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State-Owned Vehicles

Titling and Registering a Vehicle

Titling and registering a state-owned vehicle differs from titling and registering a personal vehicle because state registrations do not expire and state-owned vehicles must have public use license plates with a state designation. Because the registrations do not expire, state agencies have an additional responsibility to remove state-owned vehicles from the Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) automated system when the agency sells or disposes of a vehicle. (For additional information, refer to buying/receiving a vehicle.)

When an agency completes the "Application for Certificate of Title and Registration" (VSA-17A), section 10 must indicate "YES", and the correct state agency code must be entered. If an incorrect code is entered, the DMV database field for a state-owned vehicle may display an "L" for locality instead of an "S" for state. The result of this discrepancy would exclude the vehicle from DMV's listing of state-owned vehicles. Additionally, care should be taken to enter the correct vehicle identification number (VIN).

State Title and Registration System (STARS) Agencies

Agencies using STARS are responsible for ensuring that their vehicle records are accurate on DMV's database. DMV uses information provided by the Department of General Services (DGS) and agency information to update registrations in STARS. Since STARS agencies enter vehicle information directly on DMV's database, it is especially important that they enter all information correctly. Four agencies, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Corrections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and DGS - Office of Fleet Management Services, currently use STARS.

All STARS agencies should specify in the Employee Work Profile (EWP) of at least one employee and a supervisor that they are trained to use STARS to maintain the agency's records on DMV's database. DMV has provided each STARS agency with a "STARS Guidebook" (formerly the "Virginia Vehicle Licensing Guidebook") containing detailed instructions on how to use the automated system. New STARS agencies or those with staff changes should contact Titles and Registration at (804) 367-1137 to schedule STARS training.

Selling a Vehicle

When a state agency wants to sell a vehicle, the agency usually notifies DGS - Division of Surplus Property and turns the vehicle and title over to DGS. DGS sells vehicles and other property through auction or sealed bids. After the vehicle is sold, DGS notifies the agency. DGS also notifies DMV of the change in ownership and requests removal of the state registration for the vehicle from DMV's database. If an agency sells a vehicle without notifying DGS, the agency is responsible for notifying DMV. A surplus vehicle remains in the agency's inventory until DMV receives notification that it has been sold.

DGS provides all agencies and DMV with a list of sold vehicles after a sale by auction or sealed bids. After the sale or disposal, most agencies also report all state-owned vehicles to DMV for removal from its database. DMV uses the information from both DGS and the individual agencies to remove vehicles from state registration in its database.

Monitoring Driver Status

A vehicle operator must have a valid driver's license to drive any state-owned vehicle. For temporary assignments or trip pool use, an employee must show the transportation officer a driver's license before using the vehicle.

All state agencies with long-term vehicle assignments should participate in DMV's Driver Alert program offered free to public organizations. Driver Alert gives employers the opportunity to customize the information DMV sends related to changes to employees' driving records.

By enrolling in Driver Alert, you can request:

  • Immediate alert of moving violation convictions
  • Immediate alert if drivers accumulate seven adverse points within a calendar year
  • Immediate alert of suspensions, revocations, disqualifications; reckless driving or driving while intoxicated convictions
  • Month and day you wish to receive annual risk management driver records - required for companies who employ drivers with commercial driver's licenses (CDL)

This will ensure agencies are aware of driving violations for employees that use state-owned vehicles and can help reduce the risk of accidents and liability for the Commonwealth.