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Some organizations may try to pose illegally as charitable organizations to get your car donation. Charities commonly are nonprofit education, religious and charitable organizations. They are registered as 501(c)3 organizations. Churches, colleges, agencies serving the needy may be charities.
Many also offer vehicle donation programs. To learn if a charity is registered properly, you can check IRS Publication 78. An easier way is to ask to see the charity's documents showing its tax-exempt status. Many states also require charities to register with state charity regulators, the state Attorney General, or the Secretary of State. These offices are a resource for people who seek to donate a car but want to verify the status of the charity.