City of Seattle’s Domestic Partnership Registration Program
Since 1994, the City of Seattle has offered unmarried couples in long-term committed relationships an opportunity to document those relationships by registering a domestic partnership with the Seattle City Clerk's Office.
Domestic Partnership Registration is voluntary, and does not create any new or different legal rights or responsibilities, or any contractual or financial obligations between those registered.
Who Can Register a Domestic Partnership with the City of Seattle?
Under City of Seattle Ordinance 117244, Domestic Partners are defined as any two people who:
- Are both 18 years of age are older;
- Are not married;
- Are not related to one another by blood in a manner that would bar their marriage in Washington State;
- Have a relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment; and
- Do not have any other domestic partner.
- The Domestic Partnership Registration Program does not require residence in Seattle; it is open to all persons anywhere who wish to participate.
The Seattle Domestic Partnership Registration Program is not the same as the Washington State Domestic Partnership Program
The State of Washington administers its own separate program for registering domestic partnerships, authorized by Chapter 156, Laws of 2007. Both the requirements and the benefits are different from the City of Seattle program:
|City of Seattle||State of Washington*|
|No age requirement||No age requirement for same-sex couples; for opposite-sex couples, one partner must be 62 or older|
|Participants receive a Certificate of Registration||Participants receive certificates and wallet cards|
|No new legal rights or benefits are created||Participants have legal rights including hospital visitation, health care decision making and others|
|$25 registration fee||$50 registration fee|
*Some aspects of Washington State'sDomestic Partnership Program may change when the provisions of SB 6239, passed in February 2012, go into effect.
The State of Washington's Domestic Partnership Program is adminstered by the Secretary of State (Corporations Division); more information on that program is available at 360-725-0377, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and on their website. Before registering for either program, please take the time to determine which one meets your needs.
How to Register a Domestic Partnership with the City of Seattle
- Download the Domestic Partnership Registration Form, or request a copy from the City Clerk's Office;
- Fill out the form (please write legibly);
- Both partners must sign the form and both signatures must be notarized;
- Bring or mail the form with the $25 registration fee to the City Clerk's Office.
- Make checks payable to "City of Seattle"
Other Important Information
- Program Fees:
- Registration fee: $25
- Certificate replacement fee: $10
- See the City Clerk's Office Fee Schedule for more information.
- Forms of Payment Accepted:
- money order
- cash - in person only; please do not send cash through the mail
- The Certificate of Registration is typically sent to the applicants within three business days of our receiving the application. Certificates are sent by U.S. Postal Service first-class mail.
- Certificates can be issued in person; please call ahead to make an appointment for this service.
- Domestic Partnership Registration is not confidential. It is a public record under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Section 42.56.
Domestic Partnership and City of Seattle Employees
It is the policy of the City of Seattle to recognize legal, same-sex marriages as identical to opposite-sex marriages. (See Executive Order 02-04.) A legally binding, same-sex marriage is one registered in a state or country that authorizes same sex marriages.
To obtain a City-authorized Domestic Partnership form (see SMC Section 4.30.010), please contact your Personnel representative.
If a Registered Domestic Partnership Ends
- To cancel the registration of a domestic partnership, fill out the Domestic Partnership Termination Form and mail it to the City Clerk's Office.
- Only one partner needs to sign the form; the signature must be notarized.
- A confirmation letter will be sent to the requesting partner.