Donate Your Vehicle

The options for vehicle donations to support America's Car Museum are many. Naturally, stock, original un-restored, vintage, rare, classic or show cars carry the greatest value, but even an ‘everyday’ vehicle can generate support for the Museum.

We review property donations in two ways, those that are accepted into the museum's display collection and those that go to public auction with the proceeds going to support the Museum. Both options are completely tax deductible to the donor. However, as with any Museum, our collection is growing and changing so for any donation, we choose not to commit to a set of stipulations that may hinder future displays, restoration efforts, or sale at public auctions. 

To start the review process, we shall need some basic information: the year, make and model of the donation, and its current condition. Please also include a couple of recent photographs. We will determine the best option for your donation and how to best utilize the car. Some vehicles are kept in their original condition for display, and some are placed at public auction.

Click here to Download our Vehicle Donation Questionnaire

As for the paperwork, it’s pretty simple. A clear and signed title is required. If you wish to claim a deduction for your donation when you file your taxes, the Museum will provide the documentation as specified by IRS regulations. The Museum as the recipient of the donation cannot do an appraisal nor set a value on the item for the donor. You may need to acquire an independent appraisal if you feel your vehicle value is over $5,000, but you do not need an appraisal for the donation if the vehicle is donated for auction sale.  

We can also accept property such as RV's and Boats for direct sale at auction. Such sale donations (car, truck, motorcycle, RV, or boat) can go a long way in the support of LeMay – AMERICA'S CAR MUSEUM. The amount achieved at the auction sale will be the donation value credited to the donor.  Please Email the Collection Manager or call the Museum at 253.779.8490.

Frequently asked questions:

Does my vehicle have to be running to qualify for a donation?

No, the vehicle must be intact and movable. Car parts in boxes cost us more to move and sell than the resulting proceeds gained, so generally we cannot take project cars. Contact our representative to find out if your vehicle qualifies.

Does my vehicle have to be a vintage or classic car?

No. The Museum will sort out how to best utilize the value of your donation. Some are kept for museum display and some are placed at public auction.

Will the Museum accept a car with stipulations?

No. We do not accept donations with stipulations or requirements. Our collection is growing and changing and we choose not to commit to a set of stipulations that may hinder future displays, restoration efforts, or sale at public auctions.

How much paperwork is there?

For you as donor, the key piece of paperwork for a vehicle donation is a clear and signed title in the name of the donor without a lien. If you have misplaced the title you can get a duplicate title through your state Department of Licensing. The Museum provides a few documents that must be completed to record the donation, and we will assist you with completeion of the documents. The type of documentation we provide you is determined by IRS regulations.

So how does the IRS get involved?

If you wish to take credit for a donation when you file your taxes, the IRS has guidelines for you and the Museum. We notify the IRS of your donation and when you file your taxes you need to document the value of the donation. Specific forms and guidelines will be provided by our representative and they can provide the resources you need to document your deduction and comply with IRS regulations.

If  the dontaed vehicle or property is sold at an auction, the sale price determines the amount you can claim.

If we agree to retain your car or property for the Collection and it is valued under $5,000, you can use one of the many guides to determine its current fair market value.  However, if the value of your vehicle or donated property is over $5,000, you will need to involve a certified appraiser. We can direct you to lists of eligible independent appraisers upon request. The appraisal can be dated no more than sixty (60) days prior to the donation and must be dated prior to your submission as a donation when you file your taxes.

Appraisers are certified by associations of appraisers and those certified with be cognizant of requirements they must meet for the IRS to recognize their work. The costs of appraisal are the responsibility of the donor may also tax deductible as part of the donation expenses.

Can I leave my treasured car to the Museum in my will?

Yes, we accept donations in this manner, please consult your estate planner or for more information please contact us.

How can I check out the IRS requirements for myself?

The easiest way is to go to their web site at For Vehicle donations, look up Publication 4303 titled A Donor’s Guide to Car Donations

How does my car get to the Museum?

We can arrange to have it picked up at a convenient time for you. Cars donated to the museum for our vehicle sale program (to go to auction) will be picked up by local sources at no cost to the donor. A car that will be accepted to the exhibiting ACM Collection will need to be delivered to Tacoma Washington if not in the local area. Any shipping expenses to the Donor may also tax deductible as part of the donation expenses.

Is the Museum interested in donations of vehicle related materials?

Yes! Automotive research materials and other items we call "Automobilia" are accepted. Some items might be:
  • Vintage Garage Signs and Gas Pumps
  • Vintage Car Brochures
  • Automotive Books
  • Car Manuals
  • Mechanic/Repair Manuals
  • Automotive Collectibles
  • Vehicle Accessories

Click here to download our Property Donation Questionnaire (non-vehicle)

Please note: At this time we are not accepting magazine donations.
Do you have any questions? Please email the Collections Manager or call the Museum at 253-683-3967.
More helpful information: See our Blog post "What's my car worth?"