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Amendment of Title 51 of the Rules of the City of New York regarding Domestic Partnership Ceremonies



Notice of Adoption

            NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN the City Clerk of the City of New York by Section 48 of the New York City Charter and in accordance with the requirements of Section 1043 of the New York City Charter, that the City Clerk hereby amends Title 51 of the Rules of the City of New York.

            The public hearing was held on January 15, 2010. 

            This notice, the rule, and the statement of basis and purpose will be available for at least 90 days on the City Clerk’s website at:



New material is indicated by underlining. Deleted material is indicated by [bracketing].

Section 1.  Section 4-05 of Title 51 of the Rules of the City of New York is amended to read as follows:

§ 4-05 Release of Domestic Partners Registration Records.

 Domestic Partner Registration information and documents shall not be subject to public inspection or disclosure.  In the ordinary course of business, domestic partner records shall only [shall] be released to either of the parties to the registration in person, after proper identification has been submitted to the City Clerk staff.  No requests shall be accepted [through the mail or over the] via telephone.  Further, domestic partnership information released pursuant to written authorization from one of the parties to the domestic partnership[,] shall only be released if such written authorization is notarized.

Section 2.  Section 4-08 of Title 51 of the Rules of the City of New York is amended to read as follows:

§4-08 Registration Fees.

(a) The registration fee for filing a domestic partnership is thirty-five dollars.
(b) The fee for filing a termination of a domestic partnership is twenty-seven dollars.
(c) The fee for obtaining a second or subsequent certificate for a registered domestic partnership is nine dollars per certificate.
(d) The fee for amending a domestic partnership registration is twenty-seven dollars.

(e)The fee for a domestic partnership ceremony is twenty-five dollars.
All fees required under this section are to be only paid in cash or by such other means as deemed acceptable in the sole discretion of the City Clerk.

Section 3.  Title 51 of the Rules of the City of New York is amended by adding a new section §4-09 to read as follows:

§ 4-09 Domestic partnership ceremony.

a.  Upon receipt of the applicable fee and subsequent to the registration of the domestic partnership, the City Clerk or an employee of the City Clerk designated for such purpose shall, upon request, conduct a ceremony in the City Clerk chapel to recognize the formation of a domestic partnership

b.  No ceremony is required to formalize a domestic partnership.

Statement of Basis and Purpose:  The amendments to the Rules of the City Clerk will afford a level of celebration and dignity to persons entering a domestic partnership. The provision permitting the request for domestic partnership records by mail will assist persons who are unable, whether due to disability, distance or otherwise, to visit any of the offices of the City Clerk.  The ability to receive payment for services in non-cash forms such as credit and debit cards is the norm in a modern business context and the amendment related thereto enshrines current business practice in the Rules.  The amendments are expected to improve the overall performance of the Office of the City Clerk, and specifically, to enhance the experience of applicants for domestic partner registration.


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