Donor question for driving licence applicants

Anyone applying online for a driving licence will be required to answer a question regarding organ donation from today.

The prompted choice system will make would-be drivers state if they want to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register or defer a decision until a later date.

It is hoped the DVLA scheme will boost the numbers of those willing to give vital body parts to help others live in the case of their own death.

Under the current system, applicants can skip over a question on donation when applying for a driving licence.

But the new regime will require that they opt to either register for donation, state that they have already signed up or state: "I do not wish to answer this question now."

At present, only 29% of people in the UK are registered donors.

But studies have shown that a far larger proportion are in favour of donating body parts.

Getting more people to sign-up could save the lives of some of the 8,000 people in the UK currently waiting for a transplant.

Public health minister Anne Milton said: "Being an organ donor is a truly selfless act and a life saving gift to someone in need.

"Only 29% of people in the UK have registered to donate organs, when we know 90% of people in the UK have expressed interest in donating.

"We want to make it easier for people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register when they apply for their driving licence and encourage everyone to discuss their organ donation wishes with their loved ones."