Home HOW TO ARTICLES How to Donate A Car In California To Charity | 1-888-737-5808

How to Donate A Car In California To Charity | 1-888-737-5808

Donate A Car In California: Greater Bay Area – San Francisco, Los Angeles Area, Northeastern & Central California, San Diego, Tri-County Area, Orange County Children’s Hospitals & Charities…See more details below.

How to Donate A Car In California To Charity

Inhabitants all over the State of California use Wheels for wishes as an easy way to help children in their community.

Wheels For Wishes is a charity car donation program helping Make-A-Wish in California. The charity vehicle donation program helps turns cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, and even boats into wishes for children all over California.

With the help of generous supporters, creation of magical moments for more than 5,600 local wish children have been made since 1983. Appreciation for helping Make-A-Wish is always offered to supporters, to continue to make the community a better place – one wish child at a time.

Benefit of Donating A Car in California

  • Free towing of almost any vehicle, running or not.
  • Because Wheels For Wishes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you also receive a tax deduction for your donation.
  • You don’t have to worry about trying to sell or trade in your unwanted car when you donate it.
  • We take care of all the details for you. This includes handling the DMV paperwork, title transfer and everything else.
  • After your vehicle is picked up, we will send you a 100% tax deductible receipt that you can use with your 1098-c when filing your taxes.
  • Your car donation helps children dealing with critical illness in California.

Impact Of Your Car Donation

With your car donations, Wheels For Wishes has donated over $97 million to benefit local kids through Make-A-Wish across the country. That’s over 12,144 wishes granted!

How to Donate A Car In California Anywhere

Donating a car is made easy anywhere in California. Check below to see the list of places in California you can make wheels donation and how to do it.

How to Donate a Car In The Greater Bay Area – San Francisco Bay Area

Places like; Oakland, Santa Rosa, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Daly City, Fairfield, San Jose, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Hayward or surrounding areas. Wheels For Wishes will come to you and pick up your vehicle for free anywhere in the Greater Bay area.

  • Call the representatives 1-888-737-5808 or start your online donation form.
  • You will receive a call for your free towing pick up within 24 hours of the next business day.
  • You will receive a mail of your 100% tax deductible receipt.

How to Donate a Car In Los Angeles Area

  • Los Angeles
  • Pasadena
  • Glendale
  • Palmdale
  • Torrance
  • El Monte
  • Burbank
  • Inglewood
  • Santa Clarita
  • Lancaster
  • Long Beach
  • Downey or any of the areas in between
  • Dial 1-888-737-5808 or visit our online donation form.
  • Next, we’ll reach out to your within 24 hours or less to schedule your free pick up.
  • Finally, when the car donation process is complete, we will send you a 100% tax deductible receipt that you can use on your taxes for next year.

The above steps also goes for the under listed areas.

How to Donate a Car In Northeastern & Central California & Northern Nevada


  • Sacramento
  • Roseville
  • Folsom
  • Yuba City
  • Elk Grove
  • Modesto
  • Stockton

How to Donate a Car In San Diego


  • San Diego
  • Chula Vista
  • Escondido
  • Carlsbad
  • Oceanside

How to Donate a Car In Tri-County Area


  • Santa Barbara
  • Oxnard
  • Ventura
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Simi Valley
  • Santa Maria
  • San Luis Obispo

How to Donate a Car In Orange County Children’s Hospitals & Charities


  • Anaheim
  • Santa Ana
  • Irvine
  • Huntington Beach
  • Garden Grove

FAQs About California Vehicle Donation

Where do I sign the Title?

The person(s) listed on the Title as the Register owner(s) of the vehicle must sign on line 1a and 1b. Signature(s) also are required in the certify under penalty section.

I paid off my car but there is still a lienholder listed?

The lienholder should have provided a Lien Release or completed the Lien Release section on Title when it was paid off. If a Lien Release is required please contact your financial institution. We will request one if necessary directly from the bank or other financial institution on your behalf but may need a written authorization and copy of your driver’s license.

What do I write for the Buyer?

We prefer it be left blank along with the odometer reading as the processing partner will record the exact reading at time of processing and handle the buyer and dealer license information.

Information that is provided by the processing partner may be put in the buyer section.

Can I still make donation if I cannot find my Title?

We will still attempt to process your donation without the title, though the process may be a bit more complicated.

Donating the vehicle on behalf of Deceased loved one, what do I need to make available?

If there are no probate proceedings:

You will need to sign an Affidavit for Transfer without Probate (form REG.5) https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/e4aef797-a865-4481-ab31-586e8f6c7052/reg5.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

The next of kin or surviving spouse must sign both the name of deceased and their own name. In most cases a copy of the death certificate and picture id is required.

If there was a probate proceeding:

You will need certified copies of the probate papers from the court and either the vehicle Title or CA REG.227 form. The executor must sign both the name of the deceased and their own name

How do I release the liability and what do I do with my plates?

If the release of liability is still attached to the bottom of the Title, you can remove it and mail it back to the CA DMV.

Otherwise, complete this on-line form

Note: In most cases a Release of Liability will be completed by the auction house when a vehicle is donated and when sold. If you complete this form, please see the Buyer information above for the address.

Also, License Plates are not required to be returned to the DMV, but you may remove them prior to the vehicle being picked up.

Can a vehicle with mechanical problems be taken?

Vehicles are reviewed and sent to a processing partner, however if we are unable to find a buyer for the vehicle, we will have to unfortunately decline the donation.

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