Excess Land Frequently Asked Questions

What is Caltrans excess land?

Excess land is property that Caltrans originally acquired for a transportation project or other operational need such as a maintenance station. The property becomes excess when the Department determines that it will no longer be necessary for a transportation project or other operational need.


How is excess land sold?

Excess land is sold at auction, either by an oral public auction or a sealed bid auction. Under certain circumstances, excess property may be offered for sale directly to adjoining property owners. It may also be offered for direct sale to public agencies if the property is to be used for a public purpose.


Is there a minimum bid?

Yes, there is a minimum bid, though sometimes it may be unannounced.


What forms of payment does Caltrans accept?

Caltrans accepts cashier’s checks and certified checks. Caltrans does not accept personal checks.


What do I need to do in order to bid on Caltrans excess land?

Generally speaking, you only need to show up at the auction and register to bid. However, it is important to review the sales announcement prior to bidding since individual sales may have different requirements.


Who pays the closing costs on excess land transactions?

The bidder is responsible for the payment of all closing costs. On low value parcels, valued at $100 or below, Caltrans may pay recording fees.


Where does the money go that Caltrans receives from the sale of excess land?

Proceeds from the sale of excess land are deposited in to the State Highway Account and used for future transportation projects.


Does Caltrans offer financing?

Occasionally, Caltrans may offer financing on excess parcels with a sales price in excess of $10,000. Caltrans financing is only available when all other available financing options have been exhausted. All purchasers must prove creditworthiness prior to approval of any financing.


How can I purchase surplus equipment from Caltrans?

Caltrans surplus equipment is listed for public auction on the DGS website.