Texas’ Organ, Tissue Donor Program Tops Seven Million Registrants
AUSTIN, January 15, 2015 - In 2014 the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) recorded approximately 1.4 million new registrants to the Glenda P. Dawson Donate Life Texas Registry, boosting the total registry to more than seven million individuals. The registry is the state database of individuals who have officially indicated their decisions to donate organs and tissue to benefit thousands of people currently awaiting transplants.
“Since the program’s inception, the DPS driver license system has played a critical role in the registry process, and DPS is proud to have helped millions of Texans join the Donate Life registry,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Every person who selflessly elects to register as a donor has the potential to save another individual’s life.”
“The Texas Department of Public Safety staff are essential to the Donate Life Texas organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Of the seven million Texans now registered, 98 percent of them joined the registry by saying yes to donation while applying for a state ID or driver license,” said Patricia Niles, Donate Life Texas Board Chair. “Those who register give the precious gift of hope to the thousands who await lifesaving transplants. I commend the DPS for helping to make donor registration in Texas convenient as well as heroic.”
The 79th Texas Legislature created the registry in 2005, and in recent years, legislation has helped streamline the registration process, and additional DPS training has helped increase participation. Since the creation of the registry, more than 6.8 million DPS customers have chosen to become possible donors during the driver license and identification card application, renewal and duplicate processes.
Residents can register at their local DPS office when applying for or renewing a driver license or identification card, or they can enroll online at www.donatelifetexas.org or www.donevidatexas.org.
Two state agencies – DPS and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles – and three organ and tissue recovery agencies – LifeGift, Southwest Transplant Alliance and Texas Organ Sharing Alliance – participate in the registry.
Currently more than 13,600 individuals are awaiting organ or tissue transplants in Texas alone. In 2014 in Texas, a record 226 registered donors made nearly 800 transplants possible, according to Donate Life Texas. For more information about organ donation in Texas, visit www.donatelifetexas.org.