Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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New York Donor Registry Q&A

You’d like to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. So, what do you have to do? This Q&A section will answer many of your questions.


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Q: Is it enough just to sign the back of my New York driver’s license?

Signing the back of your driver’s license is an acceptable place to state your intentions organ donation. However, if the situation arises when you can give the gift of life it may be difficult to locate your driver’s license or non-driver ID card. If your card isn’t found, no one will know about your important decision.

Q: If signing my driver’s license isn’t enough, what should I do?

Good question! The key is to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Officially enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry is the best way to document your wishes. When you enroll, you are legally consenting to donating organs, eyes and tissues. No one else can reverse your decision.

Q: Does it mean that signing the back of my license doesn’t enroll me in the registry?

That’s correct.

Q: How old do I have to be to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry?

You have to be at least 16. There is no upper age limit to registering as an organ and tissue donor. In fact, even people in their 90s have been healthy enough to give the gift of life.

Q: Okay, then how can I enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry?

We have great news! New York State residents can now enroll in the organ and tissue donor registry online! It only takes a minute or two to complete the form.

Q: What if I don’t want to enroll online? Is there a way I can get of an enrollment form some other way and mail it in?

A new enrollment form is available to download, print and complete. You may either email the form to registryatdonatelifedotnydotgov  (registryatdonatelifedotnydotgov)   or mail it to: Donate Life New York State, 185 Jordan Road, Troy, NY 12180.

Enrollment forms in various languages may also be downloaded here.

You can also request that a donor registry form be mailed to you. Simply contact Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network at 585-272-4930.

Q: Can I still sign up at the DMV?

Yes. The most common way to register as an organ and tissue donor is through the DMV office when applying for or renewing your learner’s permit, driver’s license or non-driver ID. There’s a question on the application form that asks if you wish to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Once you answer “yes” you are officially registered. After a few weeks, you’ll receive an acknowledgement in the mail. If you are receiving a new driver’s license card, the words “organ donor” and a heart symbol will be printed on the front of it at no extra cost.

Q: What if… I don’t need to go to the DMV any time soon? …I already have a driver’s license or non-driver ID, and now I want to register as a donor…or don’t have a driver’s license or non-driver ID? Can I enroll online in the registry?

Again, the great news is that New York State residents can now enroll as an organ and tissue donor completely online! This is a fully-electronic registry and no envelope or stamp is required!



Q: Is it true I can enroll as an organ donor when I register to vote in New York State?

Yes, New York State Voter Registration Application forms have a section allowing the opportunity to register as an organ donor.

Q: Should I tell my family members that I have enrolled?

We strongly recommend you inform your family that you’ve made the legally-binding decision to donate. That discussion ahead of time can help alleviate questions or concerns if something were to happen to you in the future.

Q: What if I change my mind after I enroll?

Should you change your mind about your decision to donate, simply complete a Donate Life New York State Removal Form to remove your name from the registry, you can.

Q: After I enroll in the registry, how can I fulfill my decision to save lives?

Only authorized personnel who are affiliated with organ procurement organizations, eye banks and tissue banks have access to the confidential database. They would confirm your registration. If you haven’t told your loved ones about your enrollment, your life-saving decision will provide a great deal of comfort to them. Also, they won’t need to make a choice on your behalf at a very difficult moment in their lives.


Contact Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network’s Amy James: Email Amy James  (Amy_Jamesaturmcdotrochesterdotedu)   or call her on 585-272-4930.

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