Monday, March 28, 2016

Nine Important Tips: Loose Certificates and Recordable Documents

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When you produce your own loose certificates for use on documents that have none, follow these principles:

  1. Clear 1" Margins - Certificates should be printed with a clear one-inch margin around the edge of the document.
  2. Space at Bottom on Last Page -You should also leave at least three inches of space that is clear on the bottom of the page if it is going to be the last page of the document.  Actually, it’s better to leave six inches at the bottom of the last page to cover all your bases on recording requirements throughout Texas. 
  3. Color of Printed Text - Print using toner or ink that will produce a very dark print; to be on the safe side, print in black.
  4. Font Size - Use only fonts of size of 10 pt. or higher. The font or print size requirement varies from recorder’s office to recorder’s office. The required sizes are between 8 pt. and 10 pt. Don’t take a chance on whether it’s 8 pt. or 10 pt.  If you create loose certificates for your own use, create them in a 10 pt. print or higher.  Also, don’t use certificate stamps to stamp certificate wording on a document if it is going to be recorded because most stamps have letters too small for this purpose.
  5. Paper Size - Don't use half-sheets. Use only the same sized paper as the document to be recorded.  According to PRIA, “… a variation of the certificate size would not necessarily cause a document to be rejected unless there is a local requirement governing page size which has been violated. (The document to be recorded should be printed on 8 ½” by 11” paper or on 8 ½ by 14” according to PRIA standards. Author’s note: one exception to these rules is when a Mylar plat must be signed and notarized; the certificate is printed on the plat.)
  6. Paper Weight- paper that is on white or nearly white paper of at least 20 lbs. weight.  
  7. Ink Color - Signatures (including the notary’s) should be in blue ink.  PRIA recommends blue so that it stands out against the black print of the document and certificate.  Other than blue, black ink or another dark color may be used.  Red, pink, orange, etc. would not be considered dark.  
  8. No Blanks in Notarial Certificate - Notarial certificates must not contain blanks; draw a straight line through blanks that have no relevance to your notarial act.  
  9. Complete any Options - The notary should make a clear selection of items like “he/she” or “personal knowledge/government issued ID/credible witness.”

SOURCES: - Real Estate Document Formatting (March 2000) and Notary Best Practices for Recordable Documents (2011) – collected on 1/29/16.
Stewart Title Recording Fees and Requirements – collected on 2/22/16.

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