clerk-eddie-fernandez01Eddie Fernández, Orange County Clerk of Courts, announced that his office will begin acceptingOrange County domestic partnership affidavits, effective immediately.

The county registry grants domestic partners a number of accommodations, including visitationrights in health care facilities, a say in health care decisions, emergency­notification rights andguardianship privileges.

Orange County leaders voted to create the registry in 2012, which offers, as well, a parallelsystem for friends and neighbors who want to designate each other as surrogates.

“I’m happy that my office can offer this additional customer service, not only at the courthouse, but at our four other locations, in Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Park and on Goldenrod Road [in Orlando],’’ Fernández said.

He added that while the affidavits can be filed with the Comptroller’s Office, the Clerk’s Office provides additional familiar, convenient locations.

“Thousands of visitors walk through our doors every day to conduct business with us and it’s gratifying to be able to offer yet one more service to our customers,’’ he said.

“Whether you were already planning to visit our offices or looking for a convenient way to deliver your affidavit, my office stands ready to assist you,’’ he said.

All five locations offer notary services, making it a one­stop accommodation.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who attended the announcement, said she respects Fernández’ outreach efforts.

“I applaud Eddie Fernández’ leadership,’’ she said. “His commitment to the betterment of Orange County is admirable, as is his demonstrated commitment to fiscal accountability.’’

The Clerk’s Office will forward the affidavits to the Orange County Comptroller’s Office for official recording. Comptroller Martha Haynie was also on hand for the announcement Monday morning.

The process will work like this:

You can go to any of the Clerk’s locations to access an affidavit, complete it and have a deputy clerk serve as notary.

You can also download an affidavit at myorangeclerk.com, have it completed and notarized and then deliver or mail it to the Clerk’s Office.

You can also deliver or mail it to the Comptroller’s Office. To download the forms and for more information, including the cost, visit myorangeclerk.com.

From the Office of Eddie Fernández, Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts, Orange County, Florida.