The State of Ohio & Organ Donation


Top 3 Donation Takeaways

  • Only 1% of all deaths in the United States happen in a manner where organ donation is a potential.
  • Over the age of 18, if someone is registered, it is a legally-binding decision. Next-of-kin can overrule the donation decision of someone registered under the age of 18.
  • Doctors do everything they can to save the person before them. Only after death has been declared does the potential for donation come forth.

Honoring Donation in Central Ohio in 2022

lives were saved by heroic organ donors.
individuals shared the gift of life through organ donation at the time of their death.
individuals shared the gift of healing through tissue and cornea donation.
placentas were donated through the Lifeline of Ohio Placenta Donation Program.

Items of Note About Donation

Fact Sheet, Stats and Service Area
  • Ohio Organ Procurement Organizations
  • The national transplant waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant is rising at an alarming rate, with nearly 104,000 individuals currently on the list.
  • Close to 60% of Ohioans are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. In the United States, 50% are registered donors.
  • In Ohio, more than 2,600 people are waiting for an organ transplant, and hundreds more await tissue and corneal transplants.
  • Approximately 20 times each day a man, woman or child dies for lack of an available organ. Once every 48 hours, an Ohioan dies waiting. Thousands more are waiting for tissue and corneal transplants.
  • In the United States, 42,800 organ transplants and 1.75 million tissue transplants were performed in 2022.
A New Way to Register Donors in 2023!

Coming to BMVs across Ohio in October of 2022, Ohioans can now register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor when they renew their vehicle registration!

HB21 instructs the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to ask the donation registration questions with all new and renewed licenses or registrations. The bill also increases the amount license-seekers are asked to voluntarily donate to the Second Chance Trust Fund from $1 to $2. And it increases the annual contribution for the “Donate Life” license plate from $5 to $15.

All money from both of those goes to the Second Chance Trust Fund, which is used for educational and development programs on organ, eye and tissue donation.
How Does An Ohioan Register As A Donor?

Ohioans may declare their wish to become a donor by registering online through Additionally, individuals may declare their decision when at the BMV.

The Ohio Donor Registry is an individual’s first-person authorization to donate the gift of life at the time of their death, if possible, through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Donate Life Ohio encourages everyone to talk to their loved ones about their donation decision. When the next-of-kin knows their loved one’s decision at the time of death, it is one of the most helpful steps a grieving family can take to deal with its loss.

Who is Donate Life Ohio?

Donate Life Ohio is a coalition of the state’s organ, eye and tissue recovery agencies dedicated to educating Ohioans about the need for registered donors and inspiring them to join the Ohio Donor Registry. These include:

  • Lifeline of Ohio in Columbus
  • Lifebanc in Cleveland
  • Life Connection of Ohio in Dayton and Toledo
  • LifeCenter in Cincinnati
  • Central Ohio Lions Eye Bank
  • Cincinnati Eye Bank
  • Community Tissue Services
  • Eversight
  • Lions Eye Bank of West Central Ohio
  • Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) in Cleveland.

*Additional information may be obtained at

Resources from the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations

Ohio Man Waits for a Heart

Jermayne Harris of Columbus has always been active. As a teenager, he ran track and was proud to quarterback his high school football team. However, at 26 years old he contracted a virus that severely damaged his heart. Although he manages a food truck with his father and recently got married, Jermayne’s activities are limited by the left ventricular assist device (LVAD) he’s connected to 24/7 that keeps his heart pumping while he waits for a transplant.

He has been on the national transplant waiting list for more than three years at The Cleveland Clinic – waiting for a second chance at life through the gift of organ donation.

Read more about Jermayne’s wait for a new heart.


Ohio Heart Recipient Advocates on Capitol Hill

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Encourages Ohioans to Register

Donor parents Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine share this very special message encouraging all Ohioans to register their decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Their daughter Becky was a tissue and cornea donor who healed many through her gifts of donation.