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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.

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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

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. How easy is this concept to implement?

I could start right now. - 45.5%

This might take a bit of planning and probably some help from several partners. - 36.4%

This is a big undertaking and I'd need a lot of help from friends, organizations and other groups to make it happen. - 18.2%

2. Will this concept successfully reach and encourage under-represented populations (including South Asians) to join the bone marrow registry?

Yes, this concept will resonate with diverse groups of people from all over the world. - 45.5%

No, this concept might not reach under-represented populations very well. - 9.1%

I'm not sure, but I hope so! - 45.5%

3. How well does this concept dispel myths, ease fears, or provide education about bone marrow registration and donation?

Really well -- I already feel like I have a better understanding of the process and why it's important. - 36.4%

Okay, though it'll still take some explaining to get people to understand how bone marrow registration and donation work. - 36.4%

Not very well -- we'd have to create a highly detailed plan around this concept to help people understand. - 27.3%

4. How scalable is this concept?

This concept is highly scalable and could easily impact people all over the world. - 63.6%

This concept is really best suited for small groups and local areas. - 18.2%

This concept could be scaled, but we'd have to refine it for different settings. - 18.2%


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This is such an important issue to address, and I think with a bit of planning this could be a simple and effective change to implement.

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