New York State Department of Health Urges New Yorkers to Register as Organ Donors on National Donor Day

All New Yorkers 16 Years Old and Over Can Register to Save Lives by Registering as an Organ and Tissue Donor

Register as an Organ and/or Tissue Donor Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 14, 2024) – The New York State Department of Health encourages New Yorkers on Valentine's Day to register as an organ donor and positively change someone's life. National Donor Day is observed annually on February 14 to spread awareness and education about the lifesaving impact of organ and tissue donation.

"What could be more loving than saving a life - how about saving eight lives? This Valentines Day, take a few minutes to spread the love by enrolling as a donor in the New York State Donate Life Registry," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Just one donor can save the lives of up to eight people while tissue donors can make a meaningful difference in the lives of up to 75 people in need. We thank those who have enrolled and we remember those that have given this gift of life."

There are almost 8,000 New Yorkers currently on the national transplant waiting list; approximately 7,000 of them are waiting for a kidney. Some people wait years before getting the call that an organ is available for them, and for others that call never comes. Each year, almost 500 New Yorkers die because an organ does not come in time to save their lives.

Tissue transplants include corneas from donated eyes, skin that can be used for breast reconstruction for cancer survivors, skin that can save the lives of burn victims, or other tissues that allow a person to walk again.

In joining the NYS Donate Life Registry donors give legal consent to the donation of their organs, tissues, and eyes in the event of their death. 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, 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 age 16 and older can register to save lives by enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry or through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The registration database is confidential, and individuals can access their registration at any time to make changes.

In New York, roughly 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, registering a vehicle or via the myDMV website.

DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "DMV takes pride in being the most common way New Yorkers join the organ donor registry, and we work hard to make sure our customers know they have the option to make this life-saving choice when they visit our offices or go on our website. I encourage everyone to join the registry and give hope to the thousands of New Yorkers who are on the transplant waiting list."

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

Additional ways to enroll include:

Frequently asked questions about organ donation and the registry can be found here.