NC Document Standards

N.C. General Statute 161-14(b) requires that all instruments, except those conforming to the provision of G.S. 25-9-521, presented for registration on paper must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be eight and one half inches by eleven inches or eight and one half inches by fourteen inches.
  2. Have a blank margin of three inches at the top of the first page and blank margins of one-half inch on the remaining sides of the first page and on all sides of subsequent pages.
  3. Be typed or printed in black on white paper in a legible font. A font size no smaller than 9 points shall be considered legible. Blanks in an instrument may be completed in pen and corrections to an instrument may be made in pen.
  4. Have text typed or printed on one side of a page only.
  5. State the type of instrument at the top of the first page.


If an instrument does not meet the requirements, the Register of Deeds can still register the instrument only after collecting a $25 nonstandard document fee as required by G.S. 161-10(a)(18a), in addition to all other applicable recording fees.


Documents presented for registration are EXEMPT from NC General Statute 161-14(b) are as follows:

  1. Documents acknowledged/notarized prior to July 1, 2002.
  2. UCCs prepared on the standard National or State forms
  3. Documents which attempt to cancel, discharge and/or release a security instrument.