Donating your car is an excellent way to get rid of an old vehicle while helping out a good cause and receiving a tax write-off. The good news is the car doesn't even have to be running, since most donation programs take both running vehicles for auction and non-running vehicles for scrap. The following tips can help you get your car ready for the donation so that you don't overlook anything.
Tip #1: Get your title in order
The vehicle must have a free and clear title in your name in order to be donated. If there are multiple owners listed, such as you and a spouse, you will both need to fill out the title transfer paperwork. In most states, this means finding the transfer of title section, which is typically on the back of the title. Sign the line for seller name, exactly as your name is printed on the front of the title. The co-owner will need to do the same. Then, fill out the buyer information. The donation program will inform you exactly what to put in on this section. It's also a good idea to make a copy of the title after you have filled it out, just in case there are any issues later.
Tip #2: Find out if there is additional paperwork
Some states may require additional paperwork. Contacting your local Department of Motor Vehicles is the simplest way to find out if this is necessary. Examples of additional paperwork includes items like odometer reading forms or certificate of sale or transfer forms. Many states have moved these forms online, so you can print and fill them from home with no additional visit to the the DMV.
Tip #3: Remove your tags and registration forms
Before turning the vehicle over, remove the license plates and your registration paperwork from the glove box. Many states require that old license plates are turned back into the DMV when ownership transfers, so check with your DMV to find out what is expected. It's also a good idea to make sure the registration, insurance cards, and any other paperwork that may contain personal information is removed before the car is picked up.
Tip #4: Perform one last scan of the car
Before it is driven or towed away, take a few minutes to make sure you didn't overlook any items inside the car. Some commonly forgotten personal items include CDs or cassettes that were left in the stereo, or toll road or parking passes that are stuck in a visor or storage compartment. Don't forget to check under seats. If you have a van or SUV with removable or foldable seats, flip them over to make sure no items have slipped underneath.
Contact a donation program such as Newgate School for more tips on donating your old car.