Nevada officials say they will hand out 700 domestic partnership certificates on Thursday, October 1, the first day the law goes into effect.

The state began accepting applications for domestic partnerships in late August.

“We have received nearly 700 registration forms,” Pam duPré, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Ross Miller, told On Top Magazine in an email.

Because of the month-long pre-registration period, officials are not expecting a large number of new applications on the law's opening day, duPré added.

In announcing the pre-registration period, Secretary of State Ross Miller said: “October 1 will be a historic day in Nevada. We would like as many couples as possible to be a part of it by having their certificates in hand.”

The Nevada Legislature passed the domestic partner law in June against the wishes of Governor Jim Gibbons, who vetoed the bill saying it was not necessary. The law offers gay and lesbian couples limited benefits associated with marriage, including hospital visitation rights, estate planning and shared responsibility for debt. The law does not guarantee spouses health care and other employer-related benefits.

Opponents of the law argue that such unions are too similar to marriage and go against the will of Nevada voters who approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2002.

Despite an ongoing challenge, a similar limited domestic partnership law went into effect on August 3 in Wisconsin. But opponents in Washington State have managed to put an expansion of the state's domestic partnership law on hold and up for a vote in November.

In Nevada, the law's sponsor, openly gay Senator David Parks, is expected to hand out licenses in Las Vegas on October 1. Registering with the state will cost a couple $50.

CORRECTION: This version removes the statement that 700 additional couples are expected to apply for a domestic partnership on Oct. 1.