Domestic Partnership Information

Heart and Couple  


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Policy Information

In October, 1983, the Human Relations and Welfare Commission of the City of Berkeley held a public hearing on "Examining the Use of Marriage to Determine Benefits and Liabilities in Berkeley and the alternatives".

As a result of that hearing the City Council adopted a Policy in December, 1984 extending employee benefits to domestic partners as a way of addressing inequities that occur when benefits are limited to married couples because same gender cohabitating couples cannot marry and opposite gender cohabitating couples choose not to marry.

In June, 1991, the City Council extended the policy recognizing domestic partnerships beyond City employees to provide the general public the opportunity to register as Domestic Partners.  This Policy implements that City Council directive.

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An Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (PDF, 43 KB) must be signed by both parties and each, in signing, must attest to certain facts including a declaration of responsibility by the signing parties for their common welfare.  The Affidavit form must be filed in person at the City Clerk Department by one of the parties.  There is a $30 fee for filing the Affidavit and obtaining a Certificate of Registration of a Domestic Partnership (Resolution No. 65,282-N.S.).


In order to terminate a Domestic Partnership, a Statement of Termination (PDF, 41 KB) must be filed with the City Clerk Department.  If both partners have signed the Statement of Termination, the fee is $5.00.  If only one partner has signed, the fee is $15.00. Terminations are effective on the date they are received by the City Clerk Department. There is a six-month waiting period between terminating one Domestic Partnership and entering into another.

Payment Policy: The City Clerk Department accepts cash and checks/money orders only – no debit or credit card payments are accepted.  The City Clerk Department may not be able to give change for bills of $20 or greater.   Please note that the City Clerk Department accepts EXACT CHANGE ONLY after 4:30 p.m.

It should be noted that this Affidavit of Domestic Partnership may have potential legal implications under California law which has recognized that non-marital cohabiting couples may privately contract with respect to the financial obligations of their relationship.  If you have questions regarding the potential legal effects of signing the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, you should consult an attorney.

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Additional Resources

Secretary of State Domestic Partnership Registry

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