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Don’t Let Your Unregistered Vehicle Go To Rust!
Donate it or Recycle it!

Junk and abandoned cars and trucks are unsightly and potentially dangerous. In addition to being an eyesore, abandoned vehicles left to rust in yards, wooded areas, and open spaces can damage the environment by leaking toxic fluids into groundwater. They also attract more illegal dumping.

How to Get Rid of a Vehicle You Don't Want
There are many charitable organizations that accept donations of working or repairable vehicles. There are also local businesses and individuals that will provide “junk auto” removal services. Instead of letting your unwanted vehicle rust in your driveway or backyard, turn it into a resource that provides money to a nonprofit organization or gets recycled into new steel products.

Donate Your Unwanted Vehicle
Working vehicles (and even those in need of minor repair) can be donated to a variety of charitable organizations. Most will accept cars, trucks, vans, fleet vehicles, trailers, boats, motorcycles, and RVs.  Depending on the condition of the vehicle and the charitable organization, donated vehicles may be sold or given to low income families, sold at auction, or salvaged. 

Many charitable organizations work with a third party to handle vehicle donations. The following agencies handle car donations for a variety of organizations:

www.DonateACar.com or 800-237-5714
www.800charitycars.org or 800-242-7489
National Vehicle Donation Program, www.auto-donation.com or 800-456-5517

Some national charitable organizations have specific websites and programs for vehicle donations. Check the listings below, or conduct your own Internet search.

www.donateyourcar.com or 800-586-4227, to support the American Lung Association
www.cardonations.com or 800-936-4361, to support the American Diabetes Association
www.Donate-Car-for-Charity.com or 888-831-1352, to support the Family Care Foundation
www.kidney.org or 800-488-2277, to support the National Kidney Foundation
www.helpinghandsofamerica.org or 888-881-9090, to support Helping Hands of America
http://massri.wheelsforwishes.org or 855-692-9474, to support Make-a-Wish 
www.carstocurebreastcancer.org/massachusetts/ or 855-450-2873, to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Charitable organizations accept a wide range of vehicles. They typically provide pick-up at no charge through local towing companies. Please note that the list above is not inclusive and information on donation opportunities and criteria may change. By listing these agencies the District is not endorsing their services. 

Some local and national charitable organizations, churches, and civic groups handle their own vehicle donations. Contact the charity of your choice or check their website to see if they accept vehicle donations. 

Most organizations require that you have the vehicle title in order to donate it. You will also need to provide the organization with the vehicle’s year, mileage, VIN, make, model, and condition.  Contact the organization directly for vehicle age/condition restrictions. The information will also be on the donation website. If you do not have the title, the organization may still be able to accept the vehicle if you have other proof of vehicle ownership, such as an old registration. 

Getting a Tax Benefit for Your Donation
Tax information is available from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Notice 2005-44: Charitable Contributions of Certain Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes and Publication 526 ”Charitable Contributions” are available at the IRS website at: www.irs.gov or contact the local IRS office. You can also do an IRS Charity Search on their website to find an official IRS registered charity. You must have written acknowledgement of your donation and attach it with your return in order to receive an income tax benefit. The acknowledgement must contain specific information, so be sure to check the IRS information prior to donating your vehicle. 

In general, the price the organization receives for the sale of your vehicle (“gross proceeds”) is tax deductible. The organization will provide you with a receipt. The amount on the receipt is your income tax deduction. If the vehicle sells for $500 or less the charity will provide the original pickup receipt to you (typically at the time of pick-up) and you can claim up to $500 for the car donation, according to the actual value of the vehicle. If the vehicle is sold for more than $500, you will receive a second receipt from the organization with the actual sale amount. You can claim the full amount of the vehicle sale as your deduction. 

Under some circumstances you may be able to claim the full fair market value of the vehicle, if the charity makes significant repairs to the vehicle, if it uses the vehicle for its nonprofit purpose, or if the vehicle is sold at a reduced price by the charity to a low income family as part of its charitable purpose. Under federal law the charitable organization must provide an acknowledgement to the donor within 30 days of the donation stating the amount of gross proceeds from the vehicle sale.  Be sure to ask for specifics when you contact the agency about your donation.

Have the Vehicle Hauled for Recycling
There are many local businesses and individuals who provide scrap metal recycling services. Several are listed below. There are also listings in the telephone directory under “scrap metal,” “automobile wrecking,” “automobile parts, supplies—used and rebuilt,” and “junk dealers” or in the local newspapers’ classified section. The person doing the hauling will help you assess any costs when you call. Generally, the cost, if any, depends on the location of the vehicle and the age/condition of the vehicle. Typically, vehicles must be cleaned out and any trash or extra tires removed. 

Some questions to ask:
Is there a removal fee? 
Is the title required? What can I do if I don’t have the title?
What sort of vehicle preparation is required?

Area businesses that offer towing of vehicles for metal recycling: 

  •  Auto Salvage of Greenfield   (800) 322-3046
  •  Byrne Used Vehicles/Towing, Greenfield  (413) 772-1199
  •  Leon Sirum & Co., Inc., Greenfield  (413) 774-3740
  •  Speedway Metals, Greenfield   (413) 774-3664
  •  Bernardston Auto Wrecking, Bernardston  (413) 648-9300
  •  Stagecoach Auto Repair, Charlemont  (413) 339-8515
  •  EAD Trucking, Whately   (413) 218-9013
  •  Safe Towing, Holyoke   (413) 532-4908

Please note that this list is not inclusive. The District does not guarantee that the businesses listed above are in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal requirements. The District is not endorsing any specific business.

If You Need to Get a Replacement Title for the Vehicle
If the vehicle belongs to you and you don't have the title, you will need to file for a replacement through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). You can pick up an “Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title” from your local RMV or download the form from the RMV website at: www.dmv.org/ma-massachusetts. If the vehicle does not belong to you, check with your local RMV about transferring the vehicle registration to your name.

Who Do I Notify about an Abandoned Vehicle in a Public Space? 
Contact your local town office or police department.

Are Unregistered Vehicles Allowed on Private Property?
Ordinances regarding unregistered vehicles on private property vary from town to town. Some towns allow one unregistered vehicle per household, while others do not. Some also provide special permits to allow households to have additional unregistered vehicles. Check with your local town office or police department about regulations.

Franklin County Solid Waste Management District
50 Miles Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
Tel: (413) 772-2438
MA Relay for the hearing impaired: 711 or 1-800-439-2370 (TTY/TDD)
Fax: (413) 772-3786
Email: info@franklincountywastedistrict.org

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