Motor Vehicle Acquisition Process

Effective August 1, 2009, a Motor Vehicle Review Board was formed and charged with reviewing and approving all requests for the purchase, lease or acquisition of motor vehicles. Prior to entering requisitions, departments are required to fill out a Vehicle Request Form which will be submitted to the Transportation Office and reviewed by the Board. The following gives further details and links regarding Vehicle Standards, Alternative Fueled Vehicle Requirements and charges, the Vehicle Request Form and the Vehicle Review Board process. Please note that departments purchasing Non-Alternative Fuel Vehicles will be assessed a $1,000.00 charge per the Alternative Fueled Vehicle Requirements link below. The assessed charge will be processed by a campus recharge done by Transportation Services.

Input Order

The following is a guide designed to help departments when they start the process of acquiring a NEW, USED, LEASED or DONATED vehicle.

1.) To help speed things along, requests should be submitted to the Vehicle Review Board (VRB) for prior approval. (Vehicle Review Board Process)

Vehicle Review Board Process

All vehicle purchase requisitions will be processed through the normal procurement work flow. If a VRB request is not submitted when the purchase requisition is entered, the requestor will be sent an email requesting they complete a VRB form. The purchase requisition will be put on hold until an approved VRB request is received. Forms and vehicle acquisition information can be found at or

The VRB shall use the following criteria to determine whether the vehicle purchase will be allowed:

  1. The vehicle is the most economical and efficient in terms of cost, mpg, and sustainability according to the University’s sustainability goals.
  2. The department has the immediate funds to purchase the vehicle.
  3. The department understands and agrees to the university fleet policy regarding maintenance, fuel, and associated costs.
  4. If a new vehicle request, all other transportation alternatives have been explored regarding vehicle use options.
  5. The vehicle must comply with any and all vehicle standards that the University shall choose to enact.

If a vehicle request is denied by the VRB, the requesting department will be allowed to request a face to face meeting with the VRB to discuss the decision. A majority vote by the VRB is final.

2.) If the VRB approves your request, submit the approved VRB form and the purchase request and needed attachments/specifications to procurement. (If a VRB approval is not submitted with your request, the Procurement Department will refer you to the VRB for an approval.)
3.) Once the purchase request, any needed attachments and VRB approval is received by the Procurement Department, a determination of whether this purchase will be made from an existing contract or have to go out to bid. The Procurement Department will advise which type of paperwork is needed.
4.) If the purchase has to go out to bid, the paperwork/RFP is issued.
5.) The bid closes and all submissions are opened, the bid is awarded.
6.) The winning bidder is notified and the order for vehicle is placed.

a. The department should forward a copy of the final specifications for the vehicle ordered to Fleet Services. The specs are used during the acceptance phase. Contact Fleet Services at Physical Plant 545-0606 or fax 577-1600.

NOTE: If accepting a donation, the Development Department should be contacted because it is a charitable donation with tax implications.

Vehicle Acceptance/Delivery

1.) PER THE WORDING ON THE PURCHASE ORDER, the dealer should contact Fleet Services at 413-545-0606 to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT for delivering the vehicle. (Transportation Services will receive, accept and inspect their vehicles.)
2.) The receiving department will receive, inspect and accept the vehicle using acceptance criteria per final purchase specifications given to them in 6a above.
3.) After the vehicle is received and accepted, the department purchasing the vehicle will be notified.

Note: The department purchasing the vehicle should wait for this acceptance before “receiving” the order in PeopleSoft system or forwarding the invoice to A/P for payment.

4.) The department should then fill out a Vehicle Acquisition Form. This form will start the process of getting an “M” number, initiate processing for the plates and registration and getting a fuel card.
5.) To arrange acceptance by Fleet Services, call work control (545-6401) to create two workorders. The first workorder should be to have the University Seals and lettering affixed to the vehicle and the second workorder to have a State Emissions Inspection.
6.) Once the department’s paperwork has been received at the Property Office and the vehicle has been accepted, the process of registering the vehicle and acquiring the registration and state license plates begins. This process can take 2 - 4 weeks.
7.) Once plates and registration have arrived and are attached to the vehicle, a State Emission Inspection will be done.
8.) The department will be notified to pick up the vehicle. 9.) Transportation Services will contact the department to:

a. Issue a fuel card and arrange for any training associated with the vehicle specific Wright Express/Fuel Card.
b. Add the vehicle to Fleet Response for repair, service and roadside assistance.
c. Get contact/billing information and speedtypes for recharge of repair, service, roadside assistance, fuel and the Annual Vehicle Fee.

Alternative Fueled Vehicle Requirements

The Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) requires vehicle fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). The University of Massachusetts’ fleet is governed by EPAct. Departments purchasing non-alternative fuel vehicles will be assessed a $1000.00 fee in order for the University to purchase credits to come into compliance with EPAct and related rules. The assessed charge will be processed by a campus recharge done by Transportation Services.

For complete information, visit:

ON-Campus Vehicle Rentals
Enterprise Rent-A-Car now has an office ON-Campus. University Departments now have access to rental cars, vans and trucks through Enterprise Rent–A–Car by calling 413-577-7368 or at selecting the link below to access the Enterprise contract and schedule a rental.

Enterprise 8/6/09 Press Release by Vice Chancellor Hatch

UMASS Amherst Vehicle Standards

  • All vehicles purchased shall be basic white.
  • All vehicles shall have the UMass Amherst Seal on each side front door.
  • M numbers should be located on the front fenders of each side and the upper left corner of the rear of the vehicle.
  • All vehicles will be labeled with division and department above and below the seal.
  • All lettering shall be maroon and size and placement shall be determined by the paint shop supervisor.

The purpose of this policy is to standardize the university fleet for consideration of acquisitions, cost and efficiency.

Campus Vehicle Repairs

Department vehicles can be repaired, serviced and inspected at Physical Plant/Fleet Services or through the Fleet Response network of service providers. All repairs will be processed by a campus recharge done by Transportation Services. More information is available at

Fueling Campus Vehicles

Beginning July 1, 2010 all campus vehicles will be issued a Wright Express Fuel Card. This fuel card will be useable at the Campus Pumps and off-campus at authorized locations. Look for the WEX logo. All fuel purchases will be processed by a campus recharge done by Transportation Services. More information is available at

Procurement Department
Room 407 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Tel:  (413) 545-0361
Fax: (413) 545-1643

For questions or comments regarding this site please contact:

© 2004 University of Massachusetts Amherst. Site Policies.

This site is maintained by the Procurement Department

Last updated: July 8, 2010