How to donate

Becoming an organ donor is easy. You can indicate that you want to be a donor in the following ways:

  • Register with your state's donor registry. Most states have registries. Check the list at OrganDonor.gov.
  • Designate your choice on your driver's license. Do this when you obtain or renew your license.
  • Sign and carry a donor card. Cards are available from OrganDonor.gov.
  • Tell your family. Make sure your family knows your wishes regarding donation.

The best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to register with your state's organ donation registry and include donor designation on your driver's license or state ID. You may include your wishes in your living will if you have one, but that might not be immediately available at the time of your death.

If you have designated someone to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to do so, make sure that person knows that you want to be an organ donor.

It's also very important to tell your family that you want to be a donor. Hospitals seek consent from the next of kin before removing organs, although this is not required if you're registered with your state's donor registry or have donor designation on your driver's license or state ID card.

April 26, 2016 See more In-depth