Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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Become a Donor

Every day more and more people are making the decision to be organ and tissue donors. By the choosing to become a donor you are making a heroic and potentially life-saving decision.



5 Ways to Become an Organ Donor in New York State

If you would like to become an organ, eye and tissue donor, you should enroll with the New York State Donate Life Registry. You may do so in five different ways, whichever is more convenient for you:

  1. Sign up at the DMV office when you go there to apply for or to renew your driver’s license or non-driver ID.
  2. Enroll online if you have a New York driver’s license or non-driver ID card by creating a MyDMV account  on the New York State DMV website.
  3. Download a form online , complete and sign it, and  mail it in. This form is available on the New York State Department of Health’s website.
  4. Download this Donor Registry PDF form, fill it in, sign and mail it to the York State Department of Health.
  5. Request that a donor registry form be mailed to you. You can do so by contacting Amy James at Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.  Email Amy James  (Amy_Jamesaturmcdotrochesterdotedu)   or call her on 585-272-4930.

Have questions? Check out this Donor Registry Q&A

Did you know? You can also become a donor when you register to vote in New York State. (PDF)


Sign Up with the Donate Life Registry

New York Dept of HealthBy enrolling in the registry, you are giving legal consent to donate organs and tissues at the time of death. This is an important and vital step to go on record officially as a donor. Even if you carry a donor card, you should joing the Donate Life Registry.

Not from New York? Then visit Donate Life America to find your state’s donor registry.



Inform your family and friends

It is essential that you tell your family members and those close to you about your organ donation decision. Your next-of-kin and family members will be consulted at the time of death, so there should be no question in their minds about your decision. Here are some quick ways to share your decision

  • Have a dinner table discussion. Tell your family members that you want to give the gift of life.
  • Post your decision on Facebook by providing a link to our website at or like us by clicking on the Facebook link above.
  • Tweet about it. If you have a following on Twitter, share information about organ donation.
  • Email your family now.  Some suggested language for a message is included below. Send Email Now!  (yourfamilyandfriendsatremovethisaddressdotcom?subject=My%20Decision%20to%20Be%20an%20Organ%20Donor&body=)  

I’m writing to tell you that I have decided to be an organ donor. This is important to me and I’d like you to know so that my decision is carried out when the time comes. You can learn more about organ and tissue donation by exploring these websites: Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network at andDonate Life America at


Add “Organ Donor” to Your Drivers License

New York drivers license with organ donor designation.

New York drivers license with organ donor designation.

When you receive your New York Drivers License or a non-driver ID, you may request to have the words “Organ Donor” and the organ donor heart symbol displayed. While taking this step is important, the information on your drivers license is not connected with the New York Donate Life Registry at this time. We encourage you to sign up with both. Link to locate a local New York Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.


Complete a Healthcare Proxy or Living Will

The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint someone you trust – for example, a family member or close friend – to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. In the healthcare proxy, you may state your wishes regarding organ and tissue donation. You may also complete a Living Will document that clearly spells about your donation decision. Sometimes these documents are prepared with the help of doctor or attorney. Download a healthcare proxy or living will document below.

New York Healthcare Proxy Document – English (PDF)

New York Healthcare Proxy Document – Spanish (PDF)


Additional Resources:

Donate Life New York

New York State Department of Health

Compassion and Support – End of Life Planning Sitemap



  • Register as a Donor Today!

    You have the power to give life. Sign up with the New York Donate Life Registry now.

    Learn More

  • Facts About Organ Donation

    • If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the FIRST PRIORITY for emergency physicians and nurses is to SAVE YOUR LIFE, regardless of whether or not you have registered to be an organ donor.
    • Everyone waiting for a transplant is treated fairly and with respect. Objective medical criteria determine how donated organs are allocated to patients on the transplant waiting list.
    • All major religions approve of organ donation.
    • Check out "10 Facts About Organ Donation"
  • Explore the Interactive Body

    interactive body graphic

    Explore the illustrated, interactive body to learn about the organs and tissues that can be transplanted.


    Launch Interactive

  • Event Calendar

    July 2014
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  • © Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, Corporate Woods of Brighton, Building 30, Suite 220, Rochester, NY 14623 (800) 810-5494