Registered Organ Donors Near Five Million Save 300 Lives Since 2006

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations

www.dmv.ca.gov
www.youtube.com/CaliforniaDMV

April 28, 2009

Sacramento —Donate Life Ambassadors made up of transplant recipients, living organ donors, and family members of organ and tissue donors will join Sacramento area firefighters at the California Firefighters Memorial at the State Capitol on Apr. 28 at 10 a.m. to receive a proclamation authored by Senator George Runner and Senator John J. Benoit commemorating DMV/Donate Life California Month.

“Nearly five million Californians have signed up to become organ and tissue donors,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “Those ‘pink dots’ are more than mere symbols; for any Californian who checks ‘yes’ to enroll as an organ and tissue donor through the DMV, it provides the power to save lives and represents your decision.”

Registered donors have saved the lives of more than 300 organ transplant recipients and healed another 15,000 tissue recipients since the Donate Life California Registry was linked with the DMV in 2006. “At the young age of 18, my son proudly registered as a donor at the DMV,” stated donor mother Nancy McAfee. “In his tragic death, I found comfort in knowing his wishes were to give the gift of life”.

Joining Nancy at the State Capitol are members of the Folsom and Sacramento Metro fire departments. “We are undertaking this effort to saves lives and to honor heroes in our community,” said Dan Haverty, Folsom Fire Chief and a living liver donor. “The City of Folsom placed “BE A HERO” bumper stickers on every fire, emergency, utility and police vehicle to inspire the community to register as donors.”

A recent survey found that a third of Californians who were not on the donor registry erroneously believed they were registered, with 81 percent citing a pink dot sticker and another seven percent naming a donor card erroneously as proof of their registration.

“Anyone who simply has a pink dot sticker on their license or carries a donor card with their signature is not registered. Those who register through the DMV have a laminated donor symbol in their driver’s” license,” stated Bryan Stewart, President of Donate Life California. Those with pink dot stickers or donor cards are encouraged to ensure their donation decision is honored by signing up at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or in Spanish at www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.

Donate Life California is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations, each responsible for facilitating the donation process in the state: California Transplant Donor Network, Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy.

In a continuing effort to shorten lines and wait times, the DMV wants customers to understand there are a number of service options currently available to them, which if properly utilized, can dramatically reduce the number of transactions handled in any field office on a face-to-face basis. That means shorter wait times.

For example, most routine services the DMV provides can be done by mail; instructions for mailing license or registration renewals are included with the notifications sent out by the department. Customers can use checks or money orders to renew by mail.

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Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (www.dmv.ca.gov), including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions.

DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.