Recording Standards - new

Document Formatting Standards
Effective in NC – July 1, 2002
(G.S. 161-14)
Changes effective October 1, 2019-Session Law 2019-117 (S594)


In addition to all other statutory and locally adopted prerequisites, all documents executed on paper after July 1, 2002 and presented for registration after that date must meet the following requirements:

  • Be presented on 8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14 paper
  • Contain blank margins
  • At least 3” at the top of the first page
  • At least ½” on three other sides of first page
  • At least ½” on all sides of subsequent pages
  • Be typed or printed in black on white paper
  • Be in a legible font no smaller than 9 points
  • Blanks in an instrument may be completed in pen
  • Corrections to an instrument may be made in pen
  • Text must be typed or printed on one side of a page only
  • Type of instrument must be stated at the top of the first page, below the margin


*If an instrument does not meet these requirements, the register of deeds will record the instrument after collecting the fee for non-standard documents ($25).*

Exception to non-standard document fee:
If an instrument fails to meet the filing requirements solely because it contains print in a font size smaller than 9 points, the register of deeds may register the instrument without collecting the fee for non-standard documents if, at the discretion of the register of deeds, the instrument is legible.

In order to avoid rejection, all documents should comply with 9 point font requirement.

Formatting Standards apply to all documents for which a fee is collected under GS 161-10(a):
      1. Instruments in General
      2. Deeds of Trust and Mortgages
(There is no fee for cancellation of Deeds of Trust and Mortgages in NC)
    1. Uniform Commercial Code filings (National Standard forms are exempt from the document formatting standards
    2. Torrens Registration
    3. Master Forms
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