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Department of Motor Vehicles AND Marrow

Hate waiting forever at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)? What if, when you are filling out your car registration or driver's license application(which often includes opt-in or mandated choice questions for organ donor & voter registration), you are also asked whether you want to do a cheek swab on the spot to register as a bone marrow donor? If you do, you’d get a cool bones badge on your driver’s license (next to the heart showing you’re an organ donor), keychain, license plate, or bumper sticker to spread awareness (and perhaps swaying the nice officer who pulls you over for a traffic violation to let you off with a warning), but you also get put to the front of the line.

Photo of Vincent Cheng
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To implement this in the US, probably best to partner with, study, and follow the example of the not-for-profit alliance Donate Life America/Donor Designation Collaborative (, which has increased # of registered organ/tissue donors 43% to almost 100 million since launch a few years ago (with DMV registrations accounting for 97%+ of registrations in most states). This effort included everything from integration into DMV drivers licensing to creation of awareness raising campaigns including brochures & posters right at the DMV. To give a sense of the potential opportunity, Be The Match's marrow registry currently has <10 million registrants.

Note: though I personally dig the cool look of the bones symbol, it's definitely worth creating and testing other symbols to choose the one with the broadest appeal.

This concept builds on inspirations (and associated comments) linked below, especially Chris F’s insightful ideas.

Waiting images borrowed from Chris’s Inspiration:

Heart Image Attribution:

Car Image Attribution:

Which barrier(s) does your concept address?

  • Time

Which step(s) of the journey does your concept apply to?

  • Awareness
  • Registration
  • Spread the word


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