My family donated two vehicles to Melwood last August ["Her Donated Car Kept Coming Back," Style, March 3]. As instructed, on the day of donation we noted the change of ownership on the title, returned our tags to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and notified our insurance provider to cancel coverage.

The next month, one of those vehicles was ticketed 11 times in the District. We were shocked to learn that the car had been traced to us through the vehicle identification number and that we were being held responsible for hundreds of dollars in fines because the title had never been transferred.

Melwood did not rectify the situation. It took us six months to clear the tickets. We later learned that Maryland recommends sending a notarized letter to the Glen Burnie office of the Motor Vehicle Administration requesting that all databases be updated to reflect a vehicle's ownership change.


New Carrollton


Some nonprofits take donated cars in order to turn them over to needy individuals and families. My agency, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, does not send the car to the auction block or salvage shop for cash for other programs. Our car donation program is a ministry to the poor.

We process more than 100 cars a year, accepting automobiles in working condition, matching them to clients on our roster and then ensuring that the cars are re-registered in the new owners' names.

Our sincere thanks to those who donate their cars to us.


Executive Director

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington