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Starting Jan. 23, you can add a symbol that stands for hope and generosity on something you carry with you everywhere: your driver’s license.
Like Indiana, Ohio and several other states, Kentuckians will soon have the option to have an organ donor heart printed on their license.
“For more than 20 years, the Circuit Clerks of Kentucky have been educating communities about the life-saving mission of organ donation. Thousands of kids and adults are waiting for an organ transplant today. Now, Kentuckians can proudly show their support for these patients in need,” explains Spencer County Circuit Court Clerk Becky Robinson.
When renewing a license, deputy clerks ask all Kentuckians if they would like to be a registered organ donor. Everyone who says “yes” will have the option to have a small, blue heart with the words “Organ Donor” printed on his or her license. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has worked hand in hand with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks and the Trust for Life to get the heart symbol added to driver’s license and ID cards.
“This is an important advancement in Kentucky. The organ donor heart will emphasize that it’s not about signing the back of your license anymore. It’s about saying ‘yes’ and joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry,” explained Shelley Snyder, Executive Director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life.
Each day 18 patients die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list. Only 35 percent of Kentuckians are registered organ donors.
Kentucky updated its driver’s license in 2012, improving security and adding new features such as a ghost image to reduce fraud capability and the veteran designation for honorably discharged military personnel. The organ donor designation is the last part of the driver’s license makeover.
Those wishing to add the blue heart to their license prior to their driver’s license renewal time can purchase a duplicate license at their Circuit Clerk’s office for $12. The cost involved is for the license renewal or duplicate. The cost to add the heart symbol and your name to the registry is free.
“Everyone who comes into my office for a driver’s license or ID can add his or her name to the confidential registry and receive the organ donor heart. Every heart we print gives hope to patients and families in need,” explained Robinson.
All Kentucky residents can join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry at their Circuit Court Clerk’s office or online at www.donatelifeky.org.