April 13, 2012

Sign Up to Be an Organ and Tissue Donor During National Donate Life Month

Donor Registry Allows People to Register Online

MADISON-April is National Donate Life Month and state officials are encouraging people to join the 2.5 million state residents who have registered online or indicated on their driver's license that they are an organ, tissue and eye donor.

"Signing up to give the gift of life is quick and easy," said Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith. "One donor can improve or save the lives of more than 50 people through organ transplantation and tissue and eye donation."

In 2010, the Department launched the Donor Registry to allow people to register online in addition to signing up at their local Division of Motor Vehicles office. Signing up on the registry authorizes organ and tissue donation and ensures that this decision is legally binding, without requiring the consent of another person. It is confidential, secure and easy to use.

Today, there are nearly 2,000 children and adults in Wisconsin waiting for a transplant. "I encourage everyone to sign up for the registry, including those who already have an orange donor dot on their driver's license," Smith said.

While Wisconsin is among the top states for donor registration, the number of people registered varies statewide. Rates range from 31.3 percent in Menomonee County to 64.4 percent in St. Croix County. Individuals aged 15.5 to16 make up the highest percentage of registered donors, with 72.4 percent registered.

View a state map indicating the number of people in each county who have registered to be a donor:

For information about organ, tissue and eye donation, and to join the registry, visit: