Wolf Administration Reminds License, ID Card Holders That Organ Donation Can Save Lives

April 04, 2017

Harrisburg, PA –  With April marking National Donate Life Month, today Governor Tom Wolf reminded driver’s license and identification card holders that they can easily help another person live a fuller, longer life by registering online as an organ donor.

“Potential donors considering adding the organ donor designation to their driver’s license or identification card do not have to wait for their renewal notices to take action,” said Governor Tom Wolf.  “There are steps that you can take today to become an organ donor and potentially save a life.”

To add the organ donor designation to an existing driver’s license or identification card today, visit www.dmv.pa.gov and select the “Donate Life Pennsylvania” icon. Once the designation is added, individuals will receive a designation card that they must carry with them to affirm organ donor status until they renew or replace their driver’s license or identification card. There is no charge for adding the designation to your driver’s license or identification card.

More than 47 percent of driver’s license and identification card holders are registered organ donors – that’s more than 4.7 million Pennsylvanians. Nearly 8,000 Pennsylvanians currently await organ transplants.

Driver’s license and identification card holders, as well as registered vehicle owners, can also support organ donation programs by donating $1 to the Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund at the time of application and/or renewal. Proceeds from the fund are used to educate and promote awareness of the organ donor program through non-profit organizations like the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and the Gift of Life Donor Program. Pennsylvanians have generously donated nearly $14 million to the fund to date.

Additionally, Governor Wolf called on the General Assembly to take up proposed comprehensive reforms to the Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Program (OTDAP) to bring the program in line with best-practices. Pennsylvania was among the first states in the nation to establish an organ donation program in 1994 and the program remains a national example of effective government leadership to promote organ and tissue donation and save lives. However, the law has not been updated in more than twenty-years to keep pace with developments and best practices in the field.

Last year, modernization bills were debated in both chambers of the General Assembly, but no agreement on a comprehensive update was reached. The governor looks forward to working with the General Assembly on a bill to modernize OTDAP so that it can continue to effectively serve the more than 8,000 Pennsylvanians waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

“There are some badly-needed changes that almost every other state has adopted that would modernize the donation process, potentially saving many lives,” said Governor Wolf.

More information on organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania can be found at http://www.donatelifepa.org/.

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