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Domestic Partnership Registration

Introduction
Same Sex Marriage Information
Fee
Requirements
Application Procedure
Required Types of Identification
Certificate of Domestic Partnership
Termination of Domestic Partnership
Disclaimer for the List of Rights and Privileges
Additional Rights and Privileges
Other New York State Rights and Benefits
Rights Not Extended to Registered Domestic Partners

Introduction
A Domestic Partnership is a legal relationship permitted under the laws of the State and City of New York for couples that have a close and committed personal relationship. The Domestic Partnership Law recognizes the diversity of family configurations, including lesbian, gay, and other non-traditional couples.

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Same Sex Marriage Information  

 The following is a list of all domestic and international jurisdictions that perform same sex marriages as of January 1st, 2013:

States of the United States: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, District of Columbia, New York, Maine, Maryland, Washington.

(Domestic partnerships issued by the states of California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington by statewide law provide nearly all state-level spousal rights to such unmarried couples.)

Other Nations:

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Netherlands
  • Mexico City(part of Mexico)
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden

 Lawfully married individuals, including individuals in same-sex marriages, are entitled to more New York State rights and benefits than those registered as domestic partners here in New York City. If an individual lawfully enters into a same-sex marriage in a jurisdiction outside New York, they are entitled to most of the New York State rights and benefits available to people lawfully married in New York. If you are considering entering into a marriage in one of the jurisdictions listed above, it is recommended that you contact that jurisdiction beforehand in order to learn about any applicable marriage requirements or restrictions.

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Fee
The fee to register a Domestic Partnership is $35 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.

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Requirements
You and your partner may register to become a Domestic Partnership if you meet the following requirements:

  • Both you and your partner are New York City residents or at least one of you is employed by the City of New York on the date of registration.
  • Both persons are 18 years of age or older.
  • Neither you nor your partner is married or related by blood in a manner that would bar his or her marriage in New York State.
  • Both of you have a close and committed personal relationship, live together, and have been living together on a continuous basis.
  • You and your partner must be able to truthfully state an identical residential address on the application form for the Domestic Partnership.
  • Neither you nor your partner is currently in another Domestic Partnership or has been registered as a member of another Domestic Partnership within the last six months.

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Application Procedure

  • If you and your partner wish to register as Domestic Partners, you will need to pick up the affidavit from one of our office locations. Alternatively, you can submit an application online to the Office of the City Clerk via City Clerk Online.
  • In either case, you both must appear in person at one of our office locations with an acceptable form of identification and the fee of $35 (by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk) to complete your application. If you have not submitted an online application, bring the completed affidavit with you.
  • As part of the completion process, the Domestic Partnership affidavit must be signed by both partners and notarized. Notarization is available without charge in the Offices of the City Clerk.

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Required Types of Identification
Acceptable forms of identification for the Domestic Partnership application are:

  • Valid driver license or non-driver identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (from the United States or any of its territories)
  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Official School Record
  • United States Permanent Resident Card
  • Employee Identification Card

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Certificate of Domestic Partnership

  • Once your application has been processed and the fee has been paid, the cashier will present you and your partner with the Certificate of Domestic Partnership.
  • You may purchase additional Certificates for an additional fee of $9 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk. Your Certificate constitutes notice of a registered Domestic Partnership when you or your partner apply for rights and benefits available to Domestic Partners.
  • These rights include, but are not limited to:
    • Bereavement leave and child care leave for City employees;
    • Visitation in a City correctional and juvenile detention facility;
    • Visitation in facilities operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation;
    • Eligibility to qualify as a family member to be added by the New York City Housing Authority to an existing tenancy as a permanent resident;
    • Eligibility to qualify as a family member entitled to succeed to the tenancy or occupancy rights of a tenant or cooperator in buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development;
    • Health benefits provided by the City of New York and employees and retirees and eligible members of their family pursuant to stipulation or collective bargaining; and
    • Such other rights as may be established pursuant to applicable law.

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Disclaimer for the List of Rights and Privileges
Certain other rights and privileges are afforded to you as domestic partners. The following is a summary of such rights and privileges, but the Office of the City Clerk makes no claims that the summary is exhaustive. In addition, you should note that the information presented below is being disseminated solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice.

Although all attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information and any subsequent updates, there may be changes in the law that are not yet reflected here. Therefore, neither the City of New York nor the Office of the City Clerk assumes any liability resulting from any inaccuracies herein or any reliance by any party thereupon.

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Additional Rights and Privileges
The Administrative Code and City Charter describe other benefits for which registered domestic partners may be eligible, namely:

  • Ad. Code §§ 3-401 through 3-404 authorize the Mayor to make an award (monetary) to a domestic partner of a firefighter, police officer, transit police officer, uniformed correctional worker, sanitation worker, school crossing guard, or any officer or employee of the city killed while engaged in the discharge of duty.
  • Ad. Code § 3-405 authorizes the Mayor to make an award to a domestic partner of a private citizen who died while trying to prevent a crime or preserve the peace or prevent public disturbance.
  • The Campaign Financing law excludes a domestic partner from being an "intermediary" for his/her partner who is a candidate. Ad. Code § 3-702(12)) bars a candidate from making expenditures from his or her personal funds held jointly with a domestic partner in connection with his or her nomination for election except as a minimal contribution to his or her principal committee (3-703(h)), and bars a candidate from using public funds to pay a domestic partner (§ 3-704).
  • Ad. Code § 3-204.2 allows a surviving domestic partner of a city council member to purchase the chair occupied by the council member in the councilmanic chamber for fair market value.
  • Ad Code § 8-107(1)(f) states that the prohibition of employment discrimination does not govern the employment by an employer of his or her domestic partner.
  • Ad. Code § 12-126(b)(2)(i) provides for the right to health insurance coverage for a domestic partner of a member of the uniformed forces of the police or fire departments who was killed as a natural and proximate result of an accident or injury sustained while in the performance of duty. In addition that section provides that: "[t]he mayor may, in his or her discretion, authorize the provision of such health insurance coverage for the surviving ... domestic partners ... of uniformed correctional and sanitation employees who died on or after November first, nineteen hundred and ninety-six and before January twenty-seventh, two thousand four and the surviving ... domestic partners ... of employees of the fleet services division of the police department who died on or after October first, nineteen hundred and ninety-eight and before April thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-nine as a natural and proximate result of an accident or injury sustained while in the performance of duty, subject to the same terms, conditions and limitations set forth in the section."
  • Ad. Code § 12-307 states: "It shall be the policy of the city of New York that, to the extent not inconsistent with law, the city shall make benefits available to the domestic partners of city employees on the same basis as the city makes benefits available to the spouses of city employees."
  • Ad. Code § 16-501(d) (part of New York City Trade Waste Commission law) states that a person is considered to hold stock in a corporation where such stock is owned directly or indirectly by or for the spouse or domestic partner of such individual.
  • In Ad. Code § 16-321(b)(10) (part of the Solid Waste Recycling law), "ownership interest" means an "interest in a firm that is held by a candidate for any advisory board created pursuant to this subchapter, or by a member of such board, or by the spouse, domestic partner..."
  • For the purposes of food vendors, Ad. Code § 17-308.1 provides that surviving domestic partners are to receive the same rights and benefits as surviving spouses of honorably discharged members of the armed forces. These rights and benefits, according to Article Four of the General Business Law are the right to "hawk, peddle, vend and sell goods, wares or merchandise or solicit trade upon the streets and highways within the county of his or her residence, as the case may be, or if such county is embraced wholly by a city, within such city, by procuring a license for that purpose to be issued as herein provided." N.Y. Gen. Bus. § 32.
  • Ad. Code § 17-314.1 provides that the commissioner may transfer a food vendor permit to a dependent domestic partner if the person to whom the permit was issued is deceased or is incapacitated.
  • Under both Ad. Code § 20-950(1), addressing shipboard gambling, and Ad. Code § 22-202(1), addressing fish markets, a person is deemed to hold stock when the stock is owned directly or indirectly by such individual's domestic partner or a corporation in which the domestic partner owns 50% or more of the stock.
  • Under Ad. Code § 27-2004, the definitions section of the Housing Maintenance Code, "family" can be defined as two or more individuals related by domestic partnership.
  • Under Ad. Code § 27-232, the definitions section of the Building Code, "family" is defined as "two or more individuals... who are parties to a domestic partnership."
  • Charter § 2903(a)(15)(a) provides that a domestic partner of a person with a disability may apply for and be issued a special parking permit.
  • Under Charter § 2601, the conflicts of interests provisions, persons "associated" with a public servant include a domestic partner with whom the public servant has a business or other financial relationship (§ 2601(5)); a "blind trust" can be a trust in which a public servant and his/her domestic partner has a beneficial interest, but has no knowledge of holdings or income (§ 2601(6)); "ownership interest" can mean an interest in a firm held by a public servant's domestic partner which exceeds 5% of the firm or an investment of twenty-five thousand dollars in cash or other form of commitment, whichever is less, or five percent or twenty-five thousand dollars of the firm's indebtedness, whichever is less, and any lesser interest in a firm when...the public servant's ... domestic partner... exercises managerial control or responsibility regarding any such firm, but shall not include interests held in any pension plan, deferred compensation plan or mutual fund, the investments of which are not controlled by the ... public servant's ... domestic partner ... or in any blind trust which holds or acquires an ownership interest. (§2601(16)).
  • For the purposes of general vendors, under Ad. Code § 20-455.1 surviving domestic partners are to receive the same rights and benefits as surviving spouses of honorably discharged members of the armed forces receive pursuant to article four of the general business law.

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Other New York State Rights and Benefits
Domestic partners registered in New York City may also receive some New York State benefits, namely:

  • Under Public Health Law § 2805-q, no domestic partner shall be denied any rights of visitation of his or her domestic partner when such rights are accorded to spouses and next-of-kin at any hospital, nursing home or health care facility.
  • Workers' Compensation Law § 4 requires that the domestic partner of any employee killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks be treated as a spouse for the purposes of any death benefit to which a surviving spouse would be entitled upon death, so that any such benefits would be paid to the domestic partner.

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Rights Not Extended to Registered Domestic Partners
Because they cannot be considered spouses, domestic partners do not benefit from state income tax advantages, the spousal privilege and confidential marital communications, the ability to take out insurance policies on the other spouse, and other benefits of marriage. A surviving domestic partner does not have any inheritance or life insurance rights absent an explicit bequest in a will.

The following benefits of marriage have been found NOT to extend to domestic partners:

  • General workers' compensation death benefits (although the legislature passed Workers' Compensation Law § 4 allowing domestic partners of those killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks to receive death benefits, it has not extended the benefit to domestic partners in other cases.) See Valentine v. American Airlines, 17 A.D.3d 38, 40 (3d Dept. 2005) (Domestic partners do not fall within the definition of surviving spouse under Workers' Compensation Law § 16(1-a)(2)).
  • Right to use equitable estoppel to enforce parental rights. See Matter of Janis C. v Christine T., 294 A.D.2d 496 (2d Dept. 2002) (Although the doctrine of equitable estoppel has been applied as a defense in various proceedings involving paternity, custody, and visitation, it does not apply in a case where a same-sex domestic partner seeks visitation claiming to be a parent by estoppel, de facto parent, or a psychological parent).
  • Right to maintain an action based upon an implied contract for personal services. See Matos v. Gadman, 173 A.D.2d 442, 443 (2d Dept. 1991).
  • Right to maintain action in partition or division of property under legal framework of marriage. See Cytron v. Malinowitz, 1 Misc.3d 907(A) (Sup. Ct. Kings Co. 2003) (Division of property between domestic partners must be decided based upon legal theories of partition or joint venture).
  • Right to bring a wrongful death claim. Raum v. Restaurant Assoc., 252 A.D.2d 369 (1st Dept. 1998) (surviving gay partner did not have right to bring wrongful-death claim). But see Langan v. St. Vincent's Hosp., 196 Misc. 2d 440 (Sup. Ct. Nassau Co. 2003) (a surviving spouse of a same-sex couple who entered into a civil union under Vermont law could recover under the wrongful death statute because New York recognized the union under the principles of full faith and credit).
  • Rights inherent in marital residence. See Blake v. Stradford, 188 Misc. 2d 347, 352 (Dist. Ct. Nassau Co. 2001).
  • Right to maintain an action of loss of consortium. See Mazzelli v. Mercello, 2005 NY Slip Op 25237 (Sup. Ct. Westchester Co. 2005).

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Termination of Domestic Partnership

  • You or your partner may terminate your Domestic Partnership by filing a Termination Statement in person at one of our office locations, or you may submit a Termination Statement online to the Office of the City Clerk and visit one of our offices during regular business hours to complete it.
  • If it is impossible for you to come to our offices to file the Termination Statement, you may file the Termination Statement by Certified Mail. Download the Termination Statement (in PDF). However, you must demonstrate in a written statement attached to the Termination Statement that in-person filing is impossible or would create a hardship. If you fail to do so or do not present a convincing case, your request will be denied and the Termination Statement must then be filed in person. If the submitted Termination Statement is not signed by both parties, then proof that the non-signing party was notified in the form of a certified return receipt must also be sent with the Termination Statement. 
  • If the Termination Statement has not been signed by both you and your partner, you must notify your partner of your termination by Registered Mail, Return Receipt requested.
  • The fee for Domestic Partnership Termination is $27 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.
  • You must show one of the valid forms of identification as described above.
  • If either you or your Domestic Partner get married to each other or to another person, your Domestic Partnership is automatically terminated.    
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