A Brief Guide on How to Donate a Car in California

A Brief Guide on How to Donate a Car in California

Donating a car to a charity in California may help someone needy in your community. Your generosity not can only support an entire family in need but also can get you a tax deduction along the way. If you are planning to do something good to your local people, learning about how to donate a car in California can be the best route to the destination.

Donating a vehicle in your state comprises a few special rules especially for California Division of Motor Vehicles. While most states in the United States require you to remove the license plates on your car, the state of California makes its availability essential for donation. Likewise, you are required to fill out a Release of Liability form which can be downloaded from the official website of CA DMV or taken directly from their office.

Reasons for Why You Should Donate Your Car

You may be thinking why you should prefer donating your old car over selling it. Your particular situation will dictate how immediately you could free your premises from a potential eyesore. Donating an old car to charity can regain you space in your garage and/or get you additional parking space. You will also be able to avoid the costs and the hassles of having to renovate an old car to get it prepare for sale. Not to mention, it will also save you from advertising and finding a buyer who will purchase it for some dollars. The possible steps of how to donate a car in California take less time and are conveniently easy.

You might be thinking that getting your old car prepared for sale may get you a little more money as compare to vehicle donations. Even if this may be true, donating your vehicle in California can immediately take care of aforementioned inconveniences. You value your time yet most charities will tow your vehicle for free which eventually saves you on time and money. The best part of car donations in CA is that most charities also accept vehicles that are in non-running condition or completely junk.

When it comes to how to donate a car in California, one must pay attention to the bogus charities around. The state has lots of bogus organizations that claim to accept car donations. Most of these charities finally go busted and become deactivated. For that reason, it is very important to recognize the legitimate charity before donating your vehicle.

Steps of Donating A Vehicle In California

Following are a few steps that come handy to understand the entire process, explaining how to donate a car in California:

  • Find the Charity – While the state of California has many charities, not every organization is IRS recognized or accepts car donations. The best way to find the best organization is to make an online research about the top rated charities in your local area. Once you have come across the possible choices, select the one which you think can be the best one to work with.
  • Fill out the Form – Car donations in California require you to submit an online form or call the charitable organization you want to donate your car to. If you intend to claim the donation as a tax credit, make sure to check that the charity you choose is recognized by IRS.
  • Take the Tax Receipt – The process of receiving tax receipt varies from charity to charity. Some organizations will send you the initial receipt through email while other may provide you the same at the time of towing the vehicle. Remember, this is just an initial receipt that will enable you to claim a tax deduction depending on the total cost of your car sale. Nevertheless, it is advisable to check with the organization to see how they can provide you with tax receipt when you donate your car to them.
  • Transfer Your Car Title – Your car title is the proof that you own it. Most states in the USA require you to transfer the title to the charity you wish to donate your car to. This procedure involves several specifications needing your careful attention. For example, you must submit an updated smog certificate which is dated within 90 days of donations.
  • Keep the License Plates – Unlike other states, the state of California does not want you to remove the license plates from your vehicle at the time of donation. For that reason, you must not remove it before the organization tows it.
  • File the Release of Liability Form – This is an important step of vehicle donation in CA wherein you have to fill the release of liability form with the California DMV. This document will release you from future liability which may arise after you donate the vehicle. This procedure requires you to return DMV form REG 138 or the pink part of the title to your local DMV. You can also do the same online by visiting www.dmv.ca.gov.
  • Claim the Tax Deduction – If you vehicle is sold for more than $500, the charity will send you additional tax papers after the sale of the car come off. The amount of tax deduction will greatly depend on several factors including the price the car is sold for. You can also learn about fair market value for car donation in any of available guides on how to donate a car in California across the internet.

Generally, most guidelines on how to donate a car in California come with all the relevant information as car donations in CA. most charities are relatively knowledgeable about how it goes and what paperwork donor will need for making their donations possible. If you are still unsure about how to donate a car in California as well get a tax credit, consulting a CPA for specifics as to your particular tax situation may help. Also, you can visit your local DMV office or website for the up-to-date information on the car donation.

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