Car Donation In New Mexico, NM
What You Need To Know
If you want to donate a car to charity in New Mexico it’s important that you do it right and follow all of the state’s rules and regulations.
Fortunately, forewarned is forearmed, and once you know what you need to do to complete the process donating your car is actually quite simple.
You will find below, therefore, all the information you require to make a successful car donation in New Mexico.
You will find relevant links to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department as well as actual forms you may need to download and complete where appropriate.
1. What Can You Donate In New Mexico?
Just because a charity looks for car donation doesn’t mean that you have to donate a car.
In New Mexico, you can donate cars, SUVs, RVs and trucks (see truck donation), but you can also donate motorcycles, mopeds, planes, boats, trailers, recreational vehicles, off-road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and really any sort of vehicle that is legal to own and use in the United States.
Ask Your Charity
If there’s a doubt that your donation is acceptable, perhaps because it’s an unusual vehicle like a farm tractor, contact the charity you’re donating to and ask if they will take it.
2. How To Release Your Legal Liability?
Liability is the legal term that says you are, as the vehicle title holder, responsible for accidents, injuries and damages that occur with your vehicle.
In order to release yourself from liability after your auto donation, you need to sign over the vehicle’s title to the charity, listing the charity as the new owner of the donated item.
Section 66-3-101(A) NMSA 1978 requires that you notify the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department that the vehicle has been transferred and is no longer in your possession. You need to download and complete form MVD10048 from the MVD website and post it to the address on this page.
You also need to remove the license plates from your vehicle in New Mexico when you transfer it. You can either have them transferred to another vehicle, or bring them back to the MVD.
Contacting The MVD
If you wish to talk with someone in person or have questions or concerns about the transfer of your liability, or with your title transfer, you can find the location and phone number on the New Mexico DMV contact page.
3. What Documents Do You Need to Donate?
When you donate your car to charity in New Mexico you need to have the title to that vehicle. The New Mexico DMV provides a list of vehicles that require a legal title.
Replacement & Duplicate Titles
If you don’t have the title, or if you need to get a replacement title before you donate, then contact the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division.
The MVD website does not include much information on how to get a duplicate title. Therefore, we recommend either contacting the New Mexico MVD directly or visit the very comprehensive dmv.org website where you will find more detailed instructions on duplicate vehicle titles in New Mexico.
Once you have your replacement title in hand, all you have to do is bring it with when you donate the vehicle, listing the charity as the new owner on the title transfer section.
4. Where Can You Donate Your Car in NM?
With all of the advertisements for vehicle donation programs and charity car auctions it might sometimes seem that one place is as good as another.
However, if you want to be able to claim a tax deduction for your donation then you need to donate to an acceptable, 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
For an easy reference the Better Business Bureau has compiled a list of organizations that may be found at www.bbb.org/us/ and www.charitynavigator.org. There are a considerable number and the choice may be confusing. You will, however, find charities in all the major locations in New Mexico.
- Las Cruces
- Santa Fe
- Silver City
Once you know which charity you’re going to donate to, all that’s left is to call and ask where that charity accepts vehicle donations.
Donating In Other States
The IRS does not limit where auto donations are made.
In fact, you can donate your car anywhere in the United States. Therefore, if you live near a state border it could well be more convenient to find a qualifying charity in a neighboring state.
5. How To Maximize Your Charity’s Donation?
When you donate a car to charity you have to keep in mind that the charity still picks up a lot of costs.
In order to help the charity get the most out of your vehicle donation you need to try and minimize those costs. For instance, clean and present your vehicle as best you can. Add on any improvements you’re going to make that will increase the value of the car before you donate it.
Will Someone ‘Profit’ From Your Donation?
Avoid charities that use ‘for-profit’ partners or agents, because when that sort of arrangement is in place a portion of the profit will go to the agent once the sale is made.
Lastly, drop off the vehicle yourself whenever possible. If the charity tows your vehicle in, then it has to cover the cost of the tow.
6. How To Maximize Your IRS Tax Reduction?
When you donate a vehicle to charity, you qualify for a car donation tax deduction.
However, understanding the process can help you get more for your vehicle. Normally you give your vehicle to a charity, the charity sells that vehicle at auction or in a car-lot, and then you are allowed to claim the value of the gross proceeds as your tax deduction.
Can You Claim The Fair Market Value?
However, if you find a charity that will use your vehicle for a significant period of time before sale, or which will give your vehicle away either for free or at a price far below the fair market value in furtherance of the charity’s goals, that rule changes.
In this case you are then allowed to claim as your deduction the fair market value of the vehicle on the day you donated it. This amount will generally always be more than what the charity might achieve at auction.
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