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Become an Organ and Tissue Donor

When you apply for a new learner’s permit, drivers license, or photo ID card, or when you apply to renew any of these documents online, you will be asked to choose whether or not you wish to be an organ and tissue donor. Your designation will be marked on the front of your license or ID card with a red heart. If you are under 18, you must obtain your parent’s or legal guardian’s written consent. If you register through the DMV in person or online, your wishes will be part of the organ and tissue donor registry and also indicated on your drivers license. You may also register online at www.DonateLifeDC.org, the District’s organ and tissue donor registry. If you use this method, you will get a organ and tissue donor card to print and carry with you. Either method is legal documentation of your desire to save lives.

Here is some information to help you make an informed decision:

  • You can be a potential organ, tissue and eye donor regardless of your age or medical history.
  • You have the ability to save eight lives and aid countless others through donation.
  • The level of medical care you receive in any hospital is not affected by a signed donor card.
  • There is no cost or payment to your family or your estate when you become a donor.
  • There is no change in the appearance of the body after donation and no interference in funeral plans, including an open casket.
  • The principals and practices of organ, tissue and eye donation are approved and supported by all major religious denominations.
  • All patients on waiting lists throughout the country are registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) computer network. Organs are placed based on blood type, size, weight, severity of illness and time on the waiting list. They are not allocated based on fame, wealth or political power.

In the Washington, DC area, there are at least 2,200 patients waiting for this life-saving gift. Several will die each week waiting, and more will be added to the list each day. Choose to be an organ and tissue donor and tell your family about your decision.

For more information, go to www.DonateLifeDC.org, www.BeADonor.org, www.unos.org, www.donatelife.net, www.transplantliving.org, or www.organdonor.gov or call the Washington Regional Transplant Community at 1-866-BE-A-DONOR.

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