There’s an important question we ask anyone that applies for a driver’s license or ID card – would you like to become an organ and tissue donor? Although many people don’t realize it, driver’s license and ID card applications are the number one way people become donors. In Iowa, 95 percent of the people on the organ and tissue donor list signed up through the Iowa DOT. The employees in our driver and identification service centers, including the county treasurer’s offices that offer driver and identification services, play an invaluable role in increasing the number of registered organ, eye, and tissue donors.
During National DMV Celebration week, Sept. 25-29, Iowa Donor Network volunteers stopped by several Iowa DOT service centers and county treasurer’s offices to say thank you for the partnership and commitment to asking the donation question to their customers every day, helping to save and heal lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Suzanne Conrad, chief executive officer of the Iowa Donor Network, said, “Our partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation, working through their service centers and the county treasurer’s offices, has continued to grow over the years. I’m convinced that the support of the Iowa DOT in training staff on the importance of organ and tissue donation has led to more people signing up and lives being saved.”
Mark Lowe, Iowa DOT director, said, “Our partnership with the Iowa Donor Network and our role in organ and tissue donation is very important to us. Asking someone to become an organ and tissue donor is a simple question that has terrific, positive impact. In the last several years we have put real focus and attention on asking that question the right way, every time and for every customer. As a result, we have seen the percentage of customers that are organ donors rise from just over 50 percent to almost 60 percent. And although that’s great, we want to do even better – there are currently more than 123,000 people in the U.S. on the transplant waiting list and more than 700 here in Iowa. We want as many people as possible to know they can do this and how to do it – all they have to do is say “Yes.”
Saying “yes” when you apply for a driver’s license or ID card automatically puts your name on the national donor registry. But if you didn’t become a donor when you got your last driver’s license or ID card, you don’t have to wait until your next one. You can sign up to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor anytime, through the National Donate Life Registry.