Document Format Requirements

All documents submitted for recording in Washington State must follow the standards set by Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 65.04.045. If your document does not meet the formatting requirements, the Recording Division will return it to you for reformatting. If the only requirement not met is the margin specifications, you can still record the document without delay by including a signed cover sheet and an additional $50 fee.


Document Requirements

  1. Pages no larger than 8.5 inches wide and 14 inches long.
  2. First page margins of at least 3 inches on top and 1 inch on the bottom and sides. The rest of the pages must have at least 1 inch margins on every side. It's OK if a small part of a notary seal, signature, or incidental writing extends into the margins.
  3. Legible text in 8 point font or larger. Low contrast colors and highlighting may not show up in a scanned document.
  4. Nothing other than barcodes or flat labels attached to the document. Documents should be able to go through the scanner without damaging the document or the machine.

The first page must include:

  1. A return name and address in the top left corner within the top margin. This is the address Recording will return your copy to, if submitted by mail.
  2. A title (or titles) at the top of the page, immediately below the 3" margin. The title should describe what the document is. Recording will use this title to file the document.
  3. The names of the parties involved in the transaction. Each document must have at least one "grantor" and one "grantee."
  4. An abbreviated legal description of the property. If applicable, include the page number where the full legal description is included.
  5. The assessor's property tax parcel or account number. This must be listed separately from the legal description or other fields.
  6. Reference numbers of related documents assigned or released. If applicable, note the page number containing additional reference numbers.

For a comprehensive list of all formatting requirements, see RCW 65.04.045.