Massachusetts Document Recording Standards

Massachusetts is finally jumping on the formatting standard bandwagon. The registries had originally planned to implement the requirement on January 1, 2007. Now the new deadline is January 1, 2008.

Documents recorded after January 1, 2008 must meet the following requirements:

1. Be on white paper of sufficient weight to reproduce in registry scanners.

2. All document pages and attachments must be on paper that is no larger than 8.5 inches by 14 inches.

3. Printing on one side only; double-sided pages will not be accepted.

4. Documents that contain printing, writing or other markings must be sufficiently dark in appearance to be legibly reproduced on standard registry scanners.

5. All printing and writing on a document must be of sufficient size to be legibly reproduced on standard registry scanners.

6. Margins on all sides of all document pages must be of sufficient size to be legibly reproduced on standard registry scanners.

7. The first page of all documents must contain a “recording information area” in the upper right hand corner measuring three inches from the top edge of the document and three inches from the right edge of the document that is free from all writing or printing.

8. Documents that do not comply with Formatting Standard 7 above may still be recorded when attached to an official registry Document Cover Sheet or through the use of some other method adopted by the registry.

I was surprised that the registrars did not set more bright-line tests like half inch margins. I am also surprised that they are taking legal sized documents.

Thanks to Dick Howe of the Essex South Registry of Deeds for pointing this out.

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