How do I register as an organ donor?
You can register as a donor at a North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV) Driver License office OR you may register online with Donate Life NC.
If you register via the DMV, a red heart will be placed on your driver’s license or ID card. This symbol means that you are giving legal consent for the donation of your organs and corneas/eyes after you die. It does not include tissue donation, nor does it include whole body donation.
If you register online, you can be more specific about your donation wishes. For example, you can choose which organs or tissues you want to donate — and exclude those you do not want to donate. You can also register your decision about the disposition of your organs/tissues/eyes in case they cannot be used for transplant. If you have a heart on your driver's license and you also register as a donor online, your online record supersedes your DMV record because it is the more specific donation document.
Once you register online or via the DMV, you donor record becomes part of the NC Donor Registry, a confidential database that is accessed by donation professionals at the appropriate time. Through the North Carolina Heart Prevails Law (Session Law 2007-538), if you have registered your decision to be a donor your wishes cannot be overturned by others. It relieves the family of making this decision on your behalf, so please be sure to tell them when you join the registry.
In addition, one of the most important things you can do is make sure your family knows your wishes regarding donation. Whether you wish to be a donor — or not — it is important to share your decision with your family.
Photo by: Favio Takemoto.