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In this post you’ll find some tips on how to donate a car in California and some specific requirements you should be aware of that relate to California car donations.

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Are you ready to donate a car in California? If so, good for you! Donating a car to charity is a wonderful decision on many levels. First of all, your donation goes to help a great cause.  Plus, you get your old vehicle or junk car moved off of your property free of charge. You are also recycling an old vehicle, and you also get to claim the car donation as a tax deduction.

  1. To donate a car in California, you begin by submitting an online car donation form or calling the charity you wish donate your vehicle to.  If you wish to claim the car donation as a tax deduction, be sure to check that the charity is an IRS recognized nonprofit organization.

  2. The process for receiving the tax receipt for your charitable donation may vary. Some charities will email you the initial receipt while others have the tow truck provide you with the receipt at the time of pick up. This is just an initial receipt and enables you to claim a tax deduction of up to $500. You should check with the charity to find out what their procedure is for providing you with this receipt when you submit your vehicle donation.

  3. In the State of California, the license plates remain with the vehicle, so these should not be removed prior to the pickup.

  4. Filing a Release of Liability with the California Department of Motor Vehicles is an important step you do not want to miss when you donate a car.  This document releases you from future liability which may arise for any reason after the vehicle is donated.  In California the procedure for filing a Release of Liability is that you must return the pink portion of the title or DMV form REG 138 to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Alternatively, you can file your release of liability online at

  5. If your vehicle sells for more than $500, or if it qualifies for a fair market value tax deduction, you will receive additional tax paperwork after the sale of the vehicle takes place. The amount you will be allowed to deduct on your taxes will vary depending on several factors which could include the price the vehicle is sold for or whether the vehicle is classified as a fair market value car donation.

  6. One last point we should mention is that if you plan to claim your car donation tax deduction on your 2012 taxes, you need to make sure you donate the car well before the deadline of December 31, 2012. The charity should have possession of the vehicle before midnight on December 31st, or at least have the pickup well in the works, in order for you to claim your tax deduction in 2012. Don’t wait till the last minute as there could be delays that could result in you being unable to claim the donation as a deduction for the current tax year.

If you have any further questions related to your car donation tax deduction, most charities are relatively knowledgeable about the process and paperwork needed, however, you should consult a CPA or accountant for specifics regarding your particular tax situation.

For additional questions related to car donations in California, you can contact your local DMV or visit the California DMV website for the latest information on state specific requirements.

Benefit of Donating a car to charity
Do you want to get rid of a car and are looking for free vehicle pickup? Ever consider giving it to an organization that accepts car donations? Donating a car to charity offers benefits, such as free vehicle pickup, which can make donation a better option than selling a car. Here are a few strong reasons why you should donate your car:
* It’s fast. Want to donate? It’s as easy as going online and visiting Think of all the time you will save by not having to list the car, answer countless phone calls, show the car or go on test drives! Plus organizations like offer fast, free vehicle pickup and handle the annoying paperwork such as receipts and titles.
• Selling is a huge hassle. First, you’ll need to advertise. You can put it on online, in your local paper or go old school and put a “for sale” in the windshield. No matter which route you take, you will have to deal with the public; which means dealing with flakes, low-ballers and window shoppers. Not-to-mention, this will take away at least one weekend of your life which you will never get back!
• You can get a nice tax deduction; making it a win-win situation for both you and the charity. Charities like that accept vehicle donations know exactly how to handle the process, so there is minimal stress. They offer fast and free vehicle pickup anywhere in the country. They will also be able to appraise your car or offer a receipt that lists the blue book value as long as it’s under $500.00. If we sell the car for more then $500.00, the deduction will be the sale price. If your car is valued at more than $5,000.00 and we use it for our charitable purposes you’ll need an independent appraisal but we can also guide you in that process as well not to mention cover all expenses.

• Let’s not forget that donating your car is a good thing. At the end of the day, you’ll know that you’re donating to a cause that is dedicated to helping others. Aside from good karma, donating a car saves you time and energy and who can put a value on that?

How to contact

You can contact through the following details below;
Charity: Activated Ministries
Charity EIN: 33-0857142
Phone: (toll free): 877-505-5775
Fax: (760) 745-1909

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