Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 70: Purchasing
Vehicle Acquisition and Disposal
For more information contact:
Risk Management Services
Form: Cost/Benefit Analysis
- 1.0 Policy
- 2.0 Vehicle Acquisition
- 3.0 Applying for Title
- 4.0 Obtain Title, Tags, and Registration
- 5.0 Property Inventory
- 6.0 Insuring Vehicles
- 7.0 Disposing of Vehicles
This policy sets forth University requirements regarding the acquisition of vehicles.
This policy also establishes responsibilities and procedures for inventory tracking, maintenance, and disposal of University vehicles.
Each department should consider performing a cost/benefit analysis before deciding whether or not to purchase or lease a vehicle. There are a number of options available, including monthly or annual vehicle rental from the Motor Pool. The cost/benefit analysis assists the department with determining which option is the most cost effective.
A Cost/Benefit Analysis form is available to use as a guide. (Refer to the sample in Fig. 1.) The department may contact Motor Pool and Purchasing Services to assist with this analysis.
The acquisition of all University vehicles is processed through Purchasing Services (see Definitions). All vehicles with an expected cost over the direct buy limit are bid according to University policy or purchased on state contracts (see BPPM 70.10 and 70.13).
WSU departments are responsible for obtaining applicable licenses and titles for vehicles, as required by the Washington State Department of Licensing. See Farm Equipment and Heavy Machinery regarding license and title exceptions for farm equipment and heavy machinery.
WSU departments should refer to SPPM 7.10 concerning vehicle insurance.
1.4.a University Vehicle
For the purposes of this policy, a University vehicle is any vehicle owned by the University or leased by duly-authorized University employees or departments. A University vehicle is used for official University business to transport people or property on roads, highways, waterways, or University property (see SPPM 7.10).
1.4.b Motor Vehicles
Motor vehicles include any vehicle used on public highways, e.g., automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles.
Vessels include vehicles used on waterways, e.g., houseboats, motor boats, sailboats, jet skis, racing/rowing sculls.
Trailers include unpowered vehicles used for transporting vehicles, boats, equipment, or other items.
Aircraft include flying vehicles, e.g., small planes, small jets, helicopters.
Farm equipment and heavy machinery include vehicles used in farm or construction operations, e.g., combines, tractors, hay bailers, cranes, backhoes.
Note: These vehicles may be used on open roads within 25 miles of the point of departure. If these vehicles travel more than 25 miles on the open road, departments must purchase a Farm Exempt decal with the vehicle license from the Department of Licensing.
The state of Washington does not require titles or licenses for many types of farm equipment and heavy machinery. However, if the acquisition cost is more than $5000, Property Inventory or departments must add the equipment and/or machinery item into the University’s Property Inventory system. See BPPM 20.50 and Property Inventory.
Vehicles may be acquired through purchase, state or federal surplus, lease, or donation. Purchasing Services orders vehicles and establishes contracts for leased vehicles. The department submits a Requisition in Workday, with the requested vehicle specifications. (See BPPM 70.10 and the Workday Create Requisition reference guide.)
Departments may not use procurement cards or Purchase Orders in Workday to acquire vehicles.
A state contract offering a wide range of new vehicles is available.
To view the state contract, see the Department of Enterprise Services Master Contracts website.
If the cost of a new vehicle is to be reduced by trade-in of a University-owned vehicle, the department must include the following information on the Requisition in Workday:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) of the trade-in vehicle
- WSU inventory number of the trade-in vehicle
WSU Surplus Stores must approve all proposed vehicle and equipment trade-ins to ensure adequate trade-in value. See also BPPM 70.12 regarding trade-ins.
Federal and state surplus inventories may offer low-cost vehicles suitable for some departmental requirements. The department must work with Surplus Stores to acquire surplus vehicles.
The department must create a Register Asset in Workday when acquiring a federal or state surplus vehicle. (See the Workday Register Asset reference guide.) The department must include the following information:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) of the surplus vehicle
- Value of the surplus vehicle
To acquire a donated vehicle, the department must complete a Noncash Gift Transmittal and Acknowledgement to report an in-kind gift. The department must obtain verification of the value of the vehicle from a car dealership or other appropriate valuation source.
The department routes copies of the Noncash Gift Transmittal form and the vehicle value verification to the Gift Accounting division of the WSU Foundation and the Property Inventory Section of the Controller’s Office. See BPPM 30.70 for gift transmittal form instructions.
All licensed vehicles must be added into the University’s Property Inventory system and affixed with an inventory number tag, regardless of cost. All vehicles, farm equipment, and heavy machinery with an acquisition cost that exceeds $5000 must be inventoried and tagged. See BPPM 20.50 and Property Inventory.
As a state agency, the University is exempt from paying annual licensing fees on most vehicles. Contact Risk Management Services for exceptions. Most license plates issued to the University indicate exempt status. The license fee and any related charges are one-time costs for exempt plates.
The department must apply for the title and license, if required by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL), as soon as a vehicle is received. The department obtains the license and registration from DOL. DOL accepts the procurement card as a form of payment for title and license fees. To apply for vehicle titles, departments must complete and submit the required documentation to DOL. Table 1 summarizes the documentation required for each type of vehicle. Further detailed information regarding the application process is provided below Table 1.
|Vehicle Type||Required Documentation|
|Used Out-of-State Vehicles||May require an inspection or emissions test. Departments should consult with the local Department of Licensing.|
|Suprlus Vehicles||May include a Declaration of Use Tax form.|
|Federal Excess Property Vehicles||May include a Declaration of Use Tax form.|
|Donated Vehicles||Department must obtain documentation verifying the value of the vehicle and complete the gift transmittal documentation.|
The department must complete and submit a Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application to Purchasing Services. The supplier usually provides the title application. If not, the department may obtain a blank application from Purchasing Services or from DOL.
If the University owns the vehicle, enter WA State Univ Risk Mgmt/ Department in the Name field under Registered owner. (“Department name” is the name of the department that purchases and includes the vehicle on the departmental property inventory list.) Enter the University’s UBI number (385000328) under Owner’s Washington driver license, ID card, or UBI number. In the Name field under New legal owner or lienholder, place the words “Same As Above.” (See Fig. 2.)
Review the title application prepared by the supplier to ensure that it lists the required information correctly, including the purchasing department name.
The following additional documents are provided to DOL with the title application:
- Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO)
- Current odometer reading certification
- Copy of an invoice or purchase order indicating that sales/compensatory tax has been paid on the vehicle, if tax is required.
- Weight certification (for trucks and trailers only)
Note: The MSO, the odometer certification, a supplier’s invoice, and the title application usually come with the vehicle.
In addition to the required documentation described under Applying For Title, a used out-of-state vehicle purchase may require an inspection or emissions test in order to complete the title application process. The department is advised to consult the local DOL to confirm inspection requirements. Note: New vehicles do not need to be inspected.
The department pays any required inspection fee directly to DOL.
3.3.a State Surplus Property Documents
To title State Surplus Property acquired through Surplus Stores, the department completes and provides to DOL all documents received from Surplus Stores.
Departments may be required to obtain a Declaration of Use Tax form from the Department of Revenue to request exemption from the requirement to pay state sales/use tax. If required, the department completes the form and submits it to the Department of Revenue. Risk Management Services may help with this process.
3.4.a Surplus Stores Documents
To title Federal Excess Property acquired through Surplus Stores, the department completes and provides to DOL all documents received from Surplus Stores.
To request exemption from the requirement to pay state sales/use tax, the department must submit a copy of an invoice from State Surplus indicating a state-to-state transaction to the state Department of Revenue. Risk Management Services may help with this process. The Department of Revenue completes a Declaration of Use Tax form.
3.4.c Federal Agency Issue Document
The department submits the issue document received from the federal agency to Risk Management Services. (See BPPM 20.78 for more about federal excess property.)
3.4.d Title Application
On the Vehicle Title Application enter the following information:
- WA State Univ Risk Mgmt / Department in the Name field under Registered owner. (“Department” is the name of the department that purchases and includes the vehicle on the departmental property inventory list.)
- Risk Management Services’ address in the Primary Address field as indicated in Fig. 2.
- The federal agency in the Name field under New legal owner or lienholder.
To title a donated vehicle, provide documentation to DOL from a car dealership or other appropriate valuation source verifying the value of the vehicle.
Note: The department must complete gift transmittal documentation as indicated under Donated Vehicles for each donated vehicle.
Contact Risk Management Services for additional instructions on titling and licensing aircraft or other modes of transportation not addressed under Policy.
The departmental representative delivers the following items to DOL in person:
- Completed title application
- Odometer reading
- Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO)
The departmental representative pays the required fees with a procurement card (see BPPM 70.08).
If applicable, the departmental representative also takes the inspection slip and/or the Declaration of Use Tax form. See Surplus Vehicles: Declaration of Use Tax and Federal Excess Property: Declaration of use Tax.
4.1.a.i Whitman County
In Whitman County, DOL offices are located at:
Department of Licensing Office
1195 SE Bishop Blvd. #3, Pullman, WA
Whitman County Auditor’s Office
County Courthouse, Colfax, WA
4.1.a.ii Outside Whitman County
Departments located outside Whitman County contact the local DOL office.
DOL provides the departmental representative with the vehicle license plates and the vehicle registration.
Securely attach the license plates to the vehicle. Note: Do not move plates from one vehicle to another.
The department must submit a copy of DOL’s Registration Certificate to Risk Management Services.
Place the original or a certified copy of the DOL Registration Certificate inside the vehicle glove compartment, along with the vehicle accident forms. See SPPM 7.10 for items required in vehicle glove compartments.
DOL sends the vehicle title to the legal owner (WSU Risk Management Services, federal agency, or other) for filing.
Risk Management Services maintains the titles for all University vehicles.
The Property Inventory Section of the Controller’s Office updates Workday’s Assets module when it receives notification of acquisition or transfer of a vehicle. See the applicable Workday Assets reference guides.
Property Inventory receives such notifications through daily expense reports and contacts from departments by e-mail and/or campus mail. See BPPM 20.50 for property inventory procedures.
All licensed University vehicles, regardless of cost, and all farm equipment and heavy machinery with an acquisition cost that exceeds $5000 must be tagged and inventoried.
Risk Management Services maintains a Vehicle Inventory database.
Property Inventory issues the department a Property Inventory Card and inventory tag after entering the information into the system.
Departmental personnel are to secure the tag to the inside of the driver’s door post and notify Risk Management Services of the inventory tag number.
Contact Risk Management Services with questions regarding the titling of University vehicles.
Contact Risk Management Services to determine if insurance is required on the vehicle (see SPPM 7.10).
Before selling, transferring, trading in, dismantling for parts, or otherwise disposing of a vehicle, the department must notify Surplus Stores and complete the required documents. See BPPM 20.76 for proper disposal procedures. When a vehicle is sold, transferred, or disposed of, Surplus Stores notifies Property Inventory.
Surplus Stores notifies Risk Management Services of sold vehicles. Purchasing Services notifies Risk Management Services of trade-ins.
See BPPM 20.76 for procedures and required documentation to dispose of a motor vehicle.
See BPPM 20.80 for procedures and required documentation to sell a motor vehicle to another WSU department.
See BPPM 70.12 regarding trading in a vehicle.
See BPPM 20.50 for additional procedures for handling University property.
Revisions: Jan. 2023 (Rev. 609); Jan. 2021 (Rev. 560); July 2019 (Rev. 533); Sept. 2012 (Rev. 403); Sept. 2011 (Rev. 387); Aug. 2000 (Rev. 168); July 1996 (Rev. 100); Nov. 1980 – new policy (Rev. 41).