Inmate Marriages & Domestic Partnerships
The Department will provide a means for incarcerated individuals to marry or enter into a state registered domestic partnerships during their incarceration. Inmate marriages must comply with RCW 26.04, and state registered domestic partnerships must comply with RCW 26.60.
Applicants must adhere to the policy requirements in DOC Policy 590.200 to be considered for programs and privileges offered for married individuals/state registered domestic partners.
Per DOC Policy 590.200 Offender Marriages & State Registered Domestic Partnerships, the following requirements must be met for an inmate to be eligible.
- Inmates must be under Department jurisdiction for one year before beginning the marriage/state registered domestic partnership application process.
- Inmates in Segregation or in an Intensive Management Unit (IMU) or Close Observation Area cannot initiate a marriage/state registered domestic partnership application.
- Application processing may be suspended while an inmate is in IMU or a Close Observation Area.
- Inmates who are boarders must have permission from the Out-of-State Department or the Regional Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
- Both the inmate and the intended spouse/state registered domestic partner must be eligible to legally marry or enter into a state registered domestic partnership in Washington State.
- The intended spouse/state registered domestic partner must be on the inmate's approved visitor list per DOC Policy 450.300 Visits for Incarcerated Individuals.
See DOC Policy 590.200 for more details and clarification.
Marriage/Domestic Partner Application
Both the inmate and the intended spouse/domestic partner must submit written intent to marry or enter into a state registered domestic partnership.
- The intended spouse/domestic partner will complete DOC 20-213 Marriage/State Registered Domestic Partnership Application for Intended Spouse/State Registered Domestic Partner Use (also available in Español) and submit to the inmate's Counselor with the following documents:
- Copy of his/her photo identification
- Certified copy of his/her birth certificate, and
- Certified copies of divorce/dissolution decrees for all prior marriages/state registered domestic partnerships, as applicable.
- The inmate must submit the DOC 20-214* form and specified attachments to their Counselor. See DOC Policy 590.200 for more detailed requirements.
*The DOC 20-214 form is intended for incarcerated individuals. Contact Us if you would like a copy.
The Counselor will process applications and review the submitted documents to determine eligibility, and the Facility Risk Management Team will decide whether the application process should continue.
If the application is denied, the Correctional Unit Supervisor will notify the inmate and the intended spouse/domestic partner, in writing, of the reason for denial. Review DOC Policy 590.200 for more information about what to expect if the application is approved to proceed.