What do I need to do to ensure my organs are donated once I die?

Many people who need transplants of organs and tissues cannot get them because of a shortage of donations. Every month, more than 2,000 new names are added to the national waiting list for organ transplants, and about 18 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Organ and tissue donation helps others by giving them a second chance at life.

Identifying yourself as an organ and/or tissue donor for a deceased donation is simple. Simply visit the Donate Life America website at and choose your state of residence to learn about the options in your area, which might include:
  • joining your state's online registry for donation, if one is available
  • declaring your intentions on your driver's license
  • signing a donor card
Signing a donor card, registry or driver's license is a good first step in designating your wishes about donation, but letting your family or other loved ones know about your decision is vitally important. That's because family members are often asked to give consent for a loved one's donation, so it's important that they know your wishes.

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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.