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Standard Document Format

If you wish to record legal documents affecting real estate such as deeds, land contracts, mortgages, satisfactions and assignments, you will need to use a form which conforms to the Wisconsin standard document format.   


Most states require standard document format. If you are outside of Wisconsin, you may add a cover-sheet to your document. Print or type the document title, return address, and parcel identification number in the proper locations and attach.  

Requirements of the standard document format are as follows:

  • The upper right hand corner of the document must be completely blank (at least 3” by 3”) for our official recording stamp.

  • The name and return address must be either (1) directly under the recording area, or (2) on the left side of the page and within the top 3 inches.

  • The parcel identifier number must be placed directly under the return address.

  • The title of the document must be within the top 3 inches of the page but not in the 3 by 3 inch corner left blank for our recording stamp.

  • The entire document must be legible and reproducible.

  • The paper is white, standard weight, and letter or legal-sized

  • 59.43(2m)(b)5. The ink is black, blue, or red, except that signatures and coded notations on maps may be other colors.

  • The top margin is a minimum of 1/2 inch for every page. Other margins are minimum of 1/4 inch.

  • The pages are not hinged.

Remember, you still need:

  • Complete legal descriptions if the document refers to specific parcels of land.

  • Original signatures notarized or authenticated.

  • Proper fees accompanying the document.

  • Name of the document drafter.

  • Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Return (completed and with proper fee or exemption #).

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