City of Seattle’s Domestic Partnership Registration Program

In-person services are currently available only by appointment and on a limited basis. Please see below or contact us by phone at (206) 684-8344 or by e-mail at CityClerk@seattle.gov for more information.

 

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 or 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
  • 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.

How to Register a Domestic Partnership with the City of Seattle

You can use our paper application or our electronic application, but not both:

To apply on paper

  • Download the Domestic Partnership Registration Form, or request a copy from the City Clerk's Office
  • Fill out the form (please write clearly)
    • Answer all eligibility questions truthfully
    • Both partners must sign the same form
    • Both signatures must be notarized
    • Send us the original, not a photocopy
  • Submit the completed, notarized form with the $25 registration fee to the Office of the City Clerk
    • Mail the form with the $25 registration fee to the address on the form (we currently do not recommend using over-night mail delivery services due to limited delivery access to City Hall), or
    • Leave the form and payment (in an envelope) in our secure drop-box in the lobby of City Hall, just inside the 5th Avenue Entrance (between Cherry and James Streets, Security staff can assist you), or
    • Contact us at (206) 684-8344 or leg_domesticpartnership@seattle.gov to make an appointment to bring the application in in person
  • Make checks or money orders payable to "City of Seattle"
    • DO sign checks/money orders before mailing, but DO NOT endorse them
  • We will process your application the day we receive it. We will mail you your certificate that day, and also email you a scan of your certificate

OR

To apply electronically

  • Download the Domestic Partnership Registration Form, or request a copy from the City Clerk's Office
  • Fill out the form and have it notarized electronically
    • Answer all eligibility questions truthfully
    • Both partners must sign the same form
    • Both signatures must be electronically notarized. Information about how to access an online notary service is available here.
    • Please note we cannot accept scanned copies of ink signed forms. Applications submitted via email must be electronically signed and notarized. 
  • E-mail your completed and electronically notarized application to us at leg_domesticpartnership@seattle.gov
  • Once we receive your complete application, we will email you an invoice for the $25 processing fee to be paid online. (Please check your spam filter if you don't see the email within one business day of sending your application).
  • We will process your electronic application the day after your payment has been received. We will mail you your certificate that day, and also email you a scan of the certificate.  

How much does it cost?

Program Fees:

  • Registration: $25
  • Certificate replacement: $10

See Fees for Materials & Services for more information.

Forms of Payment Accepted:

  • check
  • money order
  • cash - in person only [not currently available; see notice above]; please do not send cash through the mail

How long does it take?

By 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.

[Not currently available; see notice above] In person: Certificates can be issued in person at our Information Service Desk. Please be sure your application is complete, signed, and notarized, and be aware that we do not accept credit or debit cards.

Why isn't it confidential?

Domestic Partnership Registration is not confidential. It is a public record under the Public Records Act (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.

If you are a City of Seattle employee, you can obtain a City-authorized Domestic Partnership form (see SMC Section 4.30.010) from your Benefits representative in the Seattle Department of Human Resources.

If a Registered Domestic Partnership Ends

No. The City of Seattle's Domestic Partnership Registration program is open to all eligible persons anywhere who wish to participate.

The City of Seattle's Domestic Partnership Registration Program is separate and distinct from the Washington State Program.

The City of Seattle Program does not create any new or different legal rights or financial obligations. Both partners are required to be at least eighteen (18) years of age.

The Washington State Domestic Partnership Registration program, authorized by RCW 26.60, provides access to certain rights and benefits, such as those associated with hospital visitation, health care decision-making, organ donation decisions, and other issues related to illness, incapacity, death, and in some cases collecting social security and pension benefits. The state program requires at least one partner to be at least 62 years of age. To learn more about the State program, contact the Secretary of State Corporations Division, at (360) 753-7115, or visit their website

There is no guaranteed benefit of registering a domestic partnership with the City of Seattle

Many couples register partnerships with the City of Seattle to enroll a partner on an employee benefit plan. Businesses MAY choose, but are not required, to include Domestic Partnerships in various benefit plans. It is your responsibility to inquire with your employer for information on its benefit plans, and if they will accept a City of Seattle Domestic Partnership.