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John Santana
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888-486-3339
RELEASE: April 30, 2009

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MVC Partners with Organ Donor Community to Share the Gift of Life
Harrington announces effort to increase donors via NJ Hero Act

(TRENTON) - Bringing National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month to a close, Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chief Administrator Sharon A. Harrington today announced the organization’s latest efforts to implement the New Jersey Hero Act and highlighted a new, Web-based organ donor portal. The MVC, in partnership with federally recognized organ and tissue donor groups, has joined the effort to promote the gift of life and ensure that the state’s more than 5.5 million licensed drivers are well informed about becoming a donor.

“Organ donation is an act that saves lives and offers hope for so many of our citizens,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “Having MVC promote this effort will help boost public awareness of its benefits and increase participation in donation programs across the state.”

“As the public face of government, the MVC has regular contact with a large percentage of New Jersey residents,” said Harrington. “I am confident that our new Web portal, in tandem with our efforts at motor vehicle agencies around the state, will be a tremendous asset to organ and tissue donation groups in helping to bring greater awareness to the need for life-saving donors.”

As one of the key elements of the New Jersey Hero Act, which was signed into law in July 2008, the organ donor Web portal is accessible via www.njmvc.gov and provides individuals who visit the site with the ability to obtain more information about organ and tissue donation and ultimately opt-in as a donor. To access the online portal, individuals are asked to enter a personal ID number, driver license number and the last four digits of their social security number. Individuals who do not already possess a personal ID number may obtain one online from the MVC by simply following the outlined directions and, at the same time, opt-in as a donor. The information is made available in real-time to federally approved organ procurement organizations (OPOs) through the MVC’s Customer Abstract Information Request (CAIR) system. Since the portal went live on April 22, 147 individuals have registered as organ donors.

“I’m proud that the Hero Act could be the impetus for this portal that will make it quick and easy for residents to give the gift of life,” said Senate President Richard J. Codey, the prime sponsor of the NJ Hero Act. “The launch of this new online component is a great first step towards saving many lives. I want to thank the MVC for facilitating this project and for their continued support as we implement the remaining components of this law.”

In addition to technological support of organ and tissue donation, the MVC has also made it easier for individuals visiting a motor vehicle agency for permit, driver license or non-driver identification transactions to register as an organ or tissue donor. Customers are asked at the time of the transaction whether or not they wish to become a donor and if so, the information is captured electronically and made available to the OPOs. The MVC also provides OPO literature at all agencies statewide and covers organ donation information in the New Jersey Driver Manual. Beginning in July 2009, the MVC will also provide a downloadable form on its Web site that individuals may use to change their organ donor status at any time.

“The MVC online portal to the Digital Drivers License Organ Donor Registry accessible through www.donatelifenj.org, and the MVC website, is a vital addition to the process of allowing people to register their wish to be an organ and tissue donor,” said NJ Sharing Network President/CEO Joseph S. Roth. “The portal is the result of the strong support of Senate President Richard Codey for organ donation and transplantation and also the collaboration between the MVC and the state’s organ procurement organizations. With the addition of the on-line registry, more lives will be saved through the generosity of those who become organ and tissue donors.”

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