New KY Driver's Licenses Could Mean Fewer Organ Donors

Jan 14, 2019

Credit Trust for Life

Kentucky has one of the nation’s fastest-growing organ donor registries, but a change in driver’s license rules could hamper that growth. 

Most organ donors register when they receive or renew their driver’s license.  When Kentucky begins rolling out new standard licenses and voluntary travel IDs in March, drivers 21 years and older have the option of renewing their licenses every four or eight years. 

Shelley Snyder heads Kentucky Circuirt Court Clerks' Trust for Life, a non-profit group that works to raise awareness of organ donation. 

"It is the key way that people join the registry, at the driver's license office," Snyder told WKU Public RAdio. "What's going to happen when we go to an eight-year license, we won't see people as often. The circuit clerks won't see people to be able to ask."

Trust for Life is working with Republican State Senator Julie Raque Adams of Louisville to draft legislation that would allow organ donors to register at Kentucky Online Gateway, the state’s one-stop portal for government services.  Snyder expects the bill to be filed in time for consideration by this year’s General Assembly. 

One-point-nine million Kentuckians are registered organ donors or about 60 percent of the population.