Governor says 2.6 million have enrolled as organ donors since 2015

Posted 11 October 2019 at 11:37 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

On New York State Organ Donor Enrollment Day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday urged New York State residents to register as organ donors through the newly-modernized New York State Donate Life Registry.

According to the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are among the 113,000 Americans currently awaiting an organ transplant. Nationally, 20 people each day die while awaiting a match for a transplant, according to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. A person is added to the wait list every 10 minutes, but one donor can save as many as eight lives.

“New York State has made it easier than ever to become an organ donor,” Governor Cuomo said. “Now when you’re signing up for health insurance or renewing your license, you have a chance to potentially save a life by simply checking a box.”

Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order in 2017 that made increasing the number of registered organ donors a priority, directing the State Health Department to work with all state agencies, Donate Life NYS and other partners, to provide the public with additional opportunities to register as organ donors through the NYS Donate Life Registry. That directive has helped to drive enrollment numbers through new portals such as the New York State of Health Insurance Marketplace, where 213,252 people have enrolled to become donors while purchasing or renewing their health insurance plans since the option was introduced in April 2017.

Registering through the DMV is one of the simplest ways to sign up to be part of the organ donor registry. As of this week, more than 5 million of the 5.9 million enrolled in the registry did so through the DMV. The DMV includes on its driver’s license application and renewal forms the choice for New Yorkers to enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry.

Under “Lauren’s Law,” named for Lauren Shields, a Rockland County resident who received a life-saving heart transplant at age 9, DMV customers are required to check one of two boxes related to organ donation for their driver’s license or non-driver ID application to be processed.

In 2017, 16-and 17-year-olds became able to register their consent to donate the first time they applied for their permit, driver’s license or non-driver ID. As of this week, more than 60,665 people in this age group have signed up to become donors, and since 2015, these initiatives and legislative actions have in total yielded more than 2.6 million new donors.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “We are working hard in New York State to increase the number of organ, eye and tissue donors. Through collaboration across state agencies, we are highlighting the need for life-saving organs and seizing on opportunities that put the choice to donate front-and-center for New Yorkers by reminding them during everyday activities of the importance of becoming an organ donor.”

Donate Life New York State Executive Director Aisha Tator said, “There are thousands of New York’s men, women and children currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. This annual event serves as a rallying cry to encourage New Yorkers to help save a life by enrolling as organ donors. Enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry is a way to ensure that individuals’ wishes about donation after death will be clearly known and carried out.”

Don’t wait, enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry online today through the following online options:

The NYS Donate Life Registry website –

The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website –

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