Car Donation In Minnesota, MN
What You Need To Know
Car donation to charity in Minnesota isn’t as simple as showing up, handing over the keys and taking a tax deduction, which is a misconception that some people may have.
If you’re going to donate a car you need to have all your paperwork in order, all the forms signed, and you can’t take a deduction until your car is sold and you have received the correct paperwork from your selected charity.
Below, therefore, we have provided all the information you need to successfully donate your car and maximize both your charity’s donation and of course, your car tax write-off.
We have also included links to the relevant Minnesota DMV websites as well as forms where appropriate.
1. What To Donate in Minnesota, MN
While junk car donation is popular, there are other things you can donate in Minnesota.
In addition to cars you can donate boats, recreational vehicles, trailers, RVs (see RV donation) trucks (see also truck donation) and a variety of other vehicles.
Check With Your Charity
If there’s a doubt about whether or not a charity can accept your car donation in Minnesota, MN, such as a piece of heavy construction or farm equipment, call the charity and ask whether or not your particular donation would be acceptable and if you could write off against your taxes as a deduction.
2. Maximizing Your Charity Donation In MN
When you donate your car to charity in Minnesota, it’s probably because you believe in the cause, in addition to any tax deduction benefits that you might receive.
So in order to be sure that the charity gets the most money possible there are a few things you should do.
Number one is drive the vehicle to the charity’s drop off point yourself, or pay for the tow out of pocket, to save the charity that expense.
Present Your Vehicle As Well As Possible
You should clean and repair all parts of the vehicle that need it to increase it’s value and save time before it can be put up on the auction block.
If you want to be sure that all of the proceeds from your vehicle sale are going to the charity then donate to a charity that sells the car itself, not one that uses a for-profit agent or partner for donations.
3. Documents Required To Donate In Minnesota
Just because you have a car to donate in Minnesota doesn’t mean that you can just show up and hand the car over.
You have to have the title to that car, both to prove that you’re actually the owner, and so you can transfer the title to the charity you’re donating to.
If you don’t have the title, you can get a replacement at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s motor vehicles section by downloading and completing the application for duplicate title MN form.
Additionally, for ownership transfers, titles, liens, vehicle registration you can contact them directly as follows:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
445 Minnesota Street
Suite 190 Town Square Building
Saint Paul MN
Tel: (651) 297-2126
However, if you’re donating a vehicle purchased before 1972, a trailer under 4,000 pounds, an ATV, a snowmobile or a boat under 20 feet or manufactured before 8/1/1979 then you won’t need a title in order to donate it.
Vehicle Titles In Minnesota MN
You can find extremely detailed and comprehensive information about registration and vehicle titling in Minnesota MN at the unofficial dmv.org website.
For general travel information in MN, please consult www.exploreminnesota.com.
4. Releasing Car Liability In Minnesota, MN
When making a vehicle donation the release of liability is one of the biggest concerns you, as the donor, should have.
If you donate the vehicle, but don’t release yourself from liability, then any accidents or damages caused by the vehicle, even when you no longer own it and weren’t driving, are still legally your fault.
Complete The Seller’s Notice of Sale
In order to release your liability you have to fill out the Seller’s Notice of Sale of your title that releases you from liability and transfers ownership to the charity.
This tear away strip must then be mailed to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety within 10 days of the vehicle being released. There is also a form available at the Department of Public Safety’s website, listed above.
5. Maximizing Your Tax Write-Off In Minnesota
The ability to take advantage of an IRS tax deduction is a major reason that many people donate their vehicles in the first place.
Of course with a little bit of proper preparation you can easily get the most money possible for your vehicle donation to a registered charity in Minnesota, MN.
Search Out Better Charities
First of all, try and find a charity that will use your vehicle for a significant amount of time before selling it, or one that will give away or sell your vehicle at a price far below market.
When this happens you can claim the fair market value of your vehicle, which is often far more than it would sell for.
Also it’s important to remember that you get a receipt and attach it to IRS form 8283 to your taxes for your itemized deduction if the value you’re claiming is over $500.
6. Where Can I Donate My Car in Minnesota?
Whether you’re vehicle ends up in charity car auction MN or you want a car donation program in Minnesota, MN, that focuses on using donated cars to help a charity’s day to day needs, you still need to know where to take your donation.
First you need to choose your charity. We recommend looking at the Better Business Bureau’s list of 501(c)(3) organizations as well as Charity Navigator which are excellent places to start your search.
You should be able to find charities in all the main towns and cities in the state of Minnesota, MN:
- St. Paul
Once you’ve picked your charity, contact them and ask where you need to bring your car so it can be properly donated.
Car Donations In States Neighboring Minnesota
You may not realize that you are not limited to donating your car to charities within Minnesota state boundaries. If you live near the state border, you can give your vehicle to a qualifying charity in North or South Dakota, Iowa or Wisconsin.
However, the transfer of your car’s title and your subsequent release of liability can only be administered by a DMV office in Minnesota.
For more information about how to donate in these neighboring states, see the following: