Editor’s Note: On Thursday, Aug. 20, the Department of Transportation, or DOT, announced that the “Cash for Clunkers” program will conclude Monday, Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. EDT. The DOT advised dealers to only conduct transactions under the program with consumers who have all of their paperwork ready to submit to the dealer during the transaction, as dealers will only have until Aug. 24 to submit completed applications for reimbursement. Consumers can review the program’s requirements at 6 Steps to Cash for Clunkers.

Dear Driving for Dollars,
The Jeep I have belonged to my parents, and I had been driving it and was insured with it for the past year, but I only became the official “owner” in May. Will this affect my eligibility for the “cash for clunkers” program? Must I have been the owner for a full year, or must it have just been driven and used for the past year? Help!
— So not a Jeep thang

Dear So not a Jeep thang,
You are out of luck. To meet the eligibility requirements for a $3,500 or $4,500 credit in the CAR Allowance Rebate System, the official name for the “cash for clunkers” program, you must have been the owner of the vehicle for at least one year, on both the registration and the title. Complete details of how the program works can be found at “How to use ‘cash for clunkers.’

Tara Baukus Mello is a freelance writer who has written about automotive topics of interest to consumers since 1995. If you have a car question, e-mail it to us at Driving for Dollars.

More From Bankrate