Background African Americans (AA) are a third as likely as Caucasians to become registered organ donors at the Department of Motorized Vehicles (DMV). The Department of Health and Human Services has set the goal that at least 50% of adults in each state are registered donors. Aims The purpose of this study was to explore the personal, behavioral and environmental factors associated with AA donor registration decision-making at the DMV. Methods Guided by the Social Cognitive Theory, 13 focus groups (n = 100 participants) were conducted with AAs within 3 months of visiting a DMV and making a decision regarding whether to become or to not become a registered donor. The data were analyzed using inductive thematic and qualitative content analyses. Results Study participants expressed a desire to learn more information while waiting in line at the DMV. Knowing a family member or friend in need of an organ transplant, and the desire to make one's own decision were two salient factors associated with the decision to become a registered organ donor. Several aspects of the DMV environment (e.g., noisy, overcrowded, lacking privacy) were cited as deterrents to becoming a registered donor. Discussion This study highlights the personal, behavioral and environmental factors associated with AA organ donor registration decision-making at the DMV. Conclusion The DMV is a setting where many adults make a decision about organ donation. Policies that create an environment in the DMV to support informed decision-making (e.g., privacy, informed clerks, available educational materials, etc.) are indicated.