Some churches use vans to transport their members to social gatherings.
Some churches use vans to transport their members to social gatherings.

Spending time with church members outside the Sunday sanctuary can be a great way to get to know people you see every week. Many churches opt to transport their social groups to various activities through a church van; sometimes the van is used to pick up residents who do not have a ride to services. The church is held responsible for anything that happens. Several churches have forms on hand to cover those just-in-case moments.

Van Permission Form

Some forms specify who is allowed to ride on the church van. The van rider permission form details who is permitted to be picked up by the van. Churches need this form for insurance purposes as companies need to know an approximate amount of people that the van is transporting. Churches are not normally a transportation program and they may need to protect themselves from negligent law suits. Any minors who opt to take a ride must have a signed note from a parent or legal guardian. These records are typically kept in the church office.

Activity Permission Form

Activity permission forms act similarly to field trip permission slips. The purpose of these forms is to get parental consent for minors who may need medical attention during an outside-church function. They also release the church from any liability. Some of these forms can be very specific. Parents should complete the information, include any of the children’s known allergies, and sign the form before returning it to the church office.

Rules for Riding

Some churches require their passengers to sign forms recognizing the rules of the van and promising to follow those guidelines accordingly. Most of the rules are common sense and ask that riders respect other van riders and wear seat belts in the correct manner. Everyone should remain in his seat until the van has reached its destination. Anyone who repeatedly refuses to follow this protocol may be subject to disciplinary action, and the church’s board of trustees reserves the right to make decisions about who is allowed to ride the church van. Having patrons sign these forms gives control to churches who may need to discipline any problem riders.

Figuring Out What to Use

Some churches swear by transportation forms. Others have never used any and have had no problems. What category your church falls under depends but it is wise to seek legal advice before conjuring your own personalized permission slip. Some lawyers are all for written consent; others say they are a waste of time. Church trustees and other authority figures should consult with a lawyer in finding what form would be needed for their specific purposes.