How to Donate a Car in Minneapolis

By Nicholas Katers

  • Overview

    Minneapolis residents have plenty of reasons to donate their cars to charity. The city's Metro Transit system continues to expand with light rail and bus routes running from downtown to the Mall of America. As Minneapolis continues to grow from the city center outward, the costs of parking and maintaining cars will become prohibitive for some owners. In many cases, Minneapolis residents may just need to get rid of an old car because it is running out of steam. No matter the reason, Minneapolis residents can get a tax deduction and a heartwarming feeling by donating a car to an area charity.
    How to Donate a Car in Minneapolis
    How to Donate a Car in Minneapolis
    • Step 1

      Save a charity time and resources by getting your car detailed before the drop-off. Make an appointment with a Minneapolis detailer like A&C Auto Dealing, Premium Auto Spa and Extreme Auto Dealing located close to your chosen charity. Clean out clothing items, CDs and other valuables the same day you plan on donating to avoid losing precious items.
    • Step 2

      Schedule an appointment with a donation center in Minneapolis to complete paperwork and donate your car. Ask if the recipient has pickup options and alternate drop off sites to make your donation more convenient.


    • Step 3

      Pack your title and other pertinent vehicle information in a folder to make the transfer process easier. Procure a lien release from the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles if you have had liens placed on your car in the past. Help out organizations like the Newgate Education Center by including car manuals and maintenance booklets that can be useful during repairs.
    • Step 4

      Sign your name and the donation date on ownership transfer forms provided by your selected Minneapolis charity. Organizations like Courage Center and Wheels for Wishes are authorized by Minnesota state law to transfer car titles for charitable purposes only. Ask for copies of every form with your signature for your own records.
    • Step 5

      Keep your receipt from your chosen Minneapolis charity in a safe place. This receipt can be used to claim a tax deduction on your state and federal tax filing. Attach a copy of the receipt to your income tax return to verify the full market value of your car at the time of deduction.
  • Skill: Moderate
  • Tip: Enhance the market value of your car donation by finding a Minneapolis charity in need of your vehicle make and model. For example, Newgate Education Center asks for low-mileage vehicles of any type as well as classic cars to help low-income young adults gain experience in automotive repair.
  • Warning:
  • Ask plenty of questions about the use of your donated car as well as the charity's nonprofit status before signing transfer papers. Every donor has the right to ask for a breakdown of how the car is used whether it is part of an educational course or rebuilt for use by volunteers. Request published budgets, proof of tax exemption and other documents that will ease your concerns about donating to a Minneapolis nonprofit organization.

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