New York State Department of Health Urges New Yorkers to Register as Organ Donors on Donate Life Day
One Organ Donor can Save up to Eight Lives
Register as an Organ or Tissue Donor Here
ALBANY, N.Y. (February 14, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health urges New Yorkers on Valentine's Day to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others by becoming an organ donor. National Donate Life Day is observed each year on February 14 to spread awareness and education about the lifesaving impact of organ and tissue donation.
"Enrolling as an organ donor is a tremendous act of kindness that can give someone the second chance at life they've been waiting for," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "I encourage all New Yorkers, if they haven't already, to take a few minutes and join the donor registry today. Someone's life may depend on it."
There are almost 8,100 New Yorkers currently on the national transplant waiting list; some wait years before getting the call that an organ is available, and for many that call never comes. Over 750 New Yorkers died or were removed from the waitlist in 2022 because they were too sick to undergo a transplant procedure or they passed away because an organ was not available in time.
Just one organ donor can save up to eight lives, while eye and tissue donors can improve the health and lives of up to 75 people in need. Tissue transplants can be used for breast reconstruction for cancer survivors, save the lives of burn victims, or allow someone to walk again.
Donors can determine what they want to give, including specific organs and tissues, as well as identify whether the donation is for transplant, research, or both.
By joining the registry, New Yorkers can donate organs, eyes, and tissues, including:
- Organs: Heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines.
- Tissues: Eyes, corneas, skin, bone, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage, and connective tissues.
All New Yorkers 16 and older can register to save lives by enrolling through the New York State Donate Life Registry or through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The registration database is confidential, and individuals can access their registration at any time to make changes.
In New York, 84 percent of current registrants have done so through the DMV when applying for or renewing their driver's license, learner's permit, or non-driver ID.
"DMV is proud to be the number one way New Yorkers register to become an organ donor, and Valentine's Day is a perfect time to register," DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said. "We strongly encourage more New Yorkers to enroll as the need is so great."
DMV also offers a "Donate Life" custom license plate to raise awareness and support critical research. When a consumer orders the plate, $20 of the annual fee is directed to the "Life Pass It On Trust Fund," which is used for organ donation and transplant research and educational programs promoting organ and tissue donation. Plates can be ordered on the DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/plates/life-pass-it.
Additional ways to enroll include:
- When applying for health insurance through the New York State of Health Official Health Plan Marketplace.
- When registering to vote, complete and sign page 3 of the voter registration form.
- When completing a paper enrollment form that can be found at donatelife.ny.gov or one of many Registry enrollment events held statewide.
Frequently asked questions about organ donation and the registry can be found here.