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Requirements for  Standard Documents 





RSMo 59.310 and 59.313 prescribe document formatting for real estate recording effective January 1, 2002. 


It is important to understand that this law prescribes document formatting -- it does not change statutory requirements for documents to be accepted for recording.


We have these requirements below. If you would like to review the information online, you may check the state website online for the full text of the statutes:


  • RSMO 59.310: Documents for recording, signature requirements, and recorder's fee

  • RSMO 59.313: Recorder's fees (St. Louis City) and signature requirements 


The Recorders Association of Missouri believes that this standardization creates a more efficient and timely recording process for our users.



Summary of Requirements



  • 8 ½" x 11" paper

  • White, light-colored, 20# paper without watermarks or logos

  • Printed in black or dark ink on one side only

  • No continuous forms or permanent binding, but documents may be stapled for presentation

  • Minimum 8-point type. (Note: Nonessential information within any margin is exempt from this requirement.)

  • 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 than as required by law. (Note: ‘Attachment’ does not refer to an Exhibit, but additions to a document page.)



  • 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 the first and subsequent pages will be a minimum of ¾"

  • Nonessential information contained with the margins does not have to comply with the 8-point requirement, but 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.



  • 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 and marital status

    • All grantees’ names

    • Any statutory addresses

    • Legal Description

    • 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 first page requirement. 

  • Designations:

    • 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 ‘grantee’. Note: It is the filer’s or preparer’s responsibility 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 be designated.



  • A cover page for the document is not required, but a filer may choose to present a cover page and it will recorded as the first page of the document. The cover page must have the top 3" 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" and the required first page designations.



  • 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 incapacitated

  • Judgments or other documents formatted to meet court requirements

  • Fixture Filings on the National Approved UCC Forms.



  • Standard - Documents that meet both the statutory requirements and formatting standards will have only the per page recording fee schedule applied.

  • 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 applied.



  • Documents that meet the statutory requirements, but are exempt from the formatting standards will have only the per page recording fee schedule applied. Note: For a document that releases or assigns more than one item, there is a $5.00 per each additional item charge.


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