On January 1, 2002, new standardized formatting requirements for documents to be recorded with any
Missouri Recorder of Deeds will take effect. House Bill 606 and Senate Bill 515 repeals Sections 59.310
and 59.313 RSMo and enacts new Sections 59.005, 59.310 and 59.313, which allows recorders to reject
non-conforming documents and provides for a penalty fee of $25 to record non-conforming documents. The
following information is based on the text of the statute and the practical interpretation thereof by
the Recorders Association of Missouri (RAM), Missouri Bar, Missouri Bankers Association and Missouri
Land Title Association.
Document formatting samples can be found here.
What Standardization Does:
- Changes document formatting requirements for recording real estate documents
- Does not change statutory requirements
For Standard Documents
Size and Ink
- 81⁄2" x 11" size paper
- White, light-colored, 20# paper without watermarks or logos
- Printed in black or dark ink on only one side
- No continuous forms or permanent binding, but document may be stapled for presentation
Minimum 8 point type. (Note: Nonessential information within any margins is exempt from this
- Signatures must be in black or dark ink to insure reproduction from record.
- All signatures must have the name typed, stamped or printed underneath.
Attachments to a page may not be stapled or taped other than a securely attached bar-coded label or
as required by law. (Note:"Attachment" does not refer to an Exhibit, but to additions to a document
Top 3" vertical space of the first page only of each document is designated for the recorder's
certification. All recorder's certificates will be placed in this area.
- All other margins on first and subsequent pages will be a minimum of 3/4"
Nonessential information contained within the margins does not have to comply with the 8-point
requirement. It should be noted that the recorder is not liable or responsible for insuring that
nonessential information is archived. Examples: page numbers, form numbers, return addresses, etc.
First Page Designations
Every document (except plats and surveys) containing any of the following items shall have such
information on the first page of the document below the 3" margin:
- Title of the document
- Date of the document
- All grantors' names
- All grantees' names
- Any statutory addresses
- Legal description of the property
- Applicable reference book and pages if required
If there is not sufficient room on the first page, the page reference within the document where the
information is set out shall be stated on the first page. If one of the required fields begins on the
first page and continues uninterrupted to subsequent pages, that meets the page requirement.
Designations (First Page)
Grantors and grantees must be designated in order to be indexed. There is no limit as to
combinations or exclusions, but must include the words "grantor" or "grante". Note: It is the
responsibility of the filer or preparer to make the designations.
- Statutory addresses must be designated, i.e., "Grantee's Mailing Address".
- The address of the property shall not be accepted as a legal description.
Book and page references required on certain documents, i.e.. release deeds, assignments, etc. must
Recorder Cover Sheet
A cover page for the document is not required, but a filer may choose to present a cover page at any
time. It will be recorded as the first page of the document. The cover page must have the 3" top
margin and include first page designations.
If a document is presented for re-recording, in addition to all other requirements, there must be a
new first page or cover sheet with the top 3" margin and the required first page designations.
Exempt Documents (exempt from formatting requirements)
- Documents signed prior to January 1, 2002.
- Military separation papers.
- Documents executed outside the United States.
- Certified copies of documents, including birth and death certificates.
- Any document where one of the original parties is deceased or otherwise incapacitated.
- Judgments or other documents formatted to meet court requirements.
- Fixture Filings on National Approved forms.
Standard: Documents that meet both the statutory requirements and formatting standards will have
only the per page recording fee schedule applied, i.e., $24 for first page and $3 each additional
Non-Standard: Documents that meet the statutory requirements, but do not meet the formatting
standards will have the per page recording fee plus an additional $25.00 per document penalty
Exempt: Documents that meet the statutory requirements, but are exempt from the formatting standards
will have only the per page recording fee schedule applied.
All documents that are rejected must be returned with a reason for the rejection. The Recorders
Association will develop a standard rejection form that can be used or adapted by any filing officer.