Domestic Partnership Registration
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are Domestic Partners?
Domestic Partners means only two adults who are parties to a domestic partnership and who meet the requisites for a domestic partnership as established pursuant to Section 12-121, City of Tampa Code.
(1) Each person is at least eighteen (18) years old and competent to contract;
(2) Neither person is currently married under Florida law or is a partner in a domestic partnership or a member of civil union with anyone other than the co-applicant;
(3) They are not related by blood as defined in Florida law;
(4) Each person considers himself or herself to be a member of the immediate family of the other partner and to be jointly responsible for maintaining and supporting the registered domestic partnership;
(5) The partners reside together in a mutual residence;
(6) Each person agrees to immediately notify the City Clerk, in writing, if the terms of the Registered Domestic Partnership are no longer applicable or one of the domestic partners wishes to terminate the domestic partnership; and
(7) Each person expressly declares their desire and intent to designate their domestic partner as their healthcare surrogate and as their agent to direct the disposition of their body for funeral and burial.
What does "Mutual Residence" Mean? What if we own more than one house?
Mutual residence means a residence shared by the Registered Domestic Partners; it is not necessary that the legal right to possess the place of residence be in both of their names. Two people may share a mutual residence even if one or both have additional places to live. Registered Domestic Partners do not cease to share a mutual residence if one leaves the shared place but intends to return."
What is the purpose of the Domestic Partnership Registry?
Tampa City Council finds that a significant number of Tampa residents establish and maintain important personal, emotional, and economic relationships with persons to whom they are not married under Florida law. Individuals forming such domestic partnerships often live in a committed family relationship. Domestic partners and their dependants may be denied certain rights for lack of a system that establishes recognition of such partnerships. To the extent not superseded by federal, state, or other city law or ordinance, or contrary to rights conferred by contract or separate legal instrument, Registered Domestic Partners shall have the following rights:
(a) Health Care Facility Visitation. All health care facilities operating within the City shall honor the Registered Domestic Partnership documentation issued pursuant to this code as evidence of the partnership and shall allow a Registered Domestic Partner visitation as provided under federal law. A dependent of a Registered Domestic Partner shall have the same visitation rights as a patient's child.
(b) Health Care Decisions. This section pertains to decisions concerning both physical and mental health. Registry as a domestic partner shall be considered to be written direction by each partner designating the other to make health care decisions for their incapacitated partner, and shall authorize each partner to act as the other's healthcare surrogate as provided in Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, and otherwise as provided by federal law. Further, no person designated as a health care surrogate shall be denied or otherwise defeated in serving as a health care surrogate based solely upon his or her status as the domestic partner of the partner on whose behalf health care decisions are to be made. Any statutory form, including but not limited to, a living will or health care surrogate designation in the form prescribed by Chapter 765, Florida Statutes, that is properly executed after the date of registration which contains conflicting designations shall control over the designations by virtue of the registration.
Designation of Health Care Surrogate. This designation will permit my designee to make health care decisions and to provide, withhold, or withdraw consent on my behalf; or apply for public benefits to defray the cost of health care; and to authorize my admission to or transfer from a health care facility.
(c) Funeral/Burial Decisions. Registry as a domestic partner shall be considered to be written direction by the decedent of his or her intention to have his or her domestic partner direct the disposition of the decedent's body for funeral and burial purposes as provided in Chapter 497, Florida Statutes, unless the decedent provides conflicting, written inter vivos authorization and directions that are dated after the date of the registration, in which case the later dated authorization and directions shall control.
(d) Notification of Family Members. In any situation providing for mandatory or permissible notification of family members, including but not limited to notification of family members in an emergency, "notification of family" shall include registered Domestic Partners.
(e) Pre-need guardian designation. A person who is a party to a registered Domestic Partnership, pursuant to Section 12-221 above, shall have the same right as any other individual to be designated as a preneed guardian pursuant to Chapter 744, Florida Statutes and to serve in such capacity in the event of his or her Domestic Partner's incapacity. A Domestic Partner shall not be denied or otherwise be defeated in serving as the plenary guardian of his or her Domestic Partner or the partner's property under the provisions of Chapter 744, Florida Statutes, to the extent that the incapacitated partner has not executed a valid pre-need guardian designation, based solely upon his or her status as the Domestic Partner of the incapacitated partner.
(f) Participation in Education. To the extent allowed by federal and state law, and in a manner consistent with any applicable court orders or valid agreements or contracts, a registered Domestic Partner shall have the same rights to participate in the education of a dependent of their registered Domestic Partnership as a biological parent to participate in the education of their child, in all educational facilities located within or under the jurisdiction of the City. However, if a biological parent of a minor dependent, whose parental rights have not been terminated, objects to the participation of a non-biological registered Domestic Partner in education conferences or other dissemination of educational information, only the participation of the biological parents shall be allowed."
Where do we go to register as Domestic Partners?
The Office of the City Clerk is responsible for administering the Domestic Partnership Registry. The Office of the City Clerk is located in Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Third Floor, Tampa, Florida 33602. Our telephone number is (813) 274-8397. Parking is available at the following locations.
o Jackson Street Lot located between Florida/Marion and Jackson/Kennedy. The parking lot can be accessed from both Jackson Street and from Kennedy Avenue.
oFort Brooke Parking Garage located between Florida/Franklin and Washington/Cumberland. Entrance to the hourly side is from Whiting Street (the north module).
When can we come to register?
The Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance, Ordinance No. 2012-37, was adopted by the Tampa City Council on April 5, 2012. The ordinance goes into effect on July 5, 2012. Registration will begin on June 25, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for the first two weeks. Then beginning on July 9, 2012, registration will be from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Do we have to register in person? Why?
The answer is Yes. Both partners must come to the Office of the City Clerk together in person to register. The City of Tampa's Domestic Partnership Registry Affidavit ("Affidavit") requires the Affidavit to be signed and witnessed in the presence of a Notary Public. Once the Affidavit has been signed, the Affidavit will be notarized. The Office of the City Clerk staff is trained to ensure that the Affidavit is completed correctly.
Do we need to complete the Domestic Partnership Registry Affidavit before coming to the Office of the City Clerk?
The answer is No. We have provided the sample form on the Office of the City Clerk's official website on the Domestic Partnership Registry page for your review, but it should not be signed until you and your partner come to the Office of the City Clerk in person.
What is the cost of registering?
The City Clerk of the City of Tampa is authorized to establish fees for the filing of any affidavits, amendments, and the issuance of any certificates required by this ordinance, subject to the approval of the Tampa City Council. Any fees established shall be reasonable and commensurate with the actual costs of administering the provisions of the Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance.
Initial Fee: $30, which must be submitted at the time of registration.
Payable: Cash or Check payable to the City of Tampa
Amendments: $15, if the Domestic Partnership Registry Affidavit needs to be amended in the future.
Terminations: $15, if the Domestic Partnership Registry Affidavit needs to be terminated.
What do you need to bring to the Office of the City Clerk to register?
Photo Identification (Driver's license or other Class 1 ID)
$30 in cash or check payable to the City of Tampa
What proof will we receive showing that we have registered?
For your $30 registration fee, you will receive one original registration certificate; one additional copy of the completed registration certificate; two wallet cards with receipt; and two copies of the unrecorded affidavit. Your registration affidavit will be recorded in the public records of Hillsborough County.
What happens if my Domestic Partner and I break up/our Partnership ends?
Either partner to a registered domestic partnership may terminate such registration by filing a notarized affidavit of termination of domestic partnership registration with the Office of the City Clerk. Upon the payment of the required fee, the City Clerk shall file the affidavit and issue a certificate of termination of the domestic partnership to each partner of the former partnership. The termination shall become effective ten (10) days from the date the certificate of termination is issued.
A registered domestic partnership will automatically terminate upon notice to the Office of the City Clerk of the following events:
(1) One (or both) of the domestic partners marries in Florida;
(2) One of the domestic partners dies (provided however, the provisions relating to funeral and burial decisions shall survive); or
(3) One of the domestic partners registers with another partner.
The marrying, surviving or re-registering domestic partner(s) shall file an affidavit terminating the domestic partnership within ten (10) days of one of the occurrences listed in (b)(1)-(3) above.
Can I keep my registration information private?
The answer is No. The City of Tampa is a Florida municipal corporation and its business documents are public records under Florida law. There are no exemptions applicable to the Registry Affidavit, which will be recorded in the public records of Hillsborough County so that it may be searchable on-line at all times in case of an emergency.