How can I become an organ donor?

This information pertains to New York State, but may be applicable in other states as well.

There are several ways for you to become an organ or tissue donor:

- Check the box on your application for a new or renewed driver's license/nondriver identification card either at the Department of Motor Vehicle's offices or received by mail.

- Download the Registry form at the New York State Department of Health web site:

- The recommended method to become a donor is to sign the New York State Donate Life Registry ( There is less emphasis on signing your driver's license, although it is a good idea to do that if you can. Remember to tell your loved ones that you have made a legally binding decision to be a donor.

For other states or for more information about donation, please visit the Donate Life America web site at

Each organ and tissue donor saves or improves the lives of as many as 50 people. Giving the "Gift of Life" may also lighten the grief of the donor's own family. Many donor families say that knowing other lives have been saved helps them cope with their tragic loss. To become an organ donor, follow the steps given below:

Register with your state donor registry, if available. Designate your decision on your driver's license. Sign a donor card and carry it with you. Talk to your family. To help your family understand and carry out your wishes, tell your loved ones about your decision to be an organ and tissue donor. They can serve as your advocates and may be asked to give their consent for donation or provide information to the transplant team.

This answer is based on source information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Most states allow you to register as an organ donor when you renew or register your state ID or driver's license. Most states also have organ donation registries that allow donors to do online registration. If you sign and carry an organ donation card, it will provide your consent for your organs to be donated, in the event of your death.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Save a life by becoming an organ donor. To learn more about how to donate your organs, watch this video by Dr. Oz. 

Diana K. Blythe, MD
You can become an organ donor when you renew your driver's license in the majority of states. A simple click of the mouse can save many lives. In addition, consider a bone marrow donation registry. 
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Here's how to become an organ donor -- a life-giving hero: Sign the donor box on the back of your driver's license when you get it or renew it, or go to and sign your state's organ and tissue registry. It's really something to know that after you die the beat can still go on!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.