Departments of Health and Motor Vehicles Remind New Yorkers to Register As Organ Donors On New York State Donor Enrollment Day

Events Statewide Seek to Increase Organ, Eye and Tissue Donations for New York State Donate Life Registry

More Than 84,000 New Yorkers Register for Donate Life Registry Through Expanded Outreach Efforts

ALBANY, NY (October 4, 2017) -- The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today reminded New York State residents that Wednesday, October 4, 2017 is New York State Organ Donor Enrollment Day. Events will be held statewide intended to increase the number of New Yorkers registered to be organ donors with the New York State Donate Life Registry.

"It is truly inspiring to see the overwhelmingly positive increase in the number of New Yorkers registering to become organ donors thanks to the recent organ donation initiatives spearheaded by Governor Cuomo," said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "I am thankful to all the New Yorkers that have made the commitment to be an organ donor, and I encourage even more people to consider enrolling in this important program."

"Organ donation is an incredibly kind gesture and one that delivers hope and promise to those in need," said DMV's Deputy Executive Commissioner Terri Egan. "This is an important initiative, and DMV remains committed to expanding opportunities for New Yorkers to enroll as an organ donor. By offering easy-to-access registration points, we continue to help New Yorkers become organ donors and change lives."

Research shows that while most New Yorkers support organ donation, only 28 percent of New York's eligible population is enrolled as an organ donor. According to the federal Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are currently on a list of the more than 118,000 people nationwide waiting for an organ transplant. On average, 22 people die each day in the United States from causes that could have been treated with a donated organ. In addition, tissue donated by one person can positively impact the lives of more than 50 other people.

Two significant donor registration initiatives in 2017 greatly expanded the numbers of New Yorkers who enrolled through the NYS Donate Life Registry. In May 2016, Governor Cuomo signed legislation requiring NY State of Health, New York's official health plan marketplace, to add the organ donation component to its health insurance application. As of April 21, 2017, individuals completing an application, renewing a plan, or making a life status change are now asked if they would like to be added to the NYS Donate Life Registry. Since adding the enrollment option to its marketplace application, 63,164 New Yorkers have become active enrollees in the NYS Donate Life Registry.

In February, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new legislation that makes 16 and 17 year olds eligible to register to be organ, eye and tissue donors. The new legislation enables this population to enroll in the registry at the same time they first apply for a driver license, learner permit or non-driver ID. Since the law took effect, a total of nearly 21,000 New Yorkers aged 16 and 17 have become active in the NYS Donate Life Registry.

New Yorkers can enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry through the following online options:

  • The NYS Department of Health website –
  • At the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website –
  • At the NYS Board of Elections website -
  • When applying for a New York City Identification Card –