You fill out an application to the DMV when you apply for a driver’s licence or renew an existing ID. This includes important information about you personal identity. After completing the application, you will be asked for information about your height, weight, and eye color. Then, you will pose for your photo. Many drivers forget to check one box on their license applications: the option to register as organ donors. Even if you do not check this box at first, there are many options for registration after the fact, including online.
Almost every driver in the United States is required to carry car insurance, which is important in the event of a collision. If you collide with another driver, or their vehicle is damaged or injures, it protects you from legal and financial consequences. Drivers don’t think about what could happen if their lives were lost in a fatal car accident. Although it is difficult to imagine yourself in such a situation you can register to be an organ donor to help someone else if they are ever in need.
Fatal auto collisions
In 2019, there were an estimated 6,756,000 car accidents in the United States. Most car accidents are minor like parking lot collisions or fender benders. Serious car accidents can happen. Of the total number, 36,096 fatalities were involved in accidents in 2019.
It is hard to believe that every driver could be in a fatal car crash. In fact, data from the CDC shows that traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1-54. More people are killed in car accidents worldwide than HIV/AIDS.
Even though fatalities are extremely tragic, you can check the organ donor box on your driver’s license application to save someone’s life waiting for organ donation. You can have peace of mind knowing that you may be able, in the unlikely event of an unthinkable, to save someone’s life.
How organ donors help
Although it is not necessary to register as an organ donor, it could prove very beneficial for the people you offer an organ match to. You could give another person a chance at survival by becoming an organ donor.
Many drivers find it difficult to accept the idea of being an organ donor. It puts their mortality in perspective. There are many misconceptions about becoming an organ donor. Here are some things to know if you are considering becoming an organ donor.
Learn the facts
It can take many years for a donor to be found when someone is in need of an organ transplant. Most people with serious illnesses don’t have the time or patience to wait for a donor. Here are some facts about organ donation.
- On average, roughly 36,000 Americans receive a life-saving transplant every year.
- Every day, about 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant.
- More than 106,000 people from all walks of life are on the waiting list to receive an organ transplant.
- One organ donor can save eight lives.
- Each nine minutes, a new person, woman, or child is added on to the transplant waiting lists.
- Kidneys are the most needed organ donation, followed by livers, hearts and lungs.
- In 2020, 39,000 organ transplants took place in the United States.
- Just about every major religion is accepting of organ donation.
Many people are misinformed about organ donation. This can lead to hesitation in joining the donor registry. These are the top five most common myths about organ donation.
- There are already enough organ donors.
- Organ donation is only possible for family members.
- Celebrities and wealthy people have priority over everyone else on waiting lists.
- If your organs have been donated, you cannot have an open-casket funeral.
- Your family will be financially responsible for organ donation after your death.
- To become an organ donor, you must be young.
- If they are seriously injured, organ donors will not be given lifesaving measures.
- Only when you renew or get your driver’s licence can you register to donate organs.
How to register each state
Registering as an organ donor is easy. There are no physical exams or medical histories required. You have several options to complete the registration.
Register at the DMV
You can register to donate organs when you get your driver’s licence at the DMV. You simply need to check the box on the license application form that indicates you wish to register as a donor. Your status as an organ donor will be indicated on your driver’s licence when you get your new license.
What other ways can I register?
Online registration is possible for those who already hold a driver’s licence or state ID. You can also choose the organs that you want to donate when you register online. You can also choose to be a tissue donor.
There are other ways to give back
There are many ways you can help your community and help those in need if you don’t want to donate organs. These are some other options:
- Become a living organ donor: Signing up to become a living donor could allow you to provide organs and body tissues to loved ones or others in need of a transplant. Living donors can donate organs, skin, bone, and portions of their livers.
- Give blood: Data from the Red Cross shows that every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood and or platelets. Donating blood is an effective way to help people in need, and you can do it on your own time.
- Donate money to health organizations. Many important health organizations accept donations from charitable organizations to support their work and help more people access life-saving treatment.
- Volunteer at your local hospital: There are many hospitals looking for volunteers. You don’t necessarily have to be a doctor. Volunteers may be able greet patients and provide comfort items for patients after procedures.
- Become a plasma donor: If you qualify, consider donating plasma, which is similar to the process of giving blood. Plasma transfusions can be used to treat many conditions including cancer and severe burns.