How to Donate My Vehicle to a Fire Department for a Tax Deduction

Fire departments rely on vehicle donations for some of the department fire training. The donated cars are used to train firefighters on extracting people who are trapped in vehicles. Usually you can donate cars that do not run and cars that are in good working condition. Since fire departments are tax exempt, you can claim your car donation on your taxes, which typically lowers your tax liability. The fire chief is the person at the fire department who usually processes all vehicle donations.


Step 1

Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles to submit an application for a replacement title, if you cannot find your car title. You must have the title in order to donate the car. The fee for a replacement title varies by state.

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Step 2

Use the Fire Find website (see Resources) to locate your local fire department, if you are not sure where to find the fire department.


Step 3

Contact your local fire department and let the fire chief know that you want to donate your car. Fire departments typically take cars that do and do not run, but let the fire chief know if your car runs or not. Some fire departments will make arrangements to tow the vehicle for you, while others require you to get it to them. If you are responsible for getting the car to the fire chief, ask where you should leave it.



Step 4

Tow or drive your car to the fire department for donation. Leave or park the car in an area approved by the fire chief so that you do not block in any fire trucks.

Step 5

Sign your car title over to the fire department when you drop off the car. You can get your donation receipt when you hand over the title. Ask for one if you are not offered a receipt.



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