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Minnesota Document Standards

Minnesota Statute . §507.093

These are the document standards as passed by the 1996 Legislature.
Following each standard, the Document Standards Subcommittee has placed an explanation of what the standard means and how the subcommittee interprets the standard.

Note: Anyone producing their own forms should always leave a three-inch blank space at the top of the first page and follow the other standards as well. Do no try to make your own Minnesota Uniform Conveyancing blank form without leaving the blank 3 inches at the top.

All pages and exhibits attached to a document must also meet the document standards.

MS §507.093 Standards for documents to be recorded or filed.
(A) The following standards are imposed on documents to be recorded with the County Recorder or filed with the Registrar of Titles.

(1) The document shall consist of one or more individual sheets measuring no larger than 8.5 inches by 14 inches.

The largest size sheet that will be considered standard is 8½" x 14".
Fan folded mortgages for example that are 8½ inches by 42 inches long are non-standard.

Large exhibits such as surveys or maps attached to a document make the document non-standard.

No mention was made in the law as to how small the sheet can be but if it's too small to read, Standard #2 (print size) or #7 (legible to reproduce) applies.
Documents such as plats, registered land surveys, condominiums, CIC's and certified copies of surveys, plats, registered land surveys, condominiums and CICs are exempt because these are statutory documents or certified copies.

(2) The form of the document shall be printed, type written or computer generated, in black ink and the form of the document shall not be smaller than 8 point type.

The form of the document may be printed, typewritten or computer generated.
Hand written forms are non-standard.

The form of the document must be in black ink but blanks filled in containing dates, names & signatures or any other added information may be hand written and in contrasting color as long as they will reproduce clearly under Standard #7 (legible to reproduce).

Form name, form number, printing company name, printing company address, printing company phone number or page numbers may be in type smaller than 8 point as long as it can be reproduced. If it cannot, it would be considered non-standard under Standard #7 (legible to reproduce).

(3) The document shall be on white paper of not less than 20 pound weight with no background color, images or writing and shall have a clear border of approximately ½ inch on the top, bottom and each side.

Only documents printed on white paper are considered standard. Any colored papers including buff, pink or gray are non-standard.

Twenty pound paper is the standard office paper used for typing, printing and in copy machines. The onion skin type paper or paper lighter than 20 pound will be considered non-standard. Paper that is heavier than 20 pound is OK.

The standards do not set any limit on how heavy the paper can be.
Background logos, pictures, writing, scroll work, shading, etc., is considered non-standard.

The ½ inch border is approximate to allow for slight variations in measurements. It can be more than ½ inch but 3/8 inch or less would be non-standard.

Use of highlighter or shading on any part of the document that covers any printing or writing on the document makes it non-standard.

On Minnesota Uniform Conveyance Blanks the colored border is exempt.
A section crossed out of a document does not make it non-standard.
If any county official places any information in the ½ inch border it is still considered standard.

Fax information at the top of any page makes it non-standard.

(4) The first page of the document shall contain a blank space at the top measuring three inches, as measured from the top of the page. The right half to be used by the County Recorder for recording information or Registrar of Titles for filing information and the left half to be used by the County Auditor or Treasurer for certification.

This space is for the recording/filing certificate and other items such as cash register imprints of fees, document numbers and bar coding used by recorders, and for Treasurer and Auditor's certifications of taxes, state deed tax and mortgage registration tax paid. Recorders who use an imaging system and want to automate the process will need room for bar code, and the bar code must be in the same place on every document. In addition, some recorders are looking to have computer generated recording labels with fee accounting information.

Anything written in this area, by someone other than the filing officer or Auditor/Treasurer, will make the document non-standard.
If any county official places any information in the 3 inch border it is still considered standard.

A cover sheet that meets the above standard may be attached to a document where the first page does not meet the standard. The cover sheet should have the name of the document and all of the other requirements of this standard and Standard #3 (½ inch margin) & #5 (title below blank space). (It is preferred that there be some reference to the parties named in the document in the event that the cover sheet is separated from the rest of the document.)

(5) The title of the document shall be prominently displayed at the top of the first page below the blank space referred to in Clause (4).
The title of the document must be clearly shown at the top of the first page below the top three inches and should be set out from the rest of the form. This could be done by using a larger print or by the title being set out by itself. If the title is not clearly shown on the first page, the document is considered non-standard.

(6) No additional sheet shall be attached or affixed to a page that covers up any information or printed part of the form.

This standard covers documents where an additional sheet is stapled or taped to a page that covers up other information or part of the form that contains printing. Examples of this are the acknowledgment forms, legal descriptions and the newspaper clippings on a foreclosure.

A document is considered non-standard even if the portion of the form being covered up is not being used. If the border line in the Minnesota Uniform Conveyancing Blank for foreclosures is covered by the newspaper clipping, it is considered standard.

This standard is necessary because the attachment needs to be removed so the portion of the form under the attachment can be filmed or imaged to show that portion of the form was not filled in.

(7) A document presented for recording or filing must be sufficiently legible to reproduce a readable copy using the County Recorder's or Registrar of Title's current method of reproduction.

This standard leaves some discretion and decision making up to the recorder depending on what type of reproduction equipment is used.

If a document has a blurred form, (parts of the form unreadable from a bad reproduction or fax copy) and the recording officer determines that it cannot produce a permanent record that is readable, the document is considered non-standard but is recordable.

We cannot refuse to file a document if it can be read and indexed, but if it will not reproduce, it is considered non-standard. Use a stamp or statement on the document that says "received in an illegible condition."

If you cannot read a document so it can be indexed, you cannot record it.

Certified copies are exempt including the certificate cover sheet.

The exception of the Minnesota Uniform Conveyancing Blank (MUCB) forms means the form just as they are shown in the book of forms. Each recorder should have a copy of the forms as they are on file in the office of the Commissioner of Commerce. They cannot be reduced. They must be the same size as in the book of forms. They cannot be a word processing or type written form containing the information. They must be exact or they are not exempt just by calling the form an M-1, etc. They must match the book exactly.

Any of the old forms will be considered exempt as long as they are original forms and not copies.

MUCB forms produced from a CD or floppy disk program that match MUCB forms exactly, except for the colored border line, are acceptable.

A MUCB form that is copied crooked, moved up, down, to the left or right so that the margins are no longer the same as the MUCB is considered non-standard.












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