Office of the President

Policy on Motor Vehicle Purchases and Donations

Executive Memorandum 99-033 September 20, 1999

From: Manuel A. Esteban, President

Subject: Policy on Motor Vehicle Purchases and Donations



It is the policy of California State University, Chico to require all motor vehicle purchase requests and motor vehicle donations to undergo a review and approval process prior to purchase or acceptance of a vehicle. Priority will be given to electric and low-emission vehicles.


"Vehicle" includes any motorized vehicle in which or on which an individual rides. This includes but is not limited to cars, trucks, vans, buses, electric carts, and heavy machinery vehicles such as forklifts, tractors, and harvesters.


Procurement of vehicles presents special problems regarding insurance, maintenance, parking, and impact to the environment. Vehicle purchases and donations will be scrutinized closely for appropriate technology, total cost to the university, parking and storage, safety, cleanliness, appearance, and functionality. Electric and low-emission vehicles will be given priority over conventional internal combustion engine-driven vehicles.

Donations of vehicles must meet all the conditions of this policy and receive approval from the Office of University Development before the university can accept them as gifts. If a donated vehicle does not meet these requirements, it will be accepted only with the provision it will be sold and the net proceeds made available to the department to which the vehicle is donated.

Vehicle purchase and donation acceptance requests that do not meet stringent university requirements will not be approved.


All vehicle requests require one or more of the following signatures, dependent upon the type of vehicle requested and the particular department making the request. All necessary signatures are to appear on the Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form (Exhibit A) for purchases and the In-Kind Gift Acceptance Form (Exhibit B) for donations.

  • Department-Assigned Vehicles, Except Farm and Housing - Director of Facilities Management and Services
  • University Farm Vehicles - University Farm Operations Manager
  • University Housing and Food Services Vehicles - Director of University Housing and Food Services
  • University Pool/Fleet Vehicles - Chief of University Police
  • Heavy Machinery Vehicles - Director of Environmental Management, Health and Safety
  • All Request for Donated Vehicles - Associate Vice President for University Advancement

Signature approval of the vice president responsible for the department making the request is required on the Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form or In-Kind Gift Acceptance form in order to verify the department's financial ability to pay for the operation and maintenance of the vehicle. Vice presidential signature approval obligates the receiving department to provide funding to support insurance, maintenance, and vehicle safety compliancy costs of the vehicle.

Addition to Campus Vehicle Inventory/Replacement of Existing Vehicle

Purchase of Vehicle that will be an addition to Campus Vehicle Inventory (i.e. , will not replace an existing vehicle)

Existing vehicle inventories may be augmented if the fleet size is consistently below user demand, or when the performance of a specific operational function cannot be met by a vehicle in the existing inventory. The requestor must include a justification for a new vehicle on the Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form. The justification will identify the need for an additional vehicle and where the vehicle will be secured and stored. The requestor shall submit the approved form to the Procurement Services Office along with a requisition. Priority will be given to electric or low-emission vehicle purchase requests.

Purchase of Vehicle that will replace an Existing Vehicle (i.e. , will replace an existing vehicle designated for disposal)

If the vehicle requested is to replace an existing vehicle, the requestor must include information on the Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form which identifies the vehicle to be replaced (i.e. , make, model, year, manufacturer's I.D. number (VIN), mileage, vehicle license number, present location). A copy of this form is to be sent to the Property Management Office (zip 910) along with a copy of the Equipment Inspection Report (Exhibit C) which has been prepared by the appropriate vehicle inspector making a recommendation for replacement. The original approved Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form and Equipment Inspection Report are to be provided to the Procurement Services Office along with a requisition. Procurement Services will proceed with processing the request once a Property Survey Report (PSR) number is provided by the Property Management Office. Priority will be given to vehicle purchases that swap out gas or diesel engine vehicles for electric or low-emission vehicles.

Note: Identification of the vehicle to be replaced is necessary in order for a Property Survey Report to be issued by the Property Office to remove the vehicle from the campus vehicle inventory. If a vehicle remains on inventory, the campus will continue to be charged for insurance on the vehicle.

New or Used Vehicle Purchase

New Vehicle Purchase

Passenger vehicles, vans, and pickup trucks are generally to be purchased from State of California contracts. Exceptions may be made on the basis of more favorable pricing, non-availability of special features required by requestor, or availability of suitable low-emission or electric vehicles. Priority will be given to electric or low-emission vehicle purchase requests.

The appropriate campus vehicle inspector must perform pre-delivery inspections on new vehicles before acceptance to make certain the vehicle meets specifications, is suitable for the campus' intended use, and can be put into service by the campus. The Pre-Delivery Inspection Checklist (Exhibit D) is to be used for this purpose.

Used Vehicle Purchase

If a used vehicle is requested, the appropriate campus vehicle inspector is to perform a pre-delivery inspection for the vehicle under consideration using the Pre-Delivery Inspection Checklist (Exhibit D). A copy of the completed checklist is to accompany the requisition when submitted to Procurement Services.

Only vehicles approved by the university's inspector may be acquired by the university. Vehicles not approved for purchase shall not be acquired by the university or accepted by any department.

Donated Vehicles

The rules, regulations, and procedures required for the purchase of vehicles also applies to donated vehicles. Instead of the Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form and requisition, an In-Kind Gift Acceptance form must be completed and submitted to the Office of University Development.

Donated vehicles deemed unacceptable for university use shall be sold at the earliest opportunity and the proceeds (less the costs associated with the gift acceptance and sale) shall be credited to the account of the department receiving the donated vehicle. Donated vehicles deemed unacceptable for university use may not be operated by any department of the university between the time the vehicle is donated and the time it is sold. Until the vehicle can be sold, the department accepting the donated vehicle will be solely responsible for the cost of storing the vehicle and any related costs

Campus Vehicle Inspectors

University Farm and University Housing vehicle inspections will be performed by the authorized vehicle inspector for those units. All other inspections will be performed by the Facilities Management and Services (FMS) vehicle inspector. The services of the Department of General Services' inspectors may be used, however, if the University Farm, University Housing, or FMS so chooses. DGS inspection charges will be borne by the unit requesting such services.


Bidding is not required for vehicle purchases from State of California contracts or when the purchase is from another state agency. Bidding is required on purchases from sources other than the above, unless a sound sole source justification is submitted and approved by Procurement Services for the purchase.

Registration and Title Transfer

Registration and title transfer of vehicles shall be in accordance with California Vehicle Code Sections 4000-6200. The CVC can be located at the following Internet site:


Exhibit A - Motor Vehicle Purchase Approval Form (PDF)

Exhibit B - In-Kind Gift Acceptance Form (PDF)

Exhibit C - Equipment Inspection Report (PDF)

Exhibit D - Pre-Delivery Inspection Checklist (PDF)