may lose the privilege of
driving Service vehicles if they do not take care of them.
A. Misconduct and improper
operation include but are not limited to:
(1) Operating under the influence
of alcohol or drugs,
(2) Willful abuse or misuse
of a vehicle, and
(3) Driving the vehicle in a
willfully negligent or careless manner, including not paying attention and
not adjusting driving speed to compensate for visibility, road conditions,
and inclement weather.
B. If you damage a vehicle
because of misconduct or improper operation, you may be financially
responsible for the damage.
What rules do vehicle operators have to follow? Table 5-1 describes
several, but not all, of the requirements for operators of Service motor
vehicles (also see 243 FW 1 and 321
Table 5-1: Operator Requirements
When driving Service
vehicles, operators must…
A. Carry a valid driver’s license from the State, territory, or other
government for the class of vehicle they are operating.
B. Carry a valid Service personnel identification card.
C. Follow all applicable driving rules (local, State, and Federal).
D. Wear a safety belt or other restraint system provided and ensure
that all passengers also buckle up.
E. Not operate the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
F. Not pick up hitchhikers or give rides to strangers.
G. Lock motor vehicles when unattended.
H. Take precautions to protect Government personal
property stored in the vehicle. If possible, remove property from the
vehicle when you park it overnight.
I. Ensure safety and emergency repair equipment are in the
vehicle and in working condition.
J. When available, park or store the vehicle in a
place that protects it from theft or damage.
5.13 How do operators pay for
fuel and vehicle services when traveling?
most circumstances, operators should use the fleet charge card provided by
the Regional Property Manager to buy fuel and services from participating
service stations. Operators may only use the fleet charge card for the
vehicle to which the card is assigned.
B. Although the fleet charge
card is our preferred method for obtaining supplies and services, you may use
other methods—imprest funds and purchase charge cards—only if necessary and
only if you follow the requirements associated with those methods. For
example, when a participating service station is not in reasonable proximity
or when the identification of a motor vehicle as a Government vehicle would
interfere with a law enforcement investigation, you may use another method of
obtaining fuel and services, if necessary.
Who controls the use of fleet charge cards?
Regional Property Manager orders new and replacement fleet charge cards using
the Electronic Account Government Ledger System. He/she must establish
(1) Destroy cancelled or
expired fleet charge cards, cards no longer needed, and cards that have an
invalid license plate number;
(2) Ensure the paying office receives
notification whenever a fleet charge card is lost or stolen; and
(3) Issue a replacement card
if a fleet charge card is lost, stolen, or damaged.
B. The Accountable Officer
(1) Review fleet charge card
purchases to ensure they are for official use. Fleet charge cards may only be
used to purchase fuel and supplies for the vehicle identified by the plate
number on the fleet charge cards. The license plate number or property number
(for motor vehicles or equipment without tags) is embossed on the fleet card.
(2) Establish administrative
controls, such as training and periodic reviews of charge card invoices, to
prevent unauthorized use of the cards.
5.15 What are the parking
and storage requirements for motor vehicles? Vehicle operators:
A. Must follow all Federal,
State, and local parking laws and regulations.
B. Are responsible for
citations and paying fines for violations. Repeated offenses may result in
C. When available, must park
or store the vehicle in an area that offers reasonable protection from theft
What happens if a duty station has to move a vehicle it bought through the GSA Fleet
to a location in another GSA-defined area?
A. GSA Interagency Fleet
Management System Center vehicles typically remain in the area of
jurisdiction of the local Fleet
(see 320 FW 3). When we need to move a
vehicle from a GSA area for a period of more than 90 calendar days, the
Accountable Officer must notify the Fleet Management
Center of the
(1) The new location of the
(2) The first date the
vehicle was used at the new location, and
(3) The expected date the
vehicle will return to the original location.
B. The original Fleet Management
Center may transfer the
accountability for the vehicle to the Fleet Management
Center serving the new
if there is a manufacturer’s recall on a vehicle?
A. The Receiving Officer gets recall
notifications by mail and gives them to the Accountable Officer. Accountable
Officers should make arrangements to take the motor vehicle to the servicing
dealer for recall repairs.
B. Accountable Officers should not depend
entirely on manufacturers’ and state registration records for recall
notifications. When recalls are announced in the news media, Accountable
Officers should review their vehicle fleets for the subject makes, types, and
vehicle identification numbers. If they are reasonably certain that some
vehicles are involved and the notices do not arrive within a reasonable time,
Accountable Officers must contact the appropriate manufacturer’s service
C. You can get the latest recall
information on vehicles on the Department of Transportation’s
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site.
5.18 What insurance is
required for operating a Service-owned vehicle traveling in Canada? The U.S. Government’s “self-insured” status on
motor vehicles is not recognized in Canada. Accountable
Officers must coordinate with their Regional Property Manager and Contracting
and General Services office to obtain insurance for Government vehicles
traveling in Canada.