Most of us have had to renew our drivers licenses at least once since we first got them. Whether it was because it expired or we turned 21 and needed the updated version, there was a form to fill out and then we had to wait in the Department of Motor Vehicles with seemingly every other person in the state. However, when we filled out the form, there was an important question on it that many people might simply overlook and instinctually check “no.”

“Do you want the Organ Donor designation to appear on your driver license?”

It is a loaded question, there is no denying it. It is a decision that you must be 18 years or older to make, and might not be well-received by those around you. So, if you are considering checking “yes,” it is important to make sure that you know the implications of that choice.

By checking “yes,” you are agreeing that in the event of your death, any healthy organs will be examined by a doctor so that they can be used to save another person’s life. The DMV also ensures that checking “yes” will not in any way affect the medical care received if you are sick.

Likewise, if you choose to be an organ donor, the DMV acknowledges that “you can save up to 8 lives.” Although it is hard to fathom, our choice to be organ donors can help someone who is in critical condition, and otherwise may not receive the vital organ that they need to survive. It is a selfless choice, and one that should not be taken lightly.

If you choose to be a donor, though, your effect can be far-reaching and change another person’s life, as well as the lives of their loved ones.

Most importantly, choosing to be an organ donor does not mean that you are violating your body. Many people will cite that they feel their religion is not supportive of organ donations. However, several major religions are, and the DMV lists those ones, including Catholicism, Mormonism and Judaism.

No one can convince you to be an organ donor; it is a decision that you must make for yourself. Likewise, if you feel strongly about it, you should explain why you feel that way to others so that they understand your reasoning. More so, it is important to explain why you chose to be one so that they understand that while it is not something they would do, it is a valid decision.

If you would like to register to be an organ donor or learn more information, you can sign up or read statistics on the Organ Donor Registry’s website.