Records Management Standards for Recorded Instruments

17VAC15-70-10, et. seq.

Sec. 1. Statement of Applicability:

These standards shall apply to all writings required by law to be recorded and retained permanently in the clerk's office of the circuit courts of the Commonwealth. As noted in the section on exclusions, wills are exempt from the requirements of these standards.

Sec. 2. Recording Medium:

Instruments shall be recorded on paper that is uniformly white, opaque, smooth in finish, unglazed, and free of visible watermarks and background logos. The size of the paper shall be no less than 8 1/2 x 11 or larger than 8 1/2 x 14 inches. A minimum paper weight of 20 lb is required. Positive (black on white background) copies may be substituted provided the copies meet the paper and quality inscription standards noted herein and are microfilmable and capable of producing a legible image from microfilm. Negative (white on black background) and carbon copies are not acceptable. 

Sec. 3. Inscription Standards:

All inscriptions shall be black and shall be solid, uniform, dense, sharp, and unglazed.  Inscriptions are solid when the lines forming each letter do not have blank or light spots, and they are uniform when the entire letter is the same darkness. To be dense, each letter must be dark, and to be sharp, the demarcation between each letter and the background must be abrupt. Inscriptions are unglazed if they are non-reflective. Signatures shall be in dark blue or black ink.  

Sec. 4. Inscription Size:

Printing shall be nine point or larger. Typing shall be elite (12 characters per inch) or pica (10 characters per inch) or larger.

Sec. 5. Format:

A minimum one inch margin shall be provided on the left, top, and bottom margins and one-half inch on the right margin.

Sec. 6. Recording Standards:

Recordation inscriptions shall be by clerk's printed certificate, stamping, typing or handwriting and shall conform to the quality inscription standards noted above.

Sec. 7. Exclusion:

These standards do not apply to wills, non-permanent disposable forms, such as Uniform Commercial Code forms, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations, District Court and General District Court judgments and warrants. Original documents executed prior to July 1, 1986 shall be admitted to record. Where a plat is submitted as part of an instrument, the Standards for Plats shall apply.  

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