Vehicle/Driver Safety – Electric Vehicle

The purpose of this policy is to minimize the number of accidents that may result in injury to persons or property from the use of electric vehicles at the university, and to protect the safety of USC faculty, staff and student drivers and passengers. An “electric vehicle” is defined in this policy as any 3- to 4-wheeled golf cart-type vehicle that is powered by an electric or internal combustion motor. An electric vehicle does not include tractors or other machinery.

This policy applies to all electric vehicles used and/or operated by USC faculty, staff, or student groups or individual students; or used and/or operated by non-university personnel such as movie companies, construction vendors, or visitors, etc. on the University Park, Health Sciences and all other USC campuses and on any other property leased or owned by the university (for example: Galen Center, PS1, PS2, etc.).

University departments are responsible for keeping their electric vehicles in safe working condition and should allow university electric vehicles to be driven only by employees with safe driving records as defined in this policy. Drivers are responsible for abiding by all applicable federal, state and local laws as well as university policies when driving a university electric vehicle.



      • All departments must register rented or purchased electric vehicles with Trojan Transportation.
      • All departments must notify USC Equipment Management of electric cart purchases
      • Registration will require the following information:
        • Name of school/department/operating unit,
        • Make and type of vehicle,
        • Serial number of vehicle, and
        • Business purpose.
      • At the time of registration, a permit of operation will be issued to the department for placement on the electric vehicle.
      • Electric vehicle permits will be valid from July 1 through June 30 annually.
      • Electric vehicles not licensed by the state Department of Motor Vehicles will receive a ‘For On-Campus Use Only’ sticker to be placed on the vehicle so that it is visible to the driver.
      • Proof of state DMV registration will be required to operate an electric vehicle off campus.
      • Any unregistered, un-permitted, or unmarked electric vehicle is subject to ticketing, booting, or removal from the property.

Marking and Identification

All electric vehicles must be marked and identified by cart number and department name.

All non-university-owned or leased electric vehicles must have the appropriate temporary operation permit displayed on the front of each vehicle.

Authorized Use of Non-University Owned or Leased Electric Vehicles

All non-university owned or leased electric vehicles brought onto university property must be registered and approved by a sponsoring university department and Trojan Transportation. Applicants must indicate cart purpose and designated drivers.

Parking and Operation

All electric vehicles operated on any USC campus or property must abide by approved parking and operating regulations.

Safety and Operation

      • Only drivers authorized by the university and trained in the safe operation of electric vehicles shall be permitted to operate such vehicles. Authorized operators must meet the following requirements:
        • Carry on their person a valid driver’s license and
        • Complete defensive driving training every three years.
      • Operators shall be familiar with and observe all established traffic laws on and off campus.
      • No passengers will be permitted on electric vehicles without adequate seating.
      • Passengers on running boards, fenders or any part of the electric vehicle other then factory installed seating are prohibited.
      • Seat belts must be worn if electric vehicle is equipped with them.
      • Passengers must keep their head, legs and arms within the cab.
      • Horseplay on electric vehicles is prohibited.
      • Electric vehicles should be driven on university streets whenever possible. In the event a sidewalk must be used, pedestrians have the right of way at all times.
      • Electric vehicles not licensed by the DMV may not be driven off campus at any time.
      • Electric vehicles shall not exceed 15 mph on all campus roadways.
      • Electric vehicles are not allowed to drive on grass areas.
      • No electric vehicle shall be operated at night without operational headlights and taillights.


Driving law violations that result in citations, such as but not limited to traffic or parking citations, are the personal responsibility of the driver and any associated expenses are not reimbursable. This policy applies to both privately-owned and rented vehicles.

Violation of Policy

Any driver who violates this policy is subject to having his/her privilege to drive university vehicles suspended, and for university faculty and staff, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, in accordance with university policies and procedures. For faculty, disciplinary action will follow the procedures set out in the Faculty Handbook.

Responsible Office

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
(323) 442-2200

Issued by

Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California