Michigan organ donor registry sign-up option could be added to tax forms

Michigan residents could soon have another option to sign up to become organ donors.

"The majority of people who are signed up in the Michigan organ donor registry got there through the Secretary of State's office, but the registry is growing at the slowest pace ever. And we know that Michiganders want to be donors. They just haven't taken that extra step. And so now we're looking for additional opportunities where they can sign up," said Dorrie Dils, the CEO of Gift of Life Michigan.

Three state lawmakers introduced a package of bills that would add the organ donor registry question to state income tax forms. If passed, Michigan would be the first state in the country to do so

"I could not be more excited about this legislation," Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township) said. "So that people then would have another opportunity to be able to sign up to join the 56% of folks who are already part of the registry to join in that life-saving movement."

If you use your tax form to sign up, the Department of Treasury would then process registrations with the Department of State and those who do register would have the donor heart icon placed on their driver’s license or state ID

"We can save lives in our state, and I’m proud that our office is part of overseeing the registry and now partnering with other agencies to ensure we’re providing every opportunity for citizens to sign up," Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. 

Armond Baskin, who has stage four kidney failure, hopes his story will encourage more people to sign up to be organ and tissue donors.

"The gift of life is actually the gift of life. I’m waiting on that gift. I cannot wait to get that call," he said.