How To Donate A Car In Maryland, USA

Are you living in Maryland and want to support a charitable organization?  You can make a car donation in Maryland to support their good work. By making a charitable contribution, you can get a maximum tax deduction.

Donating a car to a charity organization in Maryland benefits the charity organization you are donating to. You will get a tax deduction for your charitable contribution.  There are no charges for donation processing or pick-up.

If your car has fallen into disuse over a period of time, you can choose to donate the car to a charity organization. Regardless of the state of your car, whether it runs or not, you can still make a car donation. It also helps the environment by reducing emissions to the environment.

Proceeds from this car donation program are used by charities to support their life-savings missions. The funds are used to support programs like combating life threatening diseases, improving maternal health, reducing hunger to zero level for children, improving the health of children and lactating mothers, helping orphans, care for the elderly and support for education.

As a donor, IRS allows you to claim the fair market value up to $500 for a donated car. Assuming the donated car has market value higher than $500, IRS allows the selling price of the car to be claimed as a tax deduction.

The charity organization will send a written acknowledgement letter to you. Also a tax receipt will be sent to you personally.

You must ensure that the organization you are donating to is able to accept tax deductible donations. You must make sure that the charity organization is enlisted as an official 501(c) (3) charity by the IRS.

You cannot donate an abandoned car. You should contact the local police to list the car as abandoned car. You can also contact a local junkyard for picking up the abandoned car.

Assuming the owner of the car has died, the car can be donated if there is a copy of death certificate and the availability of document that certifies you to be the official inheritor of the deceased belongings.

Steps to take to make a car donation

  1. You should select the charity organization you want to benefit from your donation.
  2. You should complete a vehicle donation form.
  3. Pick a convenient date for the charity organization come and pick up your car.

Things you must do before donating you car

  1. As a donor, you must have a clear title for you to be able to donate your car.  The state of Maryland requires a certificate of title in order for you to make a donation.
  2. Your title must be signed with your signature.  You must fill the name of the buyer (in this case you put the name of the non-profit organization). Sign your title with your name (First Name, Middle Name, and Last initial or Name) in the seller’s or owner’s field. Ensure it is filled exactly as it appears at the top of the title.
  3. Your title should be error free, because this is an official document and must be treated as such
  4. Assuming you have misplaced your title. You can obtain a new title by applying for a new title. You can go online and visit:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Also you can visit a Tag & Title service licensed by the MVA. You are just to submit a copy of your valid state issued identification and you are to complete an application for duplicate certificate of title. You can visit a local branch of MVA to get this done.
  1. You must remove all licensed plates. This must be done before towing.
  2. You must return your plates to the DMV. The removed licensed plates can be dropped off personally to any MVA branch office, any MVA authorized tag and title service and any MVA license plate return drop boxes. When you are returning the license plates make sure you put your registration card.
  3. You should cancel your insurance after your car has been towed away.  You should make sure that MVA has received your license plates before you cancel your insurance. If this is not done, it may result in a fine. Though there is no charge for you submitting or returning your licensed plates.

How to make a successful car donation

  1.  Do a thorough Charity check-up

Make sure that the charity organization is listed under BBB (Better Bureau Business). Any non-profit organization under BBB shows that they are reputable organization. Also ensure that the charity is designated as an official 501 (c) (3) charity by the IRS. Assuming they are using a third party, you should know the percentage that will be going into the charity. A 88% donation to the charity shows that it is a good place to donate.

  1. Avoid Middle Men

Most middle men are profit oriented. And they pocket larger amount of money gotten from the sold car. Most times after selling the car, the percentage given to the charity organization is very little. Some middle men give the charity organization just 10% from the proceeds of sale of the car.


  1. Walk Directly to the Charity Organization


You can visit the charity organization personally. You are to donate directly to the charity organization. Research the charity organization. You should ask questions from the charity organization. Ask questions about how funds will be used. You should ask questions about what the charity will do with the car. Are they going to refurbish, resell or sell the parts of the car donated to their organization?

Some false beliefs about donating a car

  1. It is difficult to donate a car.
  2. There are special cars that can be donated.
  3. For you to donate a car, you will need to fill many documents
  4. Donating a car doesn’t benefit anyone.
  5. You lose money by donating your car.

You must keep personal record of the following:

  1. A valid name and address of the charity organization you donated to.
  2. Tax receipt and written letter of acknowledgement from the charity organization
  3. A full description of the donated car
  4. The valid process of obtaining the car
  5. A copy of your registration, a copy of title of car donated.

In conclusion, car donation in Maryland is one of the ways of contributing to a charity in Maryland. According to IRS, it says an organization can make significant use of the car, can make an improvement to the car (major repairs) and can sell the car to a needy individual at a price below market price.

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