Frequently Asked Questions
- How will state registered domestic partnerships change on June 30, 2014?
New law goes into effect on June 30,2014, which will convert all same sex domestic partnership who have not terminated prior to that date. If one of the partners is 62 or older, the partnership will NOT be converted to marriage but remain a state registered domestic partnership. Converted partnerships may order a marriage certificate from the Department of Health.
- Are the City and County Domestic Partnerships included in the conversion to marriage that happens on June 30, 2014?
No, city and county domestic partnerships are not being converted to marriage.
- How do we dissolve our state registered domestic partnership?
As of 2009, the Secretary of State no longer processes termination documents for state registered domestic partnership. Partnerships that want to dissolve must go through the court system, much like a divorce.
- We are over the age of 62, but still wish to have our state registered domestic partnership converted to marriage. Can this be done?
No, the law does not convert state registered domestic partnerships if one of the partners is 62 or older. However, you may get a marriage license from your county Auditor and proceed with a marriage.
- Do I need to contact the Secretary of State to change my status from active to marriage since we have gotten married since filing our domestic partnership?
No, you are not required to contact the Secretary of State to report your marriage, as your partnership is automatically dissolved legally. However, if you want the record to reflect this change, you may send a copy of your marriage certificate to the Secretary of State and we will record it.
- How do I find out if I am in a Washington State Registered Domestic Partnership?
You may search the State Registered Domestic Partnership Database by either partner's name or the registration number at http://sos.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships.
- My partner and I are registered with a city government that provides domestic partnership benefits. Do I have to register again with the State Domestic Partner Registry?
Registration with a local government does not automatically register you with the State Domestic Partner Registry. To gain all of the benefits of state law, you must register with the Office of the Secretary of State.
- How do we terminate our domestic partnership?
A State Registered Domestic Partnership can be terminated in several ways. If the partners marry, the partnership is automatically dissolved. If both partners wish to dissolve the partnership, they must file a termination in a court of law. And if one partner dies, the partnership is considered terminated.
- Can we register a state registered domestic partnership after June 30, 2014?
Only if one of the partners is 62 or older, can a couple form a state registered domestic partnership after June 30, 2014. Gender does not matter.
- How do we register a domestic partnership?
To file a state registered domestic partnership, a couple needs to complete the Declaration of Domestic Partnership form, sign the form in the presence of a notary public, and submit it and the filing fee of $50 to the Corporations Division for filing.
- Can we get our declaration of domestic partnership notarized at the Office of the Secretary of State when we bring the declaration in for filing?
The Corporations Division has a few notaries on staff, but cannot guarantee that a notary will be available when you come in. We encourage you to sign and notarize your declaration before bringing the declaration in for filing. Please remember that you can also mail in any of the forms related to the domestic partnership registration.
- Will we be able to register our domestic partnership by mail, or online?
You may submit your registration by mail. The mailing address is:
Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504
Online registration is not yet available.
- Are records of domestic partnerships public information?
Yes. Records of state registered domestic partnerships are public and subject to disclosure on request. Also, to enhance the likelihood that a domestic partner has access to their partner in critical medical situations, we have an online registration look up. The online look up will allow medical staff and any other interested party to confirm that a domestic partnership has been registered.
- What will we receive to document our registration?
State registered domestic partners will each receive an original Certificate of State Registered Domestic Partnership and a wallet card showing the registration number of the domestic partnership. Also, we will provide one file stamped copy of the registration document.
- Can I get an extra Certificate of State Registered Domestic Partnership?
The partnership will receive one original certificate at the time of registration. After that time, either partner may request additional or replacement certificates. The fee for each extra or replacement certificate is $5.00. The Corporations Division will not issue a replacement or extra certificate if the State Registered Domestic Partnership has been terminated.
- I have lost my wallet card. Can I get a replacement?
Yes. Contact the Corporations Division to obtain a replacement wallet card. The fee for a replacement wallet card is $10. The Corporations Division will not issue a replacement wallet card if the domestic partnership has been terminated.
- Who can register as domestic partners after June 30, 2014?
To register as domestic partners, both partners must
- Share a common residence
- At least one partner must be 62 years of age or older
- The other partner must be 18 or older
- Not be married to, or in a registered domestic partnership with someone else
- Be capable of consenting to the domestic partnership
- Not be nearer kin than second cousin, and
- Not be a sibling, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew to the other partner
- What should we do if we are in the process of dissolving our state registered domestic partnership?
You should call our office at 360.725.0377 and let us know that the dissolution has been filed. Domestic partnerships that are in the process of dissolving will not be converted to marriage if we are aware of them.