Documents, also known as "instruments," recorded on or after July 1, 2002, must meet GS 161-14 (b) as follows:
Be 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, or 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches.
Black type on white paper.
Font size no smaller than 9 points. (Blanks in an instrument may be completed in pen and corrections to an instrument may be made in pen.)
Have at least a 3 inch blank margin at top of first page
Have at least a 1/2 inch blank margin on sides and bottom of first page
Have at least a 1/2 inch blank margin on all sides of subsequent pages.
Only one-sided typed or printed text.
Type of instrument at top of first page below blank margin.
Here is a template (PDF) that ensures compliance to the above standards.
Failure to Meet the Requirements
If instrument does not meet requirement outlined above, Registrar of Deeds shall register the instrument after collecting a $25 fee for non-standard documents as required by GS 161-10(a)(19). If an instrument fails to meet the requirement of font size (less than 9 points), but is determined by the Registrar to be legible, the Registrar of Deeds may record without collecting the non-standard fee charge.