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A Call to Action: You Can Help Fill the Donor Registry

Since the Wisconsin Donor Registry opened on March 29, 2010, more than 2.6 million people, or about 67 percent, have legally registered as organ, tissue and eye donors. But, there is much yet to be done.


After five years, there are still about 2 million people who have not yet registered to be a donor. Together we can help more people understand the importance of registering as a donor.


While 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, only about 30 percent know the steps to take to register. In Wisconsin, we direct everyone to the Donate Life Wisconsin/Donor Registry. It is the information hub for Donate Life Wisconsin, and the main website for joining the Wisconsin Donor Registry. The large donor dot, Wisconsin's symbol for donation, directs to the registry.


The top three things you should remember about the registry:

  1. Anyone older than the age of 15½ that holds a Wisconsin driver's license or State identification card can register.
  2. People with an orange donor dot on their license or state ID - who haven't been to the DMV or the Donate Life Wisconsin/Donor Registry since March 29, 2010 - should still register to ensure their wishes to be an organ, tissue and eye donor will be honored.
  3. The registry is legal authorization for organ, tissue and eye donation. Unless you are under age 18, no one can change your donation decision.

Donate Life Wisconsin is working to get 75 percent of Wisconsin citizens registered by 2020. You can be an information channel by educating others.


The top three things you can do to promote donation:

  1. Know the facts. Join the UW OTD volunteer team to get and stay current.
  2. Use the UW Health online donation toolkit at It has everything you’ll need to educate others and promote the mission.
  3. Attend donation events, and encourage others to attend too. Visit to see an events listing.

More than 2,000 people in Wisconsin are suffering through dialysis while waiting for a kidney. Hundreds more rely on oxygen or an LVAD, or struggle with Type 1 diabetes or liver failure, while waiting for their transplant. People of all ages and ethnicities are waiting, so we must push on to educate more people about donation and the donor registry. When more people are educated, more lives are saved.


Celebrate the five- year anniversary of the Wisconsin Donor Registry by making it your personal mission to educate more people about the life-saving and life-improving gifts provided through organ, tissue and eye donation.