Organ and tissue donation

Organ donation is a personal choice

Whether or not you agree to be identified as a potential donor on your driver licence is a matter of personal choice. Your decision will not affect your licence to drive in any way.

However, we suggest you take some time to think about organ and tissue donation before making your decision.

More information about organ and tissue donation to help you make your decision(external link)

Make your choice when you apply for a licence

When you fill out your driver licence application form you’ll be asked:
'Would you be willing to donate organs in the event of your death?'
You can tick either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

You must tick one – we can’t give you a licence card unless you have ticked a box.

It’s a good idea to think about how you’ll answer this question before you go to the licensing agent.

If you tick no, nothing happens

If you tick the 'No' box, nothing will show on your driver licence regarding your donor status and you will not be recorded as a donor on the driver licence database.

If you tick yes, DONOR will be printed on your licence

By ticking the 'Yes' box and signing the form, all you are agreeing to is having the word 'DONOR' printed on your licence card. It's also recorded on the driver licence database.

Discuss your decision with your family

Ticking the 'Yes' box on your driver licence form only means that you have indicated your wish to be identified as an organ and tissue donor. It does not automatically mean that your organs or tissues will be donated in the event of your death. In practice, your family will always be asked for their agreement to organ and tissue donation.

If your family knows what your wishes are in regard to donation, they will be more likely to follow them through in the event of your death. Having your wishes displayed on your driver licence is just one way of making them known to your family. You should also discuss your decision with them.

If you would like to donate certain organs or tissues but not others, make sure that you discuss this with your family, too.

If you change your mind, call us

Call our contact centre (0800 822 422). We'll change your licence record on the driver licence database.

If you want a new licence card that shows your new choice, you'll need to go to a driver licensing agent and apply for a replacement card - this costs $26.30.

See the process for getting a replacement driver licence

You'll have the opportunity to reconsider your decision every time you renew, replace or change your licence in any way. All of our driver licensing application forms ask you whether you want to donate your organs.

Driver licensing system best place to record donor information

The driver licensing system is a convenient way to collect organ donor information, because most of the adult population has a driver licence that has to be periodically renewed, replaced or changed in some way.

This follows the practice in other countries.

More information about organ donation

If you would like more information about organ and tissue donation, contact Organ Donation New Zealand(external link)