16 and 17-year-olds can now join Illinois’ organ donation registry

Illinois' organ donor registry is now open to 16 and 17 year olds.

On Tuesday, August 8th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the "Drive for Life Act" into law.  Now, 16-year-old Illinois residents can sign onto the "First Person Consent Organ and Tissue donor registry" when they get their driver's license or state ID card.

There are 4,700 people waiting for organs and around 300 people die each year waiting for a transplant, according to a statement from the governor's office.

"We need to give everyone who wants to become an organ donor the opportunity to do so, and that's exactly what this bill does," Rauner said.

Since 16 and 17-year-olds are considered minors, their parents or guardians still have the right to pull them from the list until they turn 18.  In Iowa there is no age restriction to join the registry, but parents of anyone under 18 have the final say regarding donation.

There are 47 other states that allow 16 and 17-year-olds to register as organ donors.

Click here to learn how to register as an organ donor