September is National DMV Appreciation Month, when Gift of Life Michigan recognizes the Michigan Secretary of State for the invaluable work they do every day to save and heal lives.
The Michigan Secretary of State plays a pivotal role in Gift of Life’s purpose to honor life through donation by educating the public to add their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
Of the nearly 350,000 names added to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry last year, more than 98 percent originated from the SOS. New registrations have dropped this year because the Covid-19 pandemic forced the closure of SOS offices throughout Michigan but, as those offices have reopened, the numbers of new registrations are again climbing.
Like the SOS, Gift of Life has adapted to the pandemic to provide additional virtual tools to educate and encourage youth to sign up on the Donor Registry. Gift of Life has updated its online driver education toolkit to include new virtual resources for students and teachers alike. The web page includes a video highlighting the stories of organ recipients and donor families, which is also available on DVD. Scripting for drivers’ instructors, letters to parents and students, informational brochures – even a quiz – are available there, too.
When joining the Donor Registry through the Secretary of State, there are a few things to consider:
- Individuals younger than 16 cannot join the Donor Registry through the SOS when they apply for their learner’s permit, but they can sign up at the Gift of Life website.
- Once they turn 16, anyone can join the Donor Registry through the SOS when they apply for a new license; they will get a heart symbol on their license.
- Minors may join the Donor Registry without parental consent, however their parents make the final decision about donation until they turn 18. We highly encourage anyone considering the decision to donate to discuss it with their family.
- If you or your child decide not to sign up on the Donor Registry when you apply for or renew your license, you can sign up at any time through a SOS branch office, the Gift of Life Michigan website or the Secretary of State website.
Signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry is an easy way to offer hope and healing to the more than 112,000 people on the national waiting list. A single donor can save up to eight lives and heal up to 75 others. We thank the heroes who have already signed up, and those who help make it happen, each and every day. Gift of Life couldn’t do it without the Secretary of State!