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Procedure for Registering Domestic Partnerships

Contact the Park Ridge Registrar at 201-391-3430

What are the basic steps to register a Domestic Partnership?

The applicants must obtain an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership from a Local Registrar of Vital Statistics.  The Affidavit must be completed and signed by both applicants at the same time, in the presence of a notary public, and notarized.  The Affidavit must then be filed with a Local Registrar of Vital Statistics and the required $28.00 fee remitted.  Domestic Partnerships are not considered registered until the Affidavit has been filed with a Local Registrar's Office and the Certificate of Domestic Partnership has been issued.

What are the requirements to register a Domestic Partnership?

The Domestic Partnership Act became effective on July 10, 2004 and was amended by the Civil Union Act implemented on February 19, 2007.

Under the original Domestic Partnership Act, same-sex couples age 18 or older and opposite-sex couples age 62 and older had to meet the requirements of the Act to register a Domestic Partnership.  The implementation of the Civil Union Act amended this requirement such that effective February 19, 2007 same-sex or opposite-sex couples must be age 62 or older and meet the remaining eligibility requirements of the Domestic Partnership Act to register as Domestic Partners.

Domestic Partnerships registered prior to February 19, 2007 are still valid and are afforded the rights and benefits of Domestic Partners.

Couples must meet the following requirements:

  1. Share a common residence in New Jersey or in any other jurisdiction provided that at least one of the applicants is a member of a New Jersey State-administered retirement system;
  2. Both persons are jointly responsible for each other's common welfare as evidenced by joint financial arrangements or joint ownership of real or personal property;
  3. Both persons agree to be jointly responsible for each other's basic living expenses during the domestic partnership;
  4. Neither applicant is in a marriage recognized by New Jersey law or a member of another domestic partnership;
  5. Neither person is related to the other by blood or affinity up to and including the fourth degree of consanguinity;
  6. Both persons have chosen to share each other's lives in a committed relationship of mutual caring;
  7. Neither applicant has terminated another domestic partnership within the last 180 days.  (This prohibition shall not apply when the previous partnership ended due to the death of the other partner.)

Where can you obtain an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership?

The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership must be obtained from a Local Registrar of Vital Statistics in any municipality in the State of New Jersey.  The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership does not have to be obtained (or filed) in the municipality in which the domestic partners reside.  A list of Local Registrars is available on the Department of Health and Senior Services website at http://www.state.nj.us/health/vital/regbycnty.shtml.

The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership must be completed and signed by both applicants at the same time, in the presence of a notary pubic, and notarized.  Many Local Registrar Offices have notaries on staff; please call to verify this information with the Local Registrar.

What should you bring when completing the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership with a notary public?

Each applicant must supply valid identification that establishes name, age and date of birth.  This may be supplied by one or more documents issued by a government agency, such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, driver's license, military identification or state/county identification card.

Where should the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership be filed?

The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership must be filed and registered with the Registrar of Vital Statistics in any municipality in the State of New Jersey.  The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership does not have to be filed or registered in the municipality in which the domestic partners reside.

What should you bring when filing the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership with a Local Registrar?

  1. Each applicant must supply valid identification that establishes name, age and date of birth.  This may be supplied by one or more documents issued by a government agency, such as certified copy of a birth certificate, driver's license, military identification or state/county identification card.
  2. Applicants must bring with them proof of residence.  If the residence is outside the State of New Jersey, at least one of the applicants must provide proof of membership in a New Jersey State-administered Retirement System by providing one of the following documents issued by the Division of Pension and Benefits:
    1. Pension Benefits Statement from the current or previous year,
    2. 1099R from the current or previous year, or
    3. Certificate of Pension Membership.
  3. Applicants must provide proof of joint financial responsibility, evidenced by at least one of the following documents:
    1. Joint deed, mortgage agreement or lease;
    2. Joint bank account;
    3. Designation of one of the persons as primary beneficiary in the other person's will;
    4. Designation of one of the persons as primary beneficiary in the other person's insurance policy or retirement plan; or
    5. Joint ownership of a motor vehicle.
  4. Payment in the amount of $ 28.00.

What is a Certificate of Domestic Partnership?

A Certificate of Domestic Partnership is the document that is prepared by the Local Registrar after you have filed your signed and notarized Affidavit of Domestic Partnership.  Each partner is presented with an informational copy of the Certificate at the time it is prepared.  This informational copy is only issued as your receipt that your Domestic Partnership has been registered; it serves no legal purpose.  Each partner will also receive a copy of the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and a copy of the Notice of Rights and Obligation for Domestic Partners.

What do you need to prove your Domestic Partnership has been registered?

To show proof of a Registered Domestic Partnership, you must obtain a certified copy of the Certificate of Domestic Partnership.  A certified copy can be obtained from the Local Registrar of Vital Statistics where the Partnership was registered or at the State Registrar's Office of Vital Statistics.  To obtain the certificate, you must identify the date and location of the filing for the Domestic Partnership, and provide identification to establish yourself as one of the partners listed on the document.  Fees for certified copies vary by municipality.

The application can now be accessed on the web at www.state.nj.us/health/vital (See Reg. 77)

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