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Calley signs bills creating fundraising license plate to promote organ donation

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
LANSING, Mich. - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed legislation allowing for the creation of a fundraising license plate that encourages organ donation.

"Choosing to become an organ donor is a selfless decision that offers recipients renewed hope for the future," Calley said. "I am pleased that these bills will raise awareness of this worthwhile cause and help save the lives of those in need across our great state."

Under Senate Bill 534, sponsored by state Sen. John Gleason, the Michigan Secretary of State's Office will determine the plate's design. Money collected from plate sales will go to the Donate Life Fund, which will support efforts to encourage people to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. The fund is established by House Bill 4978, sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Daley.

Cost of an original plate will be a $25 donation, a $10 service fee and the regular vehicle registration tax. When motorists renew the plate, they will pay $10 extra, which goes entirely to the fund.

"With 3,000 Michiganders currently on a waiting list for an organ, initiatives such as the new organ donor plate help raise awareness and provide life and hope for families," Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. "While we're seeing results with almost 400,000 names added to the organ donor registry last year - a 25 percent increase - more needs to be done."

And since one donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of more than 50 people, it's imperative that everyone do their part to get the word out, Daley said.

"Having the Gift of Life Fund signed into law was really important to my family. Knowing that our son saved the lives of four people has helped comfort my family during our grieving process," said Daley, whose son Thomas donated his organs after losing his life. "A decision to sign up to be an organ donor can help save and improve lives. Registering to become an organ donor honors people like my son, Thomas, and expresses our desire to someday help others experience a miracle."

More than 2.2 million residents in Michigan are registered organ donors. Michigan residents can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by visiting the Gift of Life Michigan's website at and clicking on "become a donor," at any Secretary of State branch office or online at

"Most would say life is short if you are wholesome and healthy," Gleason said. "Organ failure drastically shortens quality and length of life. This plate will fill a longtime void."

The bills are now Public Acts 54 and 55 of 2012.

Gov. Rick Snyder is on a trade mission to Italy and Germany this week. Article V, Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor when the governor is outside the state.

Visit for more information on the bills.