Office: 303-295-7837 Vehicle Info: 303-296-9020

What to Expect when Donating your Vehicle

Answers to Common Questions

Step Denver’s Vehicle Donation Process


Our goal is to get the maximum value for your donation to best help our men and so that you, as the donor, will get the highest tax deduction possible. We accept vehicles regardless of their condition, running or not. At the beginning of the donation process, we assess how we can best utilize your gift, weighing its repair needs in comparison to the value for which it could be sold. Once completing this process, we sell the vehicle, collect the proceeds, and then send you a 1098 C tax form for the gross amount for which the vehicle was sold. The process takes, on average, between 4 and 5 weeks. Below are some frequently asked questions that may be of help to you in the donation process.


Common Questions

How is the value of my donated vehicle determined?

Upon receiving your donated vehicle, we assess its condition and determine how it can be sold on the wholesale market or the parts resale market. Once a vehicle has been sold we will provide you with a 1098-C tax form stating the gross amount of the vehicle’s sale price. Donating a vehicle to a nonprofit organization has specific tax implications. We encourage you to review these before making your donation. You may obtain this information online here or by calling (800) 829-3676 (toll-free).

Will you fix up my vehicle?

It is the goal of Step Denver to obtain the maximum amount for every donated vehicle to best serve our men and to provide you with the greatest tax deduction value. The IRS requires that for any major repairs or improvements to a vehicle, the costs of those repairs or improvements must be deducted from the vehicle sale price for tax deduction purposes. Therefore we do not typically do any major fixes on vehicles such as body work, engine or transmission repair. We do only basic, minor repairs to a vehicle for sale on the wholesale market.

How do you sell the vehicles?

Donated vehicles may be sold for parts or wholesale. For more information on the process, please call 303-296-9020.

What documents are required to donate my vehicle?

By law, at the time we pick up your vehicle, you will need to have a title without any kind of lien or levy from creditors or other parties, and it may not pose any question as to legal ownership. The title must be in your name, with no cross-outs or errors. If your title lists a lien holder followed by a bank, your bank will either provide a lien release or your bank will sign off on the title that states they have no further interest in your vehicle. The title needs to be signed by the person to whom the title has been issued and notarized if required. If notarization is required, do not sign the title unless you are in front of the notary.

What if the title is in someone else’s name or if someone else other than the person whose name appears on the front of the title signed the title?

If the title is in the name of a person other than the donor, or the title has been signed by someone other than the name of the person on the front of the title, then the title is void and a duplicate title in the name of the person on the front of the title must be re-issued. The donor may NOT sign the title. Per the IRS, the 1098 C tax form will be issued to the person whose name appears on the front of the title.

How should the title be signed? 

The title must be signed exactly as the name appears on the front of the title, including prefixes, suffixes, middle names, etc. If the title is not signed exactly as it appears on the front of the title, the title will be void, and you may need to obtain a duplicate title.

What if the title was signed over to me by someone else and my name does not appear on the front of the title?

If the title is signed over to another person, in the buyer’s area of the back of the title, the title will need to be re-titled in the buyers name. Registration may be required by the DMV.

There are two people listed on the title, do both of us need to sign?

Yes. If there are two owners listed on the front of a title, both will need to print and sign their names as they appear on the front of the title, in the first sellers section.

The title is in a deceased person’s name. How do I complete the transfer of title?

The person handling the donation of the vehicle must have a copy of the deceased person’s death certificate, and either a copy of the power of attorney OR a copy of the executor of the estate form.  In addition, the court-appointed representative will then need to print and sign their name on the sellers area on the back of the title. All of this documentation is required at the time of the vehicle donation.

Do I have to pay for transporting my vehicle for donation?

No, you will not incur any costs. Step Denver will cover the cost of the vehicle pickup.

What if something happens to my vehicle once it’s picked up for donation transport? May I cancel my insurance after the vehicle is picked up?

When we take possession of the vehicle, the donor is no longer liable. The vehicle is covered by our insurance and the donor may cancel their insurance policy for the donated vehicle.

May I drop off my vehicle?

Yes, you may drop off your donated vehicle. Please call 303-296-9020 to make an appointment.