ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new Illinois state law taking effect next week will let 16 and 17-year-olds sign up to be organ donors.

Secretary of State Jesse White says lowering the age from 18 will let thousands of teens join the already large organ and tissue donation registry.

“We will be probably the number one state in the nation based on the fact that we have 6.3 million people signed up for our organ and tissue donor program, then you add another 350 thousand, that will propel us to the position of number one in the nation,” he says.

White says 47-hundred people are on the waiting list in Illinois and about 300 die each year because a transplant didn’t come in time.

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