Legislation



Following are summaries of bills enacted into law that may directly affect Domestic Partner filings made with the Secretary of State's office. Most enacted bills go into effect on the first day of January of the following year. Urgency bills, and certain other measures, usually take effect immediately after they are enacted into law.

To research other legislation that does not impact filings made with the Secretary of State's office but that may affect Domestic Partners, please refer to the Bill Index section of the California Legislative Counsel's website for a list of all bills introduced in the Assembly and Senate.

The various California Codes (reflecting laws currently in effect) can be accessed through the California Law section of the California Legislative Counsel's website.



Statutes of 2011, chapter 721 (SB 651 Leno)

This act eliminates the common residence requirement from the list of criteria to establish a domestic partnership. This act provides that a person under the age of 18 who otherwise meets the requirements for a domestic partnership can establish a domestic partnership with a court order granting permission. A certified copy of the court order will be filed with the Secretary of State.  This act also requires the Secretary of State to file and maintain a confidential domestic partnership, and authorizes the Secretary of State to charge a reasonable fee to offset costs connected to maintaining confidentiality. Furthermore, this act authorizes a judgment for dissolution, nullity, or legal separation of a marriage between persons of the same sex to be entered if the marriage was entered in California and neither party to the marriage currently resides in a jurisdiction that will dissolve the marriage.

Statutes of 2010, chapter 397 (AB 2700 Ma)

This act allows domestic partners registered with the Secretary of State, who also are married to each other, to dissolve their marriage and their domestic partnership in a single court proceeding.

Statutes of 2007, chapter 567 (AB 102 Ma)

This act allows one or both parties to a domestic partnership to indicate on the Declaration of Domestic Partnership form the middle or last name by which the party wishes to be known after registration of the domestic partnership. It also requires that the brochure prepared by the State Department of Public Health and distributed by the Secretary of State's office to all domestic partners be available electronically on the Secretary of State's website.

Statutes of 2006, chapter 856 (AB 2051 Cohn)

This act establishes a fee of $23 to be imposed upon persons registering as same sex domestic partners for the development and support of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender curriculum for training workshops on domestic violence. This act also establishes the Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Fund for the deposit and use of those fees, to be administered by the Office of Emergency Services. In addition, this act requires the Secretary of State to distribute two different brochures to all persons who qualify as domestic partners pursuant to Section 297, one brochure, developed by the Department of Health Services, but printed by the Secretary of State, would relate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender domestic abuse. Once developed by the Department of Health Services, this brochure will be available by request, as funding allows, to same sex domestic partner registrants. The other brochure, prepared by the Department of Health Services, is available to county clerks for distribution to applicants of marriage licenses, applicants receiving confidential marriage licenses, and notaries public receiving confidential marriage licenses pursuant to Section 503.

Statutes of 2004, chapter 947 (AB 2580 Goldberg)

This act provides that any reference to the date of a marriage shall be deemed to refer to the date of registration with the state of a domestic partnership for purposes of various laws concerning rights and responsibilities of domestic partners. It also provides that a premarital agreement between domestic partners registered with the state prior to January 1, 2005, shall be enforceable if it meets certain conditions and requires the Secretary of State to include specified language pertaining to premarital agreements in the letter the Secretary of State must send to all registered domestic partners on or before June 30, 2004, on or before December 1, 2004, and on or before January 31, 2005.

Statutes of 2003, chapter 421 (AB 205 Goldberg, Kehoe, Koretz, Laird and Leno)

This act enacts the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, which expands the rights and responsibilities of domestic partners and modifies the procedures for establishing and terminating a domestic partnership beginning January 1, 2005. Among the provisions that affect the Secretary of State's office are the following changes: require the mailing address of the domestic partners on the Declaration of Domestic Partnership form, rather than the common residence address; require the Secretary of State to provide domestic partners with a Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership; change the process by which a domestic partnership is terminated; require the Secretary of State to prepare a brochure describing the requirements, nature, and effect of terminating a domestic partnership; permit the revocation of the termination of domestic partnership within a specified period of time; require the Secretary of State to send letters and provide notices at specified times and containing specified language; and require the Secretary of State to establish fees by regulation for the cost of preparing and sending the required mailings and notices.

Domestic Partners
Registry (DP)




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