Every September is National Driver License Partner Appreciation month, in which driver license partners across the United States are recognized for their work in helping save and heal lives by promoting the Donate Life mission and encouraging drivers to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. LifeLink of Florida will be celebrating local Tax Collectors who issue driver licenses within our 15-county service area. Tax Collector staff will receive candy treats hand delivered by grateful transplant recipients and humbled donor family members as a small token of appreciation.
Driver License examiners at local tax collector officers play a vital role in donation and transplantation when they ask each customer, “Would you like to become an organ donor?” In Florida, 96% of donor registrations occur during an in-office driver license or identification card transaction. Thanks to their support, LifeLink of Florida averages a 52% Donor Designation Rate (DDR), far exceeding the state’s average of 45%. DDR is the percentage of customers who say yes to registering as a donor during an in-person driver license transaction.
Florida is currently the third largest state registry in in the United States and earlier this year surpassed more than 12 million registered donors in the state. Last year alone, 447, 993 new donors were added to Florida’s registry. In partnership with Tax Collector offices and Florida’s organ, eye and tissue recovery organizations, 2,748 organs were recovered for lifesaving transplants last year and many others have benefitted from tissue transplantation.
LifeLink of Florida collaborates with the 15 county Tax Collectors and their staff in the West Florida service area: Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.
Currently, there are more than 105,000 patients awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, more than 4,800 of which live here in Florida. One organ donor can save up to 8 lives and impact up to 75 more through tissue donation. You have the power to save a life by registering your decision to be a donor the next time you go to your local Tax Collector office by simply saying YES during a driver license or ID card transaction. Individuals can also visit www.DonateLifeFlorida.org to register online any time.