June 19, 2009
House Bill 525
Requirements for instruments or documents recorded with county recorder
(Effective date, July 1, 2009)
Prior law did not prescribe format requirements for instruments or documents recorded with the county recorder. However, format-type requirements existed (and continue to exist) for certain instruments or documents. For example, an instrument conveying title to property must contain legible signatures or names and the name of the instrument's preparer and must be of a particular quality of paper and sufficiently legible to permit reproduction. (R.C. 317.11, 317.111, and 317.112, none in the act.) Also, continuing law requires a deed or other instrument that is in a language other than English to be accompanied by a certified English translation (R.C. 317.113, not in the act).
Under the act, except for the exceptions described below, an instrument or document that is presented for recording must comply with the following standard format requirements:
- Print size not smaller than a computer font size of ten;
- Minimum paper size of 8½ inches by 11 inches;
- Maximum paper size of 8½ inches by 14 inches;
- Black or blue ink only;
- No use of highlighting;
- Margins of one-inch width on each side of each page of the instrument or document;
- A margin of one-inch width across the bottom of each page of the instrument or document;
- A three-inch margin of blank space across the top of the first page of each instrument or document to accommodate any certification or indorsement of the county engineer, county auditor, or county recorder, with the right half of that margin being reserved for the county recorder to indorse the date, the precise time of presentation, and a file number; and
- A one and one-half-inch margin across the top of each of the remaining pages of the instrument or document.
The act requires the county recorder to accept for recording an instrument or document that does not conform to these requirements, but requires the recorder to charge and collect fees in addition to the regular recording fees.  The additional fees consist of a $10 base fee for the recorder's services and a $10 housing trust fund fee.
Exceptions to recording requirements
The standard format requirements described above do not apply to the following documents that are presented for recording:
- Any document that originates with any court or taxing authority;
- Any record of discharge of a discharged member of the United States armed forces or of any person who served during World War I or World War II as a member of any armed force of the government of Poland or Czechoslovakia, participated in armed conflict with a United States enemy, and has been a United States citizen for at least ten years;
- Any plat that is a map of a tract or parcel of land and that is required or authorized by the Revised Code to be recorded;
- Any document authorized to be recorded that originates from any state or federal agency; and
- Any document executed before the act's effective date. (July 1, 2009)