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Missouri State Standards for Formatting

RSMo 59.310 and 59.313 prescribe document formatting for real estate recording effective January 1, 2002. Therefore, we want to make you aware of the time frame and requirements so that you may make plans for an efficient transition.
It is important to understand that the law prescribes document formatting -- it does not change statutory requirements for documents to be accepted for recording.

We have these requirements below.

The Recorders Association of Missouri believes that this standardization creates a more efficient and timely recording process for our users. Since this may be a new process for you, we want to help you in any way possible to understand and implement these changes without disruption to your business.  The Recorder's Office does not provide any forms for and documents.

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 Recorders' 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
    • 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.
    • Release documents must contain a Book and Page number, a Document number, or an Instrument number of the Document you are releasing.  If more than one number is listed, it requires an additional $5.00 fee per additional item.



  • 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'.
  • Grantors names must state marital status.

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.
  • The legal description must be complete and not used off of your tax bill.
  • Legal description must be exactly the same as all previous documents relating to that particular piece of property.


  • A cover page for the document is not required, but a filer may choose to present a cover page and it will be 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.
  • Exempt - 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.
  • Additional Book and Page numbers, Document numbers, and Instrument numbers besides the original one has an additional $5.00 fee per additional item.


  • All documents that are rejected must be returned with a reason for rejection. The Recorders Association will develop a standard rejection form that can be used or adapted by any filing officer.