Organ and Tissue Donor Registry available online

New Yorkers can now enroll in the State’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry online through MyDMV, according to the State Department of Motor Vehicles and State Health Department.

This new service will reduce barriers to potential donors and increase life saving transplants. Currently, more than 2.7 million New Yorkers are registered as organ donors, but that number represents only 18 percent of the possible donors in the state. The national average is 42 percent.

"The need is great," said DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala. "More than 113,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants, including almost 10,000 New Yorkers. Every day, an average of 18 people die while waiting for organ transplants in the U.S., and every 10 minutes another name is added to the waiting list. Each month, more than 40,000 generous New Yorkers sign up as organ donors through DMV. But to meet the need, we must do better."

"Organ donation is truly lifesaving," said State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. "One person who donates organs can save up to eight lives while a tissue donor can improve 50 more lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infection in burn patients, and preventing the loss of arms or legs. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and a renewed collaboration among state agencies and stakeholders, we have created an online option that takes just a few minutes to complete, but will significantly impact the thousands of New Yorkers who are waiting for an organ donation."

MyDMV, launched by the Department of Motor Vehicles last September, provides DMV customers with secure access to a variety of online services. A MyDMV account requires you to enter personal identification information that DMV can use to verify your identity to create a single, secure username and password. In addition to registering to be an organ donor, the benefits provided with a MyDMV account include changing your address, signing-up for registration and inspection renewal reminders and obtaining a copy of your driving record.

The New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, or Donate Life Registry, is a confidential, computerized system that maintains a list of an individual’s consent to donate his/her organs upon death. Under State law, the registry can only be accessed to determine an individual’s donation status after death and only by a federally approved organ procurement organization or licensed eye and tissue bank. Enrolling to be an organ donor will not affect one’s medical care and/or funeral arrangements, and there is no cost to the donor’s family. Anyone over age 18 can sign up to be a potential organ donor, regardless of their medical history.

During the online sign-up process, prospective donors will be required to provide basic information found on their license or non-driver ID including date of birth, zip code, and last four digits of the Social Security number. Procedures and controls built into this process ensure the authenticity, integrity, security and confidentiality.

Organs for life-saving transplants include heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, and small intestine. Examples of tissues that could save or enhance someone’s life include eyes and corneas, heart valves, bones, and skin grafts. Organs and tissues are distributed fairly and equitably based on medical criteria. Financial or celebrity status has no bearing on determining who receives a transplant, state officials said.

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