AUSTIN – In 2015 the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) logged more than one million new donor registrants to the Donate Life Texas Registry, boosting the total registry to more than eight million potential organ donors. The registry is the state database of individuals who have officially given consent for their organs and tissue to be donated to benefit individuals awaiting transplants.
“With the simple act of choosing to register as a potential donor, one person can significantly impact or even save the life of many others,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS is proud to have provided millions of generous Texans with a convenient way to join the Donate Life Registry during driver license transactions, and we look forward to the continued growth of the registry.”
“Since 2006, more than eight million people have joined the Donate Life Texas donor registry through DPS. Of those, 816 became donor heroes, making more than 2,600 organ transplants possible along with thousands more cornea and tissue transplants,” said Donate Life Texas Executive Director Suzy Miller. “The customer service representatives at the DPS driver license offices are essential to this lifesaving effort because they make it easy and convenient for Texans to join the donor registry.”
The 79th Texas Legislature created the registry in 2005, and later legislation helped streamline the registration process, and additional DPS training has helped increase participation. Since the creation of the registry, more than eight million DPS customers have chosen to become possible donors during the driver license/identification card application, renewal and duplicate processes. Individuals who choose to join the donor registry through DPS will automatically receive a heart symbol on their license or ID card as a reminder of their decision.
Two state agencies – DPS and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles – and 13 organ recovery and eye/tissue banks participate in the registry.
Currently more than 13,000 individuals are awaiting organ or tissue transplants in Texas alone. In 2015 in Texas, 250 DPS-registered donors made 751 transplants possible, according to Donate Life Texas. For more information about organ donation in Texas, visit www.donatelifetexas.org.
### (HQ 2016-29)