Car Donation In Alabama, AL
What You Need To Know
So you want to donate a car in Alabama.
Your auto donation can ensure a big cut out of your taxes if you ensure that you’re working with a 501(c)(3) not for profit agency, or with an established religious group.
But it helps if you know what steps to take and what paperwork to fill out too. Below we have provided the main questions and answers for those looking to donate their vehicles within the state of California.
We have also included links where necessary to IRS and Alabama Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV) forms that you will may require as part of the donation and tax deduction process.
1. What Can You Donate in Alabama, AL?
If you want to make a vehicle donation
in Alabama you’re not just limited to cars.
While cars are certainly welcomed, you can also donate motorcycles, classic or vintage cars, boats (see boat donations), airplanes, snow mobiles, jet skis and whatever other sort of transportation you find that you’re not using (see also junk car donations) and you want to pass on to another owner.
If you’re not sure whether what you have will be accepted as a donation, such as pieces of heavy machinery or other, unusual vehicles it’s best to contact the charity and ask if your donation will be taken.
2. Maximizing Your Alabama Charity’s Donation
With so many “donate car to charity” advertisements and offers it can be hard to decide who to take your vehicle to.
But there are several things you can do to make sure your charity gets as much for your donation as possible and that you make as big a contribution as you can.
One is to drive the vehicle to the charity to save on towing costs. If the charity offers free pick-up service it’s only free to you; the charity is still paying for the tow.
Some charities will invest in a vehicle, increasing it’s value and the ultimate value of the donation.
Check and be sure that you have all of your paperwork in order to cut down on the time as well so that the process can be completed as quickly as possible.
3. Documents You Need To Donate In Alabama
To donate your car in Alabama you’re going to need certain documentation to prove that it’s your car to donate.
You need the car title, and the only exceptions to this are if you’re donating a boat, an RV (see also RV donations), a snowmobile or if you’re donating a car manufactured before the year 1975.
If you don’t have a copy of your title you can apply for one with the Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division. Alternatively you can call (334) 242-9000. You will need to download and complete form MVT-12-1 first and getting a replacement costs $15 or so.
Once you have that title in hand you essentially have everything you’re going to need to take your vehicle down to the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that you’ve chosen.
More Information About Motor Vehicle Titles In Alabama
Detailed information about everything from title applications, costs, replacements titles in Alabama can be found on the Alabama Motor Vehicles Title FAQ page.
A list of relevant forms and documents including notice of junk, parts or scrap vehicle can be found on the Alabama Motor Vehicle title forms page.
Additionally, for licensing questions, see the Alabama Driver Vehicle Licensing website.
4. Releasing Vehicle Liability In Alabama, AL
It’s important that you make sure your donation vehicle is handed over completely to your charity and that you’re released from all liability concerning it.
In order to do that you have to sign over the title to the charity and legally wash your hands of all ownership of the car.
If your charity insists on leaving blank spots on the form, then you should find a different charity.
If you don’t completely transfer liability then accidents or damages involving the car are still legally your fault, even though you donated the car and weren’t driving it at the time.
5. Maximizing Your Car Tax Deduction In AL
Your car donation tax deduction
can change depending on certain factors.
For instance, if the charity decides to take your vehicle and use it for a significant period of time then you can claim the fair market value of that car as given by an independent car assessment as your tax deduction.
In this case, the fair market value is often more than your car would earn at auction, so discuss the charity’s plans for your vehicle before you sign the paperwork.
On the other hand if the car is sold, and the value it’s sold for is over $500, then you also need to include IRS form 8283.
This form is necessary in order to itemize your deduction, and unless you do that the IRS will not accept your tax credit. Make sure that you get and save your receipt, as it will be necessary for proof of the deduction.
Is Donating My Car Right For Me?
It is important you understand the tax implications when making your donation. Consult our page on car donation tax calculations for more information.
6. Where To Donate Cars In Alabama, AL
If you’re eager to get your vehicle in a charity car auction, then you need to choose the right auto donation program.
But before you get too excited you have to find a charity that will accept your vehicle donation.
Fortunately acceptable charities are listed by Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau at in the following towns and cities in Alabama.
By contacting these charities you can check and see if they offer pick up services or where your car will need to be driven to and dropped off in order for it to be properly donated.
More information about each of these areas and Alabama in general can be found on the Alabama travel site.
Auto Donation Programs In Nearby States
Don’t forget that you can donate your vehicle to any charity or donation program in the United States.
Therefore, if you live near a state border it might be worth investigating charities in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.
See our specific donation-by-state pages as follows:
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