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The Cape Elizabeth School Board recognizes the need for some school employees to use their privately owned motor vehicles for school purposes either regularly or occasionally to conduct school business.  

In general, school buses or other CESD vehicles will be used to transport students. Privately owned vehicles may be used for student transportation when, in the opinion of the building principal and with the written approval of the Superintendent, this is the most practical or only possible method of transportation. Field trip and other off-campus school-sponsored activity transportation will be by school bus whenever practicable. The Superintendent may approve the use of private vehicles in situations in which the small number of students or budget or schedule restrictions make bus use prohibitive or impractical. No student may be sent on school errands with their own vehicle, an employee-owned vehicle, or a school-owned vehicle.

To safeguard Cape Elizabeth School Department employees and students in matters of liability, the following policy will be observed:

A. Prior to use of a private vehicle for school purposes, the employee must have the written permission of the Superintendent/designee. This permission may be in the form of a standing permit for employees who use their own vehicles regularly for school purposes. The permit will state the particular purpose and indicate whether it includes transportation of students. For all special trips involving students, e.g., field trips, a special permit must be obtained in advance for the specific trip.

B. For student trips made in private vehicles, the driver must have a valid Maine driver's license and carry a minimum liability insurance of $100,000/$300,000 (liability); minimum property damage of $50,000; and minimum medical coverage of $5,000.  Proof of current license and insurance will be required.

C. In the case of an accident, the approved driver's liability insurance will be the primary coverage.

D. A Maine driving record check will be conducted on all prospective drivers.  In the interest of safety, a prospective driver may be disqualified based on a review of information contained in the record.

E. The vehicle must have a current registration and display a current inspection sticker.

F. Any driver who has a standing permit is required to notify the Superintendent if there is any change that might affect their permit (i.e. change in vehicle, insurance, license, accident, etc.)

G. CESD retains the authority to deny any and all requests, to request additional documentation, and/or rescind authorization to use a private vehicle for school purposes at any time.

H. The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts at all times while using a private vehicle for school purposes.

I. Hands-free devices may be used only for necessary calls and checking directions through a navigation system. The use of hand-held electronic devices is prohibited while driving.

J. No employee may transport students for school purposes without prior authorization by the Superintendent/designee.

K. All Board policies, administrative procedures and school rules are in effect while using a private vehicle for school purposes.

L. Any accident while using a private vehicle must be reported immediately to the appropriate law enforcement authority and to the Superintendent's Office.

M. An employee, volunteer or student must obtain prior written approval by the Superintendent/designee and meet all requirements in this policy to transport students in a private vehicle to school-sponsored activities, field trips or other events.

N. In general, students will only be permitted to transport other students in a private vehicle for school-sponsored activities in limited circumstances when there is no other reasonable alternative. No student will be allowed to transport other students on field trips or for other school-sponsored activities without prior approval from the Superintendent/designee and notice to parents.

O. Parents will be informed whenever private vehicles will be used to transport their child(ren) for a field trip or other school purpose and will be required to sign a permission form in advance.

P. Transportation of a student (other than the child of the person transporting) alone in a private vehicle is strongly discouraged and will only be authorized in extenuating circumstances.

Q. No smoking, vaping, use of alcohol, cannabis or illegal substances is allowed while transporting students.


The above provisions apply to the use of private vehicles when the driver is an approved volunteer transporting students to or from school-sponsored events or activities or using a private vehicle for other school purposes.

The school will inform approved volunteers that in the event of an accident, the approved volunteer’s liability insurance will be the primary coverage.

The school will not be responsible for any accident or injury arising from a parent’s transportation of his/her own child(ren) to or from a school sponsored event or activity.  Students are expected to travel by school-provided transportation when available.


The Superintendent/designee will be responsible for developing administrative procedures, including those for accident reporting, and application, permit, permission and/or other forms, to implement this policy.

Cross Reference:


February 8, 2022


January 9, 2024