Departments of Health and Motor Vehicles Urge New Yorkers to Register as Organ Donors

Nearly 8,500 New Yorkers Await a Lifesaving Transplant

State Landmarks Were Lit Blue and Green on April 22 in Recognition of Donate Life Blue & Green Day

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 28, 2022) – The New York State Department of Health and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles today encourage New Yorkers to "Give the Gift of Life" by becoming organ and tissue donors through the NYS Donate Life Registry in recognition of National Donate Life Month.

"Choosing to become an organ donor is a decision that gives people waiting for a transplant a renewed chance at life," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett." With so many people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants, I urge New Yorkers to become organ donors and enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry, if they haven't already."

Recently, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles joined donor recipients and Donate Life NYS in Albany to encourage New Yorkers to join the organ donor registry.

State DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "We at DMV are so proud that about 95 percent of those who sign up to become organ donors do so through the DMV. We urge all New Yorkers to take this life-giving step, which has meant so much to so many organ donors and their families."

Ten percent of the national organ transplant waiting list is made up of New Yorkers. Unfortunately, almost 500 New Yorkers died last year because the organ they needed was not available in time, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Nationally, 17 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 nine minutes. Any New Yorker aged 16 and older is eligible to enroll in the Registry. Currently, 44.7 percent of eligible New York State residents have enrolled to be organ donors through the Registry.

Executive Director of Donate Life New York State Aisha Tator said, "New Yorkers are generous, kind and want to help others—they just need to know how. Anyone aged 16 and older can join the New York State Donate Life Registry and potentially save the lives of up to 8 people through organ donation and heal 75 more through tissue donation. Registering as an organ and tissue donor is an extraordinary act, and we encourage every New Yorker to sign up today and give someone in need the gift of life."

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

Under "Lauren's Law," DMV customers can also register as an organ donor by completing the donation section of their driver license or non-driver ID renewal application. The law is named for Lauren Shields, a Rockland County resident who received a life-saving heart transplant at age 9.

New Yorkers registering to vote can join the Registry by completing that section of the voter registration paper or online form at New Yorkers seeking health insurance through the NY State of Health Insurance Marketplace can enroll in the Registry here as well.

DMV also offers a Donate Life custom license plate to raise awareness and support critical research. When a consumer orders the plate, $20 of the annual fee is directed to the "Life Pass It On Trust Fund," which is used for organ donation and transplant research and educational programs promoting organ and tissue donation. Plates can be ordered on the DMV website at In addition, since 2020, New Yorkers have had the opportunity to contribute to the Fund when filing their income taxes.

New Yorkers also have the option of becoming an organ donor when applying for various licenses or certifications from the Department of State, as well as the Department of Health. People may also become an organ donor through the New York State of Health Official Health Plan Marketplace when applying for health insurance.

In support of the nearly 8,500 New Yorkers awaiting a lifesaving transplant, the following landmarks across the state were lit blue and green on Friday, April 22 which is national Donate Life Blue & Green Day:

  • Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
  • Kosciuszko Bridge
  • The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
  • State Education Building
  • Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
  • Empire State Plaza
  • Niagara Falls
  • The "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Mid-Hudson Bridge
  • Grand Central Terminal - Pershing Square Viaduct
  • Albany International Airport Gateway
  • The Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
  • MTA LIRR - East End Gateway at Penn Station
  • State Fairgrounds – Main Gate & Expo Center

Photos of the illuminated landmarks are available on the Department of Health's Flickr page.