Formatting Standards

Effective January 1, 2002: Documents that do not meet the requirements set forth in 595, 59.310 and 59.313 RSMo may be recorded for an additional fee of $25 dollars. 

Document Formatting Standards

  • Top margin (1st page only) shall be at least 3 inches of vertical space from left to right - all other margins should be 3/4 inch. 
  • Page shall not be larger than 8 1/2 inches in width and 11 inches in height (excluding Plats and Surveys). 
  • All Signatures shall be in black or dark ink.
  • Paper must be white or light colored paper of not less than 20 lbs. weight without visible inclusions. 
  • Print shall not be smaller than 8 pointype and MUST be legible or accompanied by an exact typed out copy to be recorded as additional pages of document.
  • Print shall be in black or dark ink. 
  • Print shall be included on 1 side of paper only (single sided). (No double sided documents unless patron is prepared to pay the $25 non-standard fee)
  • There shall be no continuous forms or permanent binding. 
  • Do not staple, tape, glue attachments onto documents or use white out. 

First Page Designations

Every document containing any of the items listed in this subsection that is presented for recording, except plats and surveys, shall have such information on the 1st page below the 3 inch margin: 

  • The title of the document.
  • The date of the document.
  • All the grantors names along w/ their marital status.
  • All the grantees' names.
  • Any statutory addresses.
  • The legal description of said property or page number that the legal description is located on within the document, if applicable.
  • Reference book and pages for statutory requirements, if applicable.

If there is not sufficient room on the first page for all the information, the page reference within the document where the information is set out shall be stated on the first page.


Documents which are exempt from format requirements and which the Recorder of Deeds may record include the following:

  • Documents which were signed prior to January 1, 2002.
  • Military separation papers.
  • Documents executed outside the U.S.
  • Certified copies of documents, including death certificates.
  • Any document where one of the original parties is deceased or otherwise incapacitated.
  • Judgements or other documents formatted to meet court requirements.


  • Any document rejected by a Recorder of Deeds shall be returned to the preparer or presenter accompanied by an explanation  of the reason it could not be recorded.  Cole County Rejection Form

Affidavit of Lost Note

  • When an original note cannot be produced and the maker of the note cannot be found, an affidavit of lost note is required when filing a release document for a Deed of Trust that has been recorded prior to 1986.

(January 1, 2002 - Senate Bill 515 HB 606, New Recording Requirements)