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Fast Facts on Organ & Tissue Donation (FFDL 34)

You Have the Power to Donate Life

How to Become a Donor

Sign up TODAY to be a registered organ and tissue donor. When you apply for or renew your driver license or identification card, simply check the box.


Donate Life Yes Checkbox


By becoming an organ and tissue donor, you give life and hope to others. When you add your name to the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry you are legally authorizing the recovery of organs and tissues in the event of your death. Registering as a donor will not affect your medical treatment in any way. A pink "DONOR" dot will be printed on your driver license or state identification card. Your name, mailing address, birth date, driver license or identification card number and gender will be transmitted to the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry.

Which Organs and Tissues May Be Donated?

Your donation of organs could save eight lives and your tissue donation can enhance the lives of another 50 people. Organs for life-saving transplants include heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, and small intestine.

Examples of tissues that could save or enhance someone's life include corneas, heart valves, bones, and skin grafts.

Why Register to Be a Donor?

Historically, while signing a donor card and placing the pink "DONOR" sticker on your license served as an important symbol of your intent, it did not place you on any list or registry. Now, through the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry guarantees that your desire to donate is stored in a secure, confidential database. The information is accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel.

Prior to the registry, the responsibility for giving consent for donation fell solely on the donor's family. Unfortunately, family members are not always aware of their loved one's wish to donate. Registering with Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry eliminates any doubt about your wish to be a donor. Your family will be provided proof of your registration at the hospital so that your life-saving wishes can be fulfilled.

Your Authorization to Be an Organ & Tissue Donor

Your registration will serve as a Document of Gift as outlined in the California Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. A Document of Gift, not revoked by the donor before death, is irreversible and does not require the consent of any other person. Parental or guardian consent is required for persons under 18.

Should your death result in the opportunity for you to be a donor, an official record of your authorization will be readily available and cannot be overturned by your family. (Parental or guardian consent is required for persons under 18.) Thus, should you be medically eligible to donate, your wishes will be respected and your family will be relieved of making a decision on your behalf.

Are You Already Registered?

If you would like the pink "DONOR" dot to be printed on the front of your license and are currently registered with the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry you must still check the "YES! I want to be an organ and tissue donor" box on the driver license and Identification card application. If you previously registered with the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry and wish to remove your name from the donor registry, please contact Donate Life California.

Limiting Your Donation

A donation limitation states you do NOT authorize particular organs and/ or tissues to be recovered or used for specific purposes. If you wish to limit your donation, simply go to the registry website ( and click on Registry and then Update Donor Profile, or contact Donate Life California by phone or email.

It's Your Life - Make It Count!

The Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry allows you to express your commitment to become an organ and tissue donor. The registry guarantees your plan to donate will be carried out when you die.

Did You Know?

  • More than 21,000 Californians are waiting for a second chance at life. You can give them that chance today.
  • About 20% of those nationwide waiting for an organ transplant are Californians.
  • Of those waiting, one out of three will die due to a lack of life-saving donors.
  • Organs and tissues are distributed fairly and equitably based on medical criteria only.
  • Your medical care and/or funeral arrangements will not be affected by your decision to donate.
  • Donation costs you and your family nothing.
  • People of all ages and medical histories can sign up to be potential donors.
  • All major religions support or permit donation.

Still Have Questions?

Check the "I do not wish to register at this time" box on the driver license and identification card application form and call us at Donate Life California (1-866-797-2366) where Donate Life California representatives can answer any questions you may have about your opportunity to be a donor.

Donate Life California

Donate Life California is the nonprofit agency that administers the state authorized organ and tissue donor registry in partnership with California's four nonprofit, federally-designated organ recovery agencies: California Transplant Donor Network, Lifesharing, OneLegacy and Sierra donor services. As a state authorized public service, the registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel.

For more information, contact us at: or (in Spanish)

Donate Life California
3465 Camino Del Rio South, Ste. 410
San Diego, CA 92108

English: 1-866-797-2366
Spanish: 1-866-797-2366 ext. 2

FFDL 34 (REV Dec.2011)

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