Document Standards

New Montana document standards went into effect July 1st, 2021.

Standard Recording Fees

Standard recording fees are $8 per page. If your document does not conform to the Montana document standards listed below, you will need to include an additional non-standard fee of $10 per document.

State Statute

The complete Montana statute can be viewed at 7-4-2636 and 7-4-2637.
  1. Margin requirements are: 3" at top of 1st page, at least 1" at top of all subsequent pages, 1" at bottom of each page, at least 1/2" on sides of each page. If an insignificant portion of the signature (such as the "tail-end" of the last letter) is in the margin the document will be standard. If a portion of the signature in the margin is a designation such as: Sr., Jr., II, III, POA or Attorney-In-Fact; these designations will be considered significant and cause the document to be non-standard.
  2. Include the name and mailing address of the person to whom the document is to be returned in the margin in the upper left-hand corner of the 1st page of each document which may be legibly printed in ink or typed. The document is non-standard if no return address is included in the upper left-hand corner of the 1st page. Documents will be returned to the address written on the document - no exceptions! If the submitter would like the document sent to an alternate address, they must write it on the document before recording.
  3. Except for page numbers or other administrative information or designations all margins must be clear of all markings. The document standards committee has determined that other designations may be:
    1. Form numbers
    2. Form names
    3. Last date form updated
    4. Fax transmittal information
    5. Tribal information
    6. Initials
    7. Barcodes
    8. Order numbers
    9. Name of lending institution
  4. The document must be legibly printed or typed in blue or black ink on white paper that is either 8 1/2 x 11" or 8 1/2 x 14" in size. Addresses of grantees must be in blue or black ink when legibly printed in. A whole document legibly printed in blue or black ink, meeting all other document standards, is a standard document. A whole document that is written in cursive is non-standard.
  5. If a document conveys an interest in real property a legal description of the property must be provided. Documents that convey an interest in real property may include, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Deeds
    2. Contracts for deed
    3. Reconveyances
    4. Deeds of trust/trust indentures/mortgages
    5. Easements
    6. Declarations of homestead
    7. Any document requiring an RTC
A street address is not a legal description of the property, nor is a deed reference. The full metes and bounds description; subdivision with lot number or certificate of survey number must be included on the document.

Substitutions of Trustee do not need a legal description, just a reference to a previously recorded document.

  1. Provide the names of the parties to the conveyance on the 1st or 2nd page of any document with more than one page.
An acknowledgement by a notary is exempt from the color and margin requirements of this section. The notary seal must be legible.

An officially certified court or other government document, whether from an in-state or out-of-state office, is exempt from the provisions of this section. Government documents include Department of Transportation documents and Declaration of Intent to Declare a Mobile Home real property. These documents will always be considered standard.

A document which includes highlighting is a non-standard document. Be sure to put in the note field of your program that the document contained highlights which may not show up on the scanned image and microfilm.