Everything you need to know to donate a car to charity in California

donate car to charity

Making a car donation to a charity is perhaps one of the best philanthropic works you can do in the state of California nowadays. Under the present circumstances, the non-profit organizations need your help as well as support more than ever. And donating car to charity is an excellent way to help them to keep up their good work.

Furthermore, you must also remember that you can get a considerable tax deduction for the donation you are making. So, if you donate a car for the tax credit; you will not only be helping the charitable foundations but you will also be able to move your old vehicle from your porch without actually having to pay anything.


How to donate a car in California?

Well, Donating a car in California is nothing less than selling a vehicle. There are few steps and rules that you need to be aware of. So, we have compiled some important things as well as tips that you must understand to complete the car donation process without much hassle.


1. Select the charity first:

To donate car to charity, you need to select the charitable foundation first. Selecting a charity in a state like California is not an easy process. There are several non-profit organizations in California. But not every one of them is authentic or uses their resources properly to help the community. Thus, it is important that you make sure that the donation that you are making is being used for a good cause.

As a result, it is always wise to donate to a foundation that does meaningful work. Moreover, you also need to make sure that the charity is registered under the IRS as a 501(c) (3) organization. If you cannot find a proper charitable organization, then fill up the car donation form at your nearest DMV and they will complete the job for you.

2. Make sure that the charity accepts car donation:

If you are selecting the charitable organization on your own, then you need to make sure whether it accepts car donation. You must understand that every non-profit organization does not have the infrastructure to accept a car as a donation. If they do accept car donations, then go ahead and donate your car as per the guidelines provided by the DMV.

3. Tax credit on donated cars:

If you donate a car for the tax credit, then you must first understand that the tax deductions that you receive after you donate car to charity may vary. Most of the charities provide you with the initial receipt that you can use to claim tax deductions via email. On the other hand, few charities provide you with the initial receipt at the time of picking up your car. Here, you must remember that you can claim up to $500 as tax deductions based on the factors like the condition of your car, the fair market value of your car, the money that the charity had to spend for fixing the car and several others. Based on these factors, the amount that you will be able to deduct from your tax will be decided. If you are planning to receive the tax deductions on the taxes of the present fiscal year, then you must complete the donation process within 31st December of the current year. Otherwise, the tax deductions will not be valid for the present financial year.

4. The release of liability:

Well, donating a car is nothing less than selling a car from the perspective of the DMV. As a result, there is a lot of paperwork involved when it comes to donating a car. In California, you need to fill up the REG 138 or return the pink part of the title in order to get free from any future liability. Plus, if the fair market value of your old car is above $500, then you need to fulfill additional paperwork.

There is another important thing that you must remember that when you are donating a car in the state of California, you must not remove the license plate from your car as it goes against the rules of the state DMV. So, keep the license plate intact and complete the process without much hassle.

As mentioned, making a car donation to a charity is one of most noble things to do. So, remember the tips listed above and donate car to charity without much ado. However, if you have further queries that need to be clarified, then we suggest you get in touch with your nearest DMV office to know about the process in detail.


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