Recording Rules


The bill now known as Session Law 2011-351 was passed by the General Assembly in North Carolina alters the prerequisite to recording found in GS 47-17.1 regarding the presence of a draftsman on deeds and deeds of trust. The session law now mandates that no Register of Deeds shall accept for registration any deed or deed of trust unless the first page of the instrument bears the name of either the person or the law firm who drafted the instrument, regardless of where the instrument was prepared or executed.

Instrument Recording Standards

(G.S. 161-14) All documents presented for registration after July 1, 2002 must meet the following requirements:

  • Be presented on 8 1/2 by 11 or 8 1/2 by 14 inch paper.
  • Contain a blank margin of at least three inches at the top of the first page, blank margins of at least 1/2 inch on the remaining sides of the first page, and blank margins of at least 1/2 inch on all sides of subsequent pages.
  • Be typed or printed in black on white paper
  • Be typed or printed in a legible font no smaller than 10 point font.  Blanks in an instrument may be completed in pen and corrections to an instrument may be made in pen.
  • Contain text typed or printed on one side of a page only.
  • Type of instrument must be stated at the top of the first page.

If an instrument does not meet these requirements, the register of deeds shall record the instrument after collecting the fee of $25.00 for nonstandard documents in addition to all other applicable recording fees.

Deeds submitted for recording should have a tax department pin number identifying the property.  Either an ad valorem real tax stamp/statement saying there are no delinquent taxes owed on the property and signed off by the tax department is needed or the statement, “Delinquent taxes, if any, to be paid by the closing attorney to the county tax collector upon disbursement of closing proceeds.”   All Deeds recorded electronically are required to have a delinquent tax statement on it.