Domestic Partnerships

Domestic Partnerships

General Information

To enter into a Domestic Partnership, a "Declaration of Domestic Partnership" must be registered with a County Clerk in the State of Oregon.  The Declaration of Domestic Partnership is a legal form.  The form should be completed in black or dark blue ink and should not be altered.  The legal form is 8-1/2 inches by 14 inches and has a grey stripe along the left-hand side.  All sections of the form need to be completed unless otherwise specified in the instructions.

The forms must be signed by both individuals entering into the domestic partnership.  Signatures must be acknowledged by a Notary Public.  Completed, signed, and notarized forms must be signed and registered by a County Clerk to be valid.  Forms with signature, notary, or registration dates before Jan. 1, 2008, are not valid and will not be registered by a County Clerk.

The County Clerk registers the form in a Domestic Partnership Registry.  A copy of the form, along with a "Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership," can be provided to the partners in person or by mail.

You may request a Declaration of Domestic Partnership application by e-mail at clerk@co.clatsop.or.us or by calling us at (503) 325-8511. You may request an application in person by stopping by the Clerk's Office at 820 Exchange St., 2nd floor, in Astoria.

Definitions

Domestic Partnership means the civil contract entered into in person between two individuals of the same sex who are at least 18 years of age, who are otherwise capable, and at least one of which is a resident of Oregon.

Partner is an individual joined in a domestic partnership.


Criteria for entering into a domestic partnership

Partnership is prohibited and void:

  • when either party has a declared partner, wife or husband living at the time of the domestic partnership;
  • when the parties in the domestic partnership are first cousins or any nearer of kin to each other, whether of the whole or half blood, computing by the rules of the civil law;
  • when either party is incapable of making the civil contract or consenting to the contract for want of legal age or sufficient understanding; and/or,
  • when the consent of either party is obtained by force or fraud, the domestic partnership is void from the time it is so declared by a judgment of a court having jurisdiction of the domestic partnership.

Note: When parties are first cousins by adoption only, the domestic partnership is not prohibited or void.

Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Partnerships

What is a Declaration of Domestic Partnership?
House Bill 2007, also known as the Oregon Family Fairness Act, was passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2007.  This bill established the Declaration of Domestic Partnership.  A same sex couple, wishing to register as legally recognized partners in a domestic partnership, can complete and file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership.  For more information about the legal effects of the legislation, please visit: www.leg.state.or.us/.

The Declaration of Domestic Partnership is a legal form.  The forms must be signed by both individuals entering into the domestic partnership.  Signatures must be acknowledged by a Notary Public. Completed, signed, and notarized forms must be signed by a County Clerk to be valid.  The County Clerk then registers the form in a Domestic Partnership Registry. A copy of the completed form along with a "Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership" can be given to the partners in person or by mail.

How is a Domestic Partnership Defined?
Domestic Partnership means the civil contract entered into in person between two individuals of the same sex who are at least 18 years of age, who are otherwise capable and at least one of whom is a resident of Oregon.

How old do partners have to be to enter into a Domestic Partnership?
The law requires that each individual must be at least 18 years of age.

Do both partners have to be Oregon residents?
No. Only one individual has to be an Oregon resident. State of residence is indicated on the form.

When is a domestic partnership prohibited or void?
Partnership is prohibited and void:

  • When either party already has a living declared domestic partner, wife or husband,
  • When the parties in the domestic partnership are first cousins or any nearer of kin to each other, whether of the whole or half blood, computing by the rules of the civil law,
  • When either party is incapable of making the civil contract or consenting to the contract for want of legal age or sufficient understanding, or
  • When the consent of either party is obtained by force or fraud, the domestic partnership is void from the time it is so declared by a judgment of a court having jurisdiction of the domestic partnership.

Can first cousins by adoption enter into a domestic partnership?
Yes, when parties are first cousins by adoption only, the domestic partnership is not prohibited or void.

Can domestic partners change their name?
Effective January 1, 2008, same sex couples, upon entering into a domestic partnership, can document the legal name each will use after they are married.

Who can change their name?
Either individual may retain the individual's prior surname, and either individual may resume the individual's prior legal name during the domestic partnership.

How is the name changed?
DMV and Social Security require a certified copy of your domestic parnership to make a name change. You may purchase a certified copy of your domestic partnership for $7.75, plus $3 postage and handling for mail service. Additional copies are $4 if ordered at the same time. When requesting a certified copy of your domestic parntership, please include the date of the service, names of both partners, and address where the license should be mailed. Please make the request two weeks after the date of the service to make sure it has been recorded.

How do I get a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form?
Forms are available by contacting us by e-mail at clerk@co.clatsop.or.us or by calling us at (503) 325-8511.  You may also stop by our office at 820 Exchange Street, 2nd Floor, in Astoria.

Forms are also available to the public on the Department of Human Services, Center for Health Statistics web site at: www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/chs/index.shtml

Instructions for completing the forms are also available on the web site.

(NOTE: Forms printed from the web must be printed on legal sized paper - 8.5 inches by 14 inches. A gray stripe down the left hand side of the form is required to show that it is the standard approved form.)

You can also order the form via mail or e-mail from the Center for Health Statistics.

Center for Health Statistics
Attn: Mary Ann Jensen
800 NE Oregon St., Ste. 225
Portland, OR 97232
Mary.ann.jensen@state.or.us

Please specify that you are ordering a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form. Include your mailing address and daytime phone number in the correspondence.

When will the forms be available?
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2008. The forms and instructions will be available to the public on the Center for Health Statistics web site on Jan. 1, 2008. The declarations can be filed with a County Clerk starting Jan. 2, 2008, the first business day of the year.

Can the forms be signed and dated before Jan. 1, 2008?
No. The forms will not be available to the public prior to Jan. 1, 2008. Forms that have signature, notary, or registration dates before Jan. 1, 2008, will not be valid for registration by the County Clerk.

How is the Declaration of Domestic Partnership form completed?
This is a legal form and it must be completed in black or dark blue ink and should not be altered. Forms can be hand or type written. All sections of the form need to be completed. The forms must be signed by both individuals entering into the domestic partnership. Signatures must be acknowledged by a notary public.  Please be aware, Clatsop County administrative policy #A-12 does not allow county employees to notarize documents for the public.

Is there a fee for registering the form with the County Clerk?
Yes, the fee for registering with Clatsop County is $50.

What do partners do once they have completed, signed and notarized the form?
Completed, signed, and notarized forms must be signed and registered by a County Clerk to be valid.  Clatsop County Clerk's office, located at 820 Exchange St., Ste. 220, Astoria, is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

Forms may also be mailed to the County Clerk's office.  Please include the fee of $50 for recording.  If you require a certified copy of the form, please include an additional $10.75.

Can partners complete the entire form at the County Clerk's office?
The form must be completed, signed and notarized before registering and paying the fee with Clatsop County Clerk's Office.  County administrative policy #A-12 does not allow county employees to notarize documents for the public, so notarizing the form must be done elsewhere.

Do partners have to go to the County Clerk's office in their county of residence?
No, you can register the form at any Oregon County Clerk's office.

Will partners receive a copy of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership?
The County Clerk will provide you a copy of the form for 25 cents after it is registered.  If you require a certified copy, the cost is $7.75 plus $3 mailing fee.  You will also receive a Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership.  These documents can be given to you in person or mailed to you for a mailing fee of $3.

What happens to the original Declaration of Domestic Partnership once it is filed with the County Clerk?
Every County Clerk registering Declaration of Domestic Partnership forms must send the original forms completed during the preceding month to the Center for Health Statistics on or before the 10th day of each calendar month.

Is the Declaration of Domestic Partnership a vital record?
Declaration of Domestic Partnerships filed with the Center for Health Statistics are vital records.  Access to the record is restricted for 50 years after the event to family members and their legal representatives, persons or organizations with a personal or property right.

How do I get a certified copy of my Declaration of Domestic Partnership from the Center for Health Statistics?
Certified copies of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership can also be ordered from the Center for Health Statistics, also known as Oregon Vital Records. Only family members, their legal representatives, or persons or organizations with a personal or property right can order certified copies. Orders will be taken after Jan. 1, 2008. Certified copies of the Declaration can only be issued after the original completed forms are filed with the Center for Health Statistics. Original forms completed during the preceding month are sent to the Center for Health Statistics on or before the 10th day of each calendar month. Once at the Center for Health Statistics, the records must be registered and entered into the vital records system. Therefore, it may take up to six weeks from the date of registration of the Declaration at the county for the Center for Health Statistics to have the record available for issuance of certified copies.

The cost is $20 for a first copy and $15 for each additional copy ordered at the same time.

Certified copies can be ordered via mail, internet, phone, in person or fax.

In person:

Oregon Vital Records
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 205
Portland, OR 97232-2162

Mail orders to:

Oregon Vital Records
PO Box 14050
Portland, OR 97293-0050

Phone orders: (971) 673-1190
Fax orders: (971) 673-1203
Internet orders: www.vitalcheck.com