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Press Release

Publish Date: 3/29/2019

Montgomery County DMV Encourages Lifesaving Donations During Donate Life Month

FONDA, NY - The Montgomery County Department of Motor Vehicles office is partnering with Donate Life New York State throughout the month of April and participating in Donate Life Month, in an effort to increase enrollment in the Donate Life Registry.

Donate Life Month is a national month-long observance aimed at raising public awareness of the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donation, as nearly 9,500 New Yorkers currently wait for transplants.

During the month of April, the Montgomery County DMV office will be encouraging the public to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and the impact it has on thousands of New Yorkers. The office will be filled with promotional items that urge New Yorkers to make a difference and give the gift of life by registering as donors. Enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry is a way to ensure that an individual's wishes about donation will be known at the time of their death.

"DMV offices are on the frontlines of this battle. This is where New Yorkers can make the important decision to be a hero to a person in need and give the gift of life," explained Aisha Tator, Executive Director of Donate Life NYS.

"Promoting organ donation in the DMV offices during Donate Life Month will make a huge impact on enrollment numbers," Tator said. "The more awareness we build around donation, the more lives we can save and improve."

New York has the third highest need for donors in the country, yet the second lowest percentage of registered donors. Out of the approximately 9,500 New Yorkers on the waiting list, over 1,700 have been waiting for life saving and improving transplants for more than five years. Each year, an estimated 400 men, women and children in the state die because to the shortage of donors.

"It is so important to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation because being a donor saves lives," Montgomery County Clerk Brittany Kolbe said. "According to New York State’s Donate Life Registry, Montgomery County currently has nearly 40,000 potential enrollees who are not registered as organ donors. I hope that by raising awareness during Donate Life Month, that number can be lowered."

New Yorkers age 16 and older can enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry at their local DMV offices when applying for their junior driver license. This opportunity can also be found on the forms used to apply or renew a driver license or non-driver identification card. When you enroll through this method, a symbol of a heart and the words "Organ Donor" will be printed on the front of your driver license or non-driver identification card at no extra cost.

New Yorkers can also enroll electronically through the MyDMV website* if they have a driver license or non-driver identification card. Enrolling through this method will not result in a new driver license or non-driver identification card with a heart symbol and the words "Organ Donor".

New Yorkers have the unique opportunity to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry through the voter registration form and when applying for health insurance through the New York State of Health*.

Most recently, New Yorkers can now register online through the new New York State Donate Life Registry website*.

Additionally, New Yorkers can show their support for organ and tissue donation by purchasing a "Life-Pass It On" custom license plate from the DMV. They can also show support by making a voluntary $1 contribution to organ transplant research, education and donation promotion projects by checking off the box on their driver license or non-driver identification application or renewal form.

Donate Life NYS is a not-for-profit with a mission to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion, and research. Their goal is to ensure a transplant for every New Yorker in need. Donate Life NYS is comprised of the four organ procurement organizations, four eye and tissue banks and/or processors, and affiliates, including dedicated donation and transplantation professionals.