Vermont Driver's License

Driver’s License Misconception on Organ & Tissue Donation.

Q:  I signed the back of my driver’s license; does that make me an organ and tissue donor registrant?

A: While signing the back of your driver’s license is a good first step, the driver’s license is not connected to Vermont’s official organ & tissue donor registry, so a person’s wish to donate their organs and/or tissue at the time of their death may not be granted.  The consent stated on a driver’s license is legal, but there are many reasons why a person’s wishes may not be honored, including:

  • During traumatic events, a person’s driver’s license rarely makes it to the hospital with them
  • A driver’s license is not binding, so a person’s wish can be overridden by family
  • The consent on a driver’s license may be rubbed off or non-legible.

The best way to make sure that your wish to become an organ donor is recognized is by joining the official online registry at


Q:  Why is the official way to become an organ donor?

A. The online registry at is connected to the OPO (Organ Procurement Organization).  When a patient meets the criteria for being referred to the OPO, the hospital contacts the OPO to find out if their name is on the list as a consented organ and tissue donor.  If it is and if the patient is determined to be an organ donor candidate, the process can continue because the patient has given their legally binding consent to be a donor.  By joining the official online registry, a person’s wishes will be recognized immediately and cannot be overridden by opposing parties.


Q: Why is the number of official organ and tissue donors in Vermont so low?

A: Currently, Vermont has less than 3% of the entire state’s population registered on the official organ and tissue donor list.  Many people in Vermont are still uninformed about the online registry and have only signed their driver’s license. However, only those on the official online registry are represented in the count.

We need your help to bring awareness to the entire state about the driver’s license misconception and the importance of registering your wishes at

If you have any questions about becoming an organ and tissue donor please contact Sara at , visit our Facebook page or send us a tweet @DonateLifeVT


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