Donating a vehicle to charity is an altruistic act. Many charities welcome this type of donations and praise car owners for their generous initiatives.
Yet, donating a vehicle follows a list of DMV requirements that are mandatory. Complete your title transfer on time forget about future complications.
Steps to car donations
Let’s say you lost interest in driving and decide to donate your car to any local charity. Of course, the first thing you need to do is to find a charity that accepts the donation of your vehicle.
Then you need to calculate the average market value of your car, which will help you file taxes later on. Do it appropriately.
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You may need to visit your local DMV to handle this procedure as any other type of transfer that involves selling/buying or even gifting.
Here’s a list of simple steps that summarizes your obligations before donating a vehicle:
- Find a charity.
- Follow the IRS requirements for car donations.
- Fulfill the CA DMV requirements.
- Cancel your auto insurance immediately.
Transferring your car title in California
Note that a vehicle title is a proof of ownership. Titles transfers also include donations, and the process is very similar to gifting but there are some specifications that need careful attention.
For example, car donators must submit an updated smog certification which are dated within 90 days. At the same time, car donators may get a tax exemption depending on the charity they give their car to.
Car donations also follow different requirements depending on where you live.
Here is a list of the steps that you must follow to complete your vehicle title transfer for car donations in California:
- Complete and sign your car title.
- Report odometer mileage reading, if your vehicle is less than 10 years old.
- Fill in a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262), which is only available at the CA DMV.
- Make sure the legal representative of the charity (recipient) signs the vehicle title.
- Complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form (REG 138), which you must submit within 5 days after the date of transfer.
Once you complete these DMV steps, the process is over and you won’t have to be worry about future hassles and other bureaucracies.
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