The Richmond Register

January 15, 2013

Licenses will soon feature heart symbol for those recognized as organ donors

Driving for donors

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison County drivers will be able to add a little more heart to their license beginning Jan. 23. Those eligible for a driver’s license have the option of adding a heart symbol which will designate them as a potential organ donor.

Indiana, Ohio and several other states already are giving residents the option to have the organ donor heart printed on their licenses.

“For more than 20 years, the Circuit Clerks of Kentucky have been educating communities about the life-saving mission of organ donation,” said Madison County Circuit Clerk Darlene G. Snyder. “Thousands of kids and adults are waiting for an organ transplant today. Now, Kentuckians can proudly show their support for these patients in need.”

In October 2012, Snyder urged county residents to become organ donor candidates because of a local need. At that time, Madison County Sheriff Jerry Combs, who had a failing liver because of a hereditary disease, was waiting on the phone call that would save his life. Combs is now approximately three months post-operation after a successful liver transplant.

“We plan to celebrate by inviting Sheriff Combs to become the first Madison County resident to add the heart to his driver’s license,” Snyder said.

When renewing a license, deputy clerks ask all Kentuckians if they would like to register as potential organ donors. 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, Snyder said.

“This is an important advancement in Kentucky,” she said.

The organ donor heart will emphasize that it’s not about signing the back of your license anymore, said Shelley Snyder, Executive Director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life.

“It’s about saying ‘Yes’ and joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry,” she said.

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 in the Circuit Clerk’s driver’s licensing office for $12, which is the fee for a renewal or duplicate.

The cost to add the heart symbol and your name to the Registry is free.

All Kentucky residents can join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry at their Circuit Court Clerk’s office or online at www.donate

lifeky.org.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.