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How To Donate Car Without Title

How To Donate Car Without Title to Charity

If you have an old or unused car taking up space that you want to donate to charity, not having the title may seem like a roadblock.

But as a former used car dealer, I’ve got you covered. This guide lists everything you need to donate car without title to a charity.

Yes, you can donate a car without a title in most states. Specific regulations vary, but charities like Donate A Car 2 Charity have processes to facilitate no-title donations.

As long as you’re the registered owner, provide alternate ownership documentation, and handle some extra paperwork, your car can still go to a good cause.

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Choose The Right Charity

When choosing the right charity to donate your car to, there are several important factors to consider:

Tax Deductions

Something that is a major part of car donation is the potential tax benefits you can receive from the IRS. The total tax reduction you receive depends on what the charity does with your donated vehicle:

  • If the charity sells your car, your deduction is typically limited to the actual sale price of the vehicle, even if that is less than the fair market value. However, if the sale price is $500 or less, you can deduct the lesser of the vehicle’s fair market value or $500.
  • If the charity uses your car for its charitable purpose or makes material improvements before selling it, you can generally deduct the fair market value of the vehicle.
  • If your car’s fair market value exceeds $5,000 and the charity does not sell it, you need a written appraisal to claim the deduction.

The charity must provide you with a written acknowledgment containing details about your donation, including the sale price if applicable, to claim the deduction. Always consult a tax professional before taking any tax deduction.

Impact of Donation

Another important factor is how your donated vehicle will be utilized by the charity to further its mission and create impact:

  • Some charities use donated vehicles for their operations like meal delivery, transportation services, etc. This allows your donation to directly benefit the charity’s work.
  • Other charities sell donated cars and use the proceeds to fund their programs. In this case, you may want to research how efficiently the charity utilizes its funds.
  • Certain charities repair and award donated vehicles to low-income families to provide them with transportation for employment, education, etc. This can create meaningful change in people’s lives.

Charity Reputation

Maybe the most important part of donating a car is choosing a reputable charity. Be sure to choose a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an established car donation program and proven track record of transparency and efficient use of their donations.

You can check charity evaluation websites like Charity Navigator or CharityWatch to research an organization’s reputation, financial health, and impact before donating.

Top Charities for Car Donations

I looked up some of the most popular car charities and found 5 that seemed to do a lot of car donations and who have a good reputation:

Again, contact the charity first to verify their exact protocols. Some may have a different process if you dont have the proper documents at hand.

Laws around donating a car without a title vary by state, where some states actually don’t require a title to donate a car. Here are a few states that dont require a title for car donations and the details:

  • New Hampshire: Vehicles older than 1999 don’t need any title paperwork for donation. In Maine, the cutoff is vehicles older than 1995.
  • Washington and Kansas: Don’t require a physical title to donate cars, but you may need to sign a Power of Attorney form.
  • South Dakota: You can donate a car without a title if it will be sold for parts, though it’s not very profitable for the charity.
  • Pennsylvania through Kars4Kids: They can usually pick up a vehicle without a title as long as the registered owner signs some paperwork.

Additional State DMV Regulations For No Title Car Donations

Strict Title Required

California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia

Title Required Based on Age

  • Maine – 1994 or newer requires a title
  • New Hampshire – 1999 or newer requires a title
  • Rhode Island – 1980 or newer requires a title

Junk Only Without Title

South Dakota – No title ok if selling for parts only

Duplicate Title Accepted

  • Kansas – Can apply for a duplicate title
  • Pennsylvania – Can apply for a duplicate title

Power of Attorney Accepted

Washington – Signed power of attorney paperwork allows donation without title

Title Not Needed Initially

Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin – Title not needed for initial donation pickup but is required to complete donation

Other Title Requirements

Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon – Certificate of title required

Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wyoming – Signed and notarized title required

Getting a Duplicate Title or Using Alternative Documents

If you are junking a car it’s very possible that this isn’t a daily driver, which means you might have lost or never received the title.

Duplicate Title

If you are the owner of the car, you can get what’s called a duplicate title. The specific laws vary by state, but generally, the process is the same where you contact your local DMV, which has a specific form for ordering a duplicate title. Many states offer this process online.

Important: Please note that if you order a duplicate title, the original title is voided and no longer a legal document establishing ownership.

Using Alternative Documents

Follow these steps when you want to donate a car without the title, and you can’t get a duplicate title:

  1. Contact the charity – Explain your no-title situation upfront and get specifics on their required process.
  2. Provide alternate paperwork – Supply alternate documentation for proof of ownership, like your registration or insurance cards.
  3. Sign Charity paperwork – The charity might have you sign customized ownership transfer forms and power of attorney documents.

Maintaining Tax Benefits Without a Title

Can you still claim a tax deduction for no-title donations? Often, yes. By having the charity sell your car, you can deduct the amount it raises at auction based on the sale price. But it depends on the charity’s policies, so check with them first.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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