Organ Donation in MainePage Overview
Organ Donation in Maine
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) administers organ donation registration for residents of the state of Maine. Donate Life New England is another organization that administers registration for organ donation in Maine. Donate Life New England is a non-profit organization that promotes organ donation in the states of New England, and it is a joint venture of New England Organ Bank, The Center for Donation and Transplant, and LifeChoice Donor Services.
Any licensed driver in Maine can choose to be an organ donor. If you choose to be an organ donor, this means that upon your death, you agree to allow your organs and tissues to be donated to people needing transplants. Your driver's license will be marked with a heart and the words "organ donor" on the front.
Every organ donor helps increase the pool of organs and tissues available, and saves lives. In Maine, hundreds of people wait for donations of hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, and other organs.
Individuals who are considering signing up to become an organ donor may be interesting in knowing how their decisions may help others:
- In 2013, 101 transplants were performed in Maine as the result of 29 donors who were on the organ donation registry.
- While waiting for an organ transplant, 18 people die each day in the United States.
- There are more than 5,049 people waiting for an organ transplant.
NOTE: Maine residents need to have a state identification card or a Maine driver’s license to register.
You can sign up to become an organ donor online or in person at your local ME BMV office.
The age requirement for an individual to be able to register as an organ donor in Maine is at least 16 years old.
You may register online at the Donate Life New England website.
To use the service, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Driver’s license number or ID card number.
- Last name.
- Date of birth.
When you apply for a Maine driver's license from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or renew a Maine driver's license, you can agree to be an organ donor as part of the application and renewal process. It doesn't cost anything, and it's optional.
Signing up to be an organ donor has no effect on your medical care. The first priority of the healthcare team continues to be to save the sick or injured individual’s life.
When an organ donor passes away, the following can occur:
- Hospitals let the organ procurement organization (OPO) know about the potential for organs and tissues to be donated.
- The organs and tissues are matched to recipients on waiting lists.
- Medical teams will proceed with organ transplants.
- The family does not receive any bills for the costs associated with donation.
- After the organ donor passes away, donating organs does not lead to a disfigured body.
- An open casket funeral is still an option, as is cremation or a traditional burial.
You can change or update your organ donor profile online at the Donate Life New England website.
You can help promote organ donation by spreading the word:
- Link to Donate Life New England’s Facebook and Twitter accounts from your own social media pages.
- E-mail your friends and family the link to Donate Life New England’s website.
- Tell others on forums and discussion boards how to register and why.
You can also help in the following ways:
- Become a living donor.
- Volunteer at events such as blood drives and health fairs.
- Participate in fundraisers such as road races.
- Send monetary donations.
The following organizations can provide additional information and resources about Maine's organ donation program:
Other Topics in This Section
- New England Organ Bank
- National Kidney Foundation of Maine
- Maine Medical Center Organ and Tissue Donor Program