Jo praises driving licence change to drive up organ donation

Jo Swinson MP has welcomed a change to driving licence application forms that encourages people to become organ donors.

From 1st August, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) driving licence online application will require applicants to answer a question about whether they would like to become organ donors, before they can progress with the rest of the forms.

Although the previous online form included a question about organ donation, many people chose to ignore it or missed it out. The initiative aims to increase the number of people signing up to the organ donation register, which currently has more than 18 million people signed up – 29% of the UK population.

Commenting, Jo said:

“This initiative is a simple change that will hopefully prove a significant boost to the number of people agreeing to donate organs. Despite the fact that nine out of ten people would be happy to become an organ donor, less than a third of us are actually signed up.

“There are currently 7,626 people waiting to receive life-saving organs in Britain. Making the question about organ donation a mandatory part of the driving licence application process will give people vital encouragement to tick the box and give someone else a second chance in life.”

The change to the DVLA online driving licence process will take effect in England, Scotland and Wales from 1 August 2011. There are currently more than 18 million people on the NHS Organ Donor Register, equivalent to 29% of the UK population, and there are 7,626 people waiting for an organ transplant in the UK, the majority (6,485) needing a kidney transplant. Anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by visiting or calling 0300 123 23 23.

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