So, the end of the year is coming and you are thinking that you are going to finally go ahead and donate that old 'junker' car to a charity. What do you need to do to do this and be able to get the slip that says you donated it to a charity?

Here is what you need to do, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • First, you do not need to notify the DMV that you are donating the car. If you need to you can just go ahead and turn in the plates.
  • If you are donating the car to a charity, you might want to make sure you it is actually going to a charity and not to someone's kid. Search the NYS Charity Registry, to see if the charity is in good standing and legit.
  • Find out what is the name that you need to put on the title (Transfer the title). It is strongly recommended that you do not leave that blank. Also, find out who will actually be picking the car up. You want to make sure you give the car to the right person.
  • Remove the plates, remove the registration sticker from inside the windshield.
  • Fill out a bill of sale, listing the VIN, the Seller and the "Buyer" which is the charity. It is considered a gift, because there is no money changing hands. Here is a link to the DMV form (pdf) that is the "Bill of Sale" form. You can also just use a piece of paper, as long as all of the information that is needed is on the paper.
  • Get a receipt from the charity that says you donated the car. You will also need their tax ID info. Keep a copy of everything.

Can you get a tax deduction for donating the car? Probably, but you should double check with your tax preparer. They will be the one, based on your info, who can give you a better answer to that.

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