DHHS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
DHHS Client Transportation Services Policy
Current Effective Date:
Original Effective Date:
The purpose of this policy is to establish uniform requirements for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) programs that fund client transportation services. The department’s goal is to maximize the use of resources for transportation services and to help DHHS clients access the health and human services they need. State, regional and local facilities that provide residential services may be excluded from this policy if the needs of the residents are beyond the scope of services available from the local transportation systems.
With the exception of residential facilities and disability determination services, all DHHS-funded agencies that support client transportation services at the state, regional and local levels shall:
- Encourage carpooling, vanpooling and volunteer arrangements whenever possible.
- Limit the availability of transportation services to program-eligible clients who lack the resources or ability to support their own transportation needs. Client transportation shall not be considered an automatic program benefit.
- Develop a no-show policy in coordination with the community transportation system to limit the misuse of funds caused by clients who do not keep transportation reservations. The no-show policy will establish consistent rules and procedures that each agency must follow when a client misses a scheduled trip without valid cancellation.
- Participate and coordinate with other state and local agencies, private organizations, transportation planners, providers of transportation services and consumers in the planning, design, and delivery of human service transportation. DHHS agencies shall include such entities in planning for program services and address client transportation needs in the development of state and local program plans.
- Assure that transportation providers maintain the appropriate level of liability insurance for vehicles used to transport DHHS clients. “For hire” passenger vehicles are defined as vehicles used for compensation to transport the general public as well as human service recipients and are, therefore, subject to the regulations of the NC Public Utilities Commission. (Taxi cabs and public transportation systems do not fall into this category.) Note that:
Assure that all drivers (including state and county employees, contractors, contractor's employees, and volunteers) are at least 18 years of age and properly licensed to operate the specific vehicle used to transport clients.
Assure that all vehicles used to transport clients (whether owned by the state, the county, state/county employees, contractors, contractors’ employees, or volunteers) shall have valid state registrations and state inspection stickers.
Coordinate services with community transportation systems before requesting approval to purchase vehicles that will be used to transport clients. Information about the agency's reasons or special circumstances for needing to purchase vehicles must be submitted with the authorization request.
Require where client transportation services are provided or purchased that transportation costs are separately identifiable. This includes contracts, written agreements, invoices and expenditure reports.
- According to 49 CFR 387.25 and G.S. 62-268, transportation providers licensed as “for hire” public conveyance operators must meet the statutory requirements for their classification and operator responsibilities, currently $1.5 million liability insurance coverage on vehicles with a seating capacity of 15 passengers or less and $5 million coverage for vehicles designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver.
- Based on G.S. 62-289, vehicles used entirely for human service transportation are not considered as “for hire” vehicles and are not subject to the additional liability insurance requirements imposed by the NC Public Utilities Commission. However, if the vehicle is being used for business purposes, the owner should report this information to the insurance agency issuing the coverage.
- Division/Office Directors are responsible for:
- Maintaining division/office transportation policies and procedures in accordance with this DHHS Client Transportation Services Policy.
- Assuring compliance with the DHHS Transportation Services Policy by division/office employees and contractors.
- The DHHS Transportation Program Administrator will review and approve division/office transportation policies in order to determine compliance with DHHS policies.
Note: Also see related DHHS Client Transportation Services Guidelines policy, the department’s recommended practices for all DHHS-funded agencies that purchase or provide client transportation services.