Even though we make donating and tracking the process easy, we understand that sometimes you may have questions regarding the car donation process itself. We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answered them below. This information should help provide answers to questions you may have regarding how to donate a car, truck, RV, boat, or other vehicle. We also provide answers to common questions regarding tax laws and what forms are needed to take a tax deduction.
What can I donate?
We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RV's, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and most other motorized vehicles. If you have any questions about what you can donate, please call your chosen charity organization.
My donation hasn't run or been used in years. Can I still donate it?
Yes. We are able to accept most vehicles running or not. Exceptions include older vehicles, campers, boats, etc., whose value would not offset the cost of towing. Most vehicles need to be intact and in towable condition.
How will the car be picked up?
We will arrange to have your vehicle towed away at a scheduled time convenient for you. The vehicle will be picked up by a licensed tow company at no cost to you and will be taken to our sale location. Please have the donation cleaned out of all personal belongings, plates removed as well as keys and title available prior to pick up. The donation will also need to be accessible and free of any incumberances.
How long will it take to pick up my car?
We will contact you to schedule an appointment within 2 business days at the most. If you need your car picked up sooner, please call the tow companies number supplied to you by text or email to schedule sooner. We may be able to make those arrangements as well.
Where will my vehicle go?
We do our best to ensure that each donated vehicle generates the maximum amount for the charity and your tax deduction. Most vehicles are sold at live auctions to licensed dealers, recyclers and exporters. This competitive marketplace of buyers generates the greatest return for the charity and your tax deduction. It also ensures that your vehicle is sold in an efficient, environmentally friendly and legally compliant manner. On occasion we may receive a unique or specialty item for which we may use other means to sell the vehicle.
Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Yes, the tow driver picking up your donation will issue a receipt at the time of pick-up. This is not your final tax receipt unless the sale of your vehicle does not exceed $500. The receipt will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model and condition of the car you are donating. This will be your only receipt if your vehicle sells for less than $500. An IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes will be mailed to you after the sale of the donation stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your car, provided your vehicle sold for more than $500. This will be your tax receipt for your charitable contribution.
Is my donation tax deductible and how does it work?
You can deduct the value of your vehicle only if you donate to a non-profit 501 (c)(3) IRS classified charitable organization and itemize deductions when filing your taxes. Under the current IRS law, you may only deduct the ACTUAL sale price of your vehicle or $499 which ever is greater. Individual tax situations vary so please check with a tax professional to determine how you may benefit. For more information, please visit the following links and refer to the documents listed below:
- IRS Form 8283 and 1098-C
- Publication 4303, A Donor's Guide to Car Donations
- Publication 1220, 526, and 561
- IRS Publication 4303: A Donor's Guide to Car Donations
- IRS Publication 526: Charitable Contributions
- IRS Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property
- IRS Form 8283: Non Cash Charitable Contributions (Instructions)
- IRS Form 8283: Non Cash Charitable Contributions
- IRS Publication 4302: A Charity's Guide to Car Donations
How will the value of my vehicle be determined for tax purposes?
As of January 1, 2005 the IRS has taken the guesswork out of determining the value of your vehicle for tax purposes. If your vehicle sells for less than $500 you can claim the fair market value of your vehicle up to $499. If your vehicle sells for more than $500 you can deduct the actual sale price of your vehicle. Also note a social security is not required if your vehicle sells below $500. For more information on tax write-offs, we suggest you review IRS Publication 526 which sets forth the manner in which the IRS requires you to determine the value of your donated property.
Do I need a title to donate my vehicle?
Each state has different regulations regarding vehicle titles. Please find your state on the list below to determine if you will need a title for your vehicle to donate it. If you are unable to locate your title please let us know. In some cases we can acquire a duplicate on your behalf. Otherwise you will need to contact your state DMV for directions on how to obtain a new title.
*All titles will need to be a clear title. Any lien holder listed on the title must be cleared and or released by the bank. This law varies by state. Please refer to the DMV in your state for clear instructions.
Do I need to have my title notarized before donating?
If you live in any of the following states you must have your signature notarized on the title before the charity can accept it.
- Arizona (AZ)
- Kentucky (KY)
- Louisiana (LA)
- Montana (MT)
- North Carolina (NC)
- Ohio (OH)
- Oklahoma (OK)
- Pennsylvania (PA)
- Wyoming (WY)
What if the title is not in my name?
Contact your state DMV for directions on how to transfer the title into your name.
What should I do with the license plates on my vehicle?
The following states require the license plates remain with the vehicle, unless they are personalized. Please contact your local department of motor vehicles if you have additional questions:
- California (CA)
- Kentucky (KY)
- Minnesota (MN)
- Oklahoma (OK)
- Oregon (OR)
- Texas (TX)
- Washington (WA)
Do I need a smog certificate in order to donate my car?
For states that require smog certificates or safety inspections, you may donate your vehicle without these documents.
What if I receive legal notices?
In the rare event that you receive any notification of a lien sale, DMV actions, infractions, evasions or other activity related to your donated vehicle, please contact the charity immediately.
For more information about vehicle donations, view the links below:
- IRS Publication 4303 - A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donations
- IRS Publication 526 - Charitable Contributions
All publications are available on IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).