NewsArizona News


Organ donation becoming easier thanks to changes in registration

Posted at 6:43 AM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 12:43:51-04

Donor Network of Arizona is celebrating its partnership with the Motor Vehicle Division all of August.

It's a partnership that has had a major impact on those waiting for a life-saving transplant.

DNA officials say 95 percent of donor registrations happen at the MVD when residents apply or renew their license or state ID.

On the application, people can check the box and it adds a small heart on the ID indicating the person is a donor.

Sometimes the people helping you out at the MVD could be the ones a donor ends up saving.

ABC15 sat down with Jimmie Willis who has worked at the MVD for more than a decade. She knows first-hand the importance of that little heart on the ID. She herself is an organ recipient, receiving a heart after hers started to fail.

She says after her life-saving surgery, she woke up with a new-found appreciation for those registered to donate.

Willis says, "I was just tuned into this heart. And it was just going, going ya know. Then I got excited cause I said, 'goodness...somebody actually blessed me with a heart.'"

In an effort to make registering easier, officials have made some changes. Now people will also get a chance to sign up when they renew vehicle registrations. They've been doing it for about a year now and so far so good, according to them.

In the first six months, they say about 10,000 people in Arizona registered to help save lives.

Every year, registration keeps going up. Last year they had 280,000 people registered. This year they're aiming for 290,000.

One person can save up to eight lives with organs, and dozens more through tissue donation, and that's why they made the change. They want to give people more chances to make a difference in someone else's life.

Nico Santos with DNA says, "When you have to renew your vehicle registration, which is a lot more often, right? It works in our benefit because that's another opportunity that people in Arizona have to sign up."

For more information, visit