Expanded criteria donor (ECD) kidney allocation aims to increase utilization and facilitate placement. We implemented an ECD program for pre-consented candidates and studied whether ECD allocation decreased cold ischemia time and delayed graft function (DGF). We compared donor, recipient and transplant data for ECD transplants performed during the first year of our program to those performed in the preceding 5 1/2 years. Logistic regression identified risk factors for DGF. Of 356 candidates, 107 (30%) consented, 32 (9%) completed evaluation and 20 (6%) underwent ECD transplantation during the program's first year. The recent and historical ECD cohorts had similar donor and recipient characteristics, except that recent ECD recipients were older. The rate of donor kidney biopsy dropped from 85% to 24% (p < 0.001). Cold ischemia time decreased from 16.4 to 7.4 h (p < 0.001), as did the incidence of DGF from 43% to 15% (p = 0.031). Three independent risk factors for DGF emerged: recipient height (OR 1.21/10 cm; p = 0.008), >4 HLA mismatches (OR 20.46; p = 0.0033) and cold ischemia time (OR 1.24/h; p = 0.0036). We conclude the ECD designation provides a description of kidney quality that may obviate biopsy. ECD allocation decreased cold ischemia time and DGF, which may improve graft survival.