TAMPA – (September 18, 2020) – LifeLink® of Florida will celebrate National Driver License Appreciation Week during September 21-25, 2020, to thank local Tax Collector offices who issue driver licenses and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for their lifesaving work through organ, eye and tissue donor registration. The week of appreciation was originally created in 2016 by Donate Life America to highlight driver license issuing offices and their employees who play an invaluable role in increasing the number of registered donors on state registries across the country. This year the theme “Lifesavers Like You!” will focus on honoring our lifesaving partners in donation.
Almost 90% of people who register to become donors do so when obtaining or renewing a driver license at local Tax Collector offices or through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Each customer is asked if they would like to become an organ donor when they obtain or renew their license in person and those who say yes to saving lives are registered on Florida’s organ and tissue donor registry. Customers will also see the symbol of a heart and the word donor added to their driver license or ID card.
In 2019 Tax Collector offices and the DHSMV across the state registered more than 546,691 Floridians as organ, eye and tissue donors, and together with organ, tissue and eye recovery organizations helped save more than 2,000 lives and impact tens of thousands of others through tissue donation and transplantation. LifeLink appreciates the dedication and support of all local driver license issuing offices who work daily to offer organ donation to customers and continue to support our lifesaving mission.
LifeLink of Florida serves a 15 county area in west and southwest Florida, with one county on the east coast. In the LifeLink of Florida service area, the Donor Designation Rate (DDR) is 56%, which is the percentage of individuals who say yes to donation through a driver license transaction. LifeLink is proud of our local driver license issuing offices who perform higher than the state DDR average which is 49 percent. DHSMV and Tax Collector offices have faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but have maintained consistent Donor Designation Rates over the last five months.
LifeLink of Florida is the local organ recovery organization that facilitates the organ and tissue recovery and provides donation education to the public. LifeLink works to build strong relationships with local Tax Collector Offices throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties and with DHSMV, to continue educating about the importance of donation and to increase donor registration.
Currently there are over 109,000 men, women and children who are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the United States and roughly 5,300 of those individuals live in Florida. For the thousands of Floridians in need, a transplant provides a second chance and hope for a longer life. Registering to become a donor is easy and only takes a few minutes. LifeLink encourages the public to register and share their donation decision at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org or when obtaining or renewing a driver license.
LifeLink can be of assistance with scheduling virtual interviews or webinar presentations to media outlets, local schools, civic groups and businesses on the importance of donation; for more information on LifeLink, or to register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org.