Document Recording, Requirements, & Information

We do not have any blank forms nor can we prepare a document for you. You may either prepare it yourself or contact a real estate attorney to prepare it on your behalf. If you choose to prepare it yourself you will need a standardized form (Quit Claim Deed, Warranty Deed, Beneficiary Deed, any type of Affidavit, etc.) that meets Missouri formatting requirements. You should be able to get Missouri standardized forms on the internet.  All documents must be notarized by a licensed Notary Public.  We do not have a Notary on staff.

59.005. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms mean:

  1. "Document" or "instrument", any composed document or drawing presented to the County Recorder for recording;
  2. "File", "filed" or "filing", the act of delivering or transmitting a document to the County Recorder for recording into the official public record;
  3. "Grantor" or "grantee", the names of the parties involved in the transaction used to create the recording index;
  4. "Legal description", includes but is not limited to the lot or parts thereof, block, plat, or replat number, plat book and page and the name of any recorded plat or a metes and bounds description with acreage, if stated in the description, or the quarter/quarter section, and the section, township and range of property, or any combination thereof. The address of the property shall not be accepted as legal description;
  5. "Legible", all text, seals, drawings, signatures, or other content within the document must be capable of producing a clear and readable image from record, regardless of the process used for recording;
  6. "Page", any writing, printing or drawing printed on one side only covering all or part of the page, not larger than eight and one-half inches (8.5") in width and eleven inches (11") in height for pages other than a plat or survey;
  7. "Record", "recorded" or "recording", the recording of a document into the official public record, regardless of the process used;
  8. "Recorder of deeds", the separate recorder of deeds in those counties where separate from the circuit clerk and the circuit clerk and ex officio recorder of deeds in those counties where the offices are combined.

59.310.1. The County Recorder may refuse any document presented for recording that does not meet the following requirements:

  1. The document shall consist of one or more individual pages printed only on one side and not permanently bound nor in a continuous form. The document shall not have any attachment stapled or otherwise affixed to any page except as necessary to comply with statutory requirements, provided that a document may be stapled together for presentation for recording; a label that is firmly attached with a bar code or return address may be accepted for recording;
  2. The size of print or type shall not be smaller than eight-point (8) type and shall be in black or dark ink. Should any document presented for recording contain type smaller than eight-point (8) type, such document shall be accompanied by an exact typewritten copy not smaller than eight-point (8) type to be recorded contemporaneously as additional pages of the document;
  3. The document must be of sufficient legibility to produce a clear and legible reproduction thereof. Should any document not be of sufficient legibility to produce a clear and legible reproduction, such document shall be accompanied by an exact typewritten copy not smaller than eight-point type to be recorded contemporaneously as additional pages of the document;
  4. The document shall be on white paper or light-colored of not less than twenty-pound (20lb) weight without watermarks or other visible inclusions, except for plats and surveys, which may be on materials such as mylar or velum. All text within the document shall be of sufficient color and clarity to ensure that when the text is reproduced from record, it shall be readable;
  5. All signatures on a document shall be in black or dark ink, such that such signatures shall be of sufficient color and clarity to ensure that when the text is reproduced from record, it shall be readable, and shall have the corresponding name typed, printed or stamped underneath said signature. The typing or printing of any name or the applying of an embossed or inked stamp shall not cover or otherwise materially interfere with any part of the document except where provided for by law;
  6. The documents shall have a top margin of at least three (3") inches of vertical space from left to right, to be reserved for the recorder of deeds’ certification and use. All other margins on the document shall be a minimum of three-fourths of one inch on all sides. Nonessential information such as form numbers, page numbers or customer notations may be placed in the margin. A document may be recorded if a minor portion of a seal or incidental writing extends beyond the margins. The recorder of deeds will not incur any liability for not showing any seal or information that extends beyond the margins of the permanent archival record.

2. 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 first page below the three-inch horizontal margin:

  1. The title of the document;
  2. The date of the document;
  3. All grantors’ names and marital status;
  4. All grantees’ names;
  5. Any statutory addresses;
  6. The legal description of the property; and
  7. Reference book and pages for statutory requirements, if applicable. If there is not sufficient room on the first page for all of the information required by this subsection, the page reference within the document where the information is set out shall be stated on the first page.

3. From January 1,2002, documents which do not meet the requirements set forth in this section may be recorded for an additional fee of twenty-five dollars ($25), which shall be deposited in the recorders’ fund established pursuant to subsection 1 of section 59.319.

4. Documents which are exempt from format requirements and which the recorder of deeds may record include the following:

  1. Documents which were signed prior to January 1,2002;
  2. Military separation papers;
  3. Documents executed outside the United States;
  4. Certified copies of documents;
  5. Any document where one of the original parties is deceased or otherwise incapacitated; and
  6. Judgments or other documents formatted to meet court requirements.

5. 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.

Notary Acknowledgments: All documents must be properly acknowledged, with an official notary seal and signature.

Address: All instruments affecting real estate except deeds of easement or right-of-way, conveying any lands must contain a mailing address of one of the grantees named on the instrument.

Planning and Zoning: Any conveying document containing a legal description that is less than 10 acres in an unincorporated area or a is part of a lot in a subdivision, the County Planning and Zoning Department must exempt the transfer deed before recording.

Fees: Recording fees must be received and paid before recording, by way of cash or check made payable to the Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds.

Return Address: Documents will be returned to sender as designated a self-addressed envelope is helpful for prompt return.

Re-Recording: All documents presented for re-recording must be re-acknowledged and re-recording purpose stated on deed.