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Domestic Partnership


DCVRD notices

8/30/2019: Vital records offices across the country are experiencing high certificate order volumes. Due to the spike in order volumes, DCVRD is experiencing higher than normal wait times. Our peak wait time is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you plan to visit our office, please consider doing so during off-peak hours. Alternatively, you may order a certificate remotely via mail, online or phone application processing. Visit for more information about remote ordering.

Domestic Partnership


domestic partnership

Since June 11, 1992, unmarried persons of the same or different genders, regardless of one’s place of residence, have been legally able to register as domestic partners in the District of Columbia.

This law guarantees the partners mutual visitation rights in hospitals and nursing homes. If one of the partners works for or was employed by the DC government after 1987, it also enables eligibility for health care insurance coverage, plus the ability to use annual or unpaid leave for funerals, births/adoptions, and caring for partners and dependents as family members.

ONLY the domestic partners themselves are entitled to copies of the domestic partnership certificate.

To order the certificate

You can order copies in person if you are legally entitled and have the required personal documentation (see below) and $18 per copy (a fee which can be paid by cash, personal or business check or major credit card.). If the name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change, like an original sealed legal name change order. See below:

What do I need to bring with me to prove my identity?

We recommend that you bring several forms of ID to ensure that DCVRD employees are able to verify your identity.

For a printable version of the below requirements, please review our Identity Guidelines Information Sheet.

During your visit, you will be required to complete an identity verification questionnaire at our self- service kiosks. (Read more under “How do the on-site kiosks work?”)

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present at least ONE of the following forms of primary photo ID (which must be original, valid, unexpired, and undamaged.):

  • State-issued driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card
  • Passport or passport card
  • Permanent resident card
  • Employment authorization card
  • Department of State card
  • Military ID Card
  • Law enforcement ID (must also present DC Superior Court subpoena)
  • Government employee ID (applies only to licensed social workers or government representatives with pre-existing approval from the State Registrar)

If the name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change, like an original marriage certificate or an original sealed legal name change order.

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity but you do not have a primary photo ID, you will be required to present TWO FORMS of alternate identification from the list below (which must show your full name, current address and/or signature where appropriate):

  • Valid, unexpired employment ID card (with photo) WITH a pay stub (dated within last 60 days)
  • Expired (within last 5 years) state-issued driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card or passport
  • Photo ID from a school in a U.S. state or territory (within last 3 years) WITH a report card, transcript or other proof of school enrollment (within last 3 years)
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo
  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • U.S. Selective Service card
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Federal Census records
  • Court documents
  • Pay stub (within last 30 days)
  • Utility bill (dated within last 60 days)
  • Valid DC ONE card
  • W2 or federal tax return from the previous year
  • DD214 military discharge/separation document
  • Legible printed copy of primary/secondary photo ID

If the kiosk is unable to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present ONE form of primary photo ID and TWO of the documents from the list below. (These options will appear when you present your primary photo ID.)

  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • Utility bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Sealed court documents
  • W2 or filed US tax return from the previous year
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo

To register for a domestic partnership

Both applicants must be at least 18 years of age, unmarried, competent to enter a contract, and not engaged in another domestic partnership.

They must prove they share a mutual, permanent residence by submitting ONE of the following:

  • A current residential lease or rental agreement naming both applicants as occupants
  • A current residential mortgage that names both applicants as mortgagors
  • A deed for residential property stating that both applicants share title to the premises
  • An affidavit executed within the last 6 months IF valid photo identification has the same home address

The applicants must appear in person at the DC Department of Health, Vital Records Division, 899 North Capital Street NE, First Floor, Washington, DC. An interview or examination is not required; however, the Registrar may examine applicants under oath.

Download forms (PDFs)

To terminate a domestic partnership

Filing for termination

One or both parties can file to terminate the domestic partnership.

When the partnership is related to benefits, partners must inform applicable third parties about partnership termination. Failure to notify does not carry a penalty; however any person who makes a false statement in a domestic partnership agreement or fails to notify an employer about a change in status can be sued in a civil action. Additionally, falsification of vital records forms and applications may result in punitive action (D.C. Code § 7–231.28).

There is a six-month waiting period to terminate a domestic partnership. During this time, all benefits continue to both partners, and the partner(s) who filed can submit a request to withdraw the termination at any time, if the partnership still meets the requirements for a domestic partnership. After the six-month waiting period, partners would need to establish a new partnership through the application process.

Forms (PDFs) and fees

Automatic termination

A domestic partnership terminates automatically, with no waiting period, if either domestic partner dies or one of the following occurs:

  • Both partners marry each other
  • One partner marries someone else
  • One partner abandons the domestic partnership or primary mutual residence