Donate Life Texas organ and tissue donor registry reaches 13 million

Staff Reports

TEXAS – The Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas (DLT) donor registry has officially topped 13 million registrants and continues to be the second-largest donor registry in the U.S. after California. The DLT registry documents a person’s consent for organ, eye and tissue donation after death.

This milestone is due in large part to the strong, ongoing partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Driver License Division, which provides an opportunity to join the registry while applying for or renewing a state driver’s license or identification card. On average, 82 percent of those registered signed up through a transaction at a DPS driver license office. The ability to join the donor registry gives each customer the chance to save eight lives and heal 75 others through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation.

In addition to the Texas DPS, the 16 organ, eye and tissue donation organizations serving Texas support the registry through extensive public education and awareness efforts. These initiatives involve outreach through hospitals, schools, companies, churches, organizations and community activities facilitated by hundreds of committed volunteers and donation advocates statewide.

Registry growth is also thanks to Texas state lawmakers who have supported responsible donation legislation since 2005 when the donor registry was created. These government officials have worked tirelessly to make choosing donation simple, straightforward and convenient, like the ability to check “Yes” to join the registry on Texas DPS driver license and ID application forms.

“Currently, 60 percent of Texas adults are registered,” says DLT Executive Director Kim Charles. “While registered Texas donors are making transplants more possible than ever before, the donation community and our partners will not rest until the growing need is met.”

Statewide in 2020, registered donors saved the lives of more than 1,500 organ transplant patients, shared the gift of sight with more than 3,700 people and helped more than 62,400 people relying on tissue for surgery, recovery and treatment.

The prevalence of diabetes and heart disease contributes to the ever-increasing demand for organ transplants, leaving nearly 108,000 Americans – including 10,000 Texans – waiting for a donated organ to become available. Though living donation is becoming more common, the vast majority of transplants still rely on donors who have passed away. However, organ donation is a rare and special opportunity. Approximately two percent of people who pass away will die in a way that allows for organ donation to be a possibility. That’s why the Donate Life Texas registry is important for people to register their decision to become donors.

For the small percentage of deaths that qualify for organ donation, a Donate Life registration ensures the person’s own decision to give is known to the right people at the right time to save lives. More information about donation and registration is available at

The Donate Life Texas organ donor registry started in 2005 and celebrated its 13-millionth registration in 2021. The registry is supported by the Texas organ procurement organizations LifeGift, Southwest Transplant Alliance and Texas Organ Sharing Alliance and the 13 eye and tissue banks serving the state.

Signing up is fast and easy at and provides a way for individuals to make their decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor known to the right people at the right time, automatically. It also provides legal consent for donation after death, which removes the burden of decision-making from the family during an already difficult time.

Donate Life Texas is part of the Donate Life America not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and local partners across the United States, serving as a national voice and inspiring all people to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

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