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Finding a Regulation

Federal Register (FR)

The Federal Register (FR) is a daily publication which contains proposed agency rules and federal agency regulations, as well as presidential proclamations and executive orders.

Tarlton Law Library Location for the FR: Second Floor, Stack 216

 

Searching by citation

The elements of a federal regulation citation in the Federal Register are:

  1. Volume number
  2. Source abbreviation (F.R. for Federal Register)
  3. Page number
  4. Date (month day, year)

For example, for the citation 71 F.R. 6021 (Jan. 31, 2006)

  1. “71” is the volume number of the Federal Register.
  2. "F.R." is the abbreviation for the Federal Register.
  3. “6021” is the page number of the volume which contains the text of the regulation.
  4. "2006" indicates year of publication of the volume of the Federal Register in which the regulation was found.

 

Searching without a citation

FR Index

The Federal Register Index is issued on a monthly basis and is a consolidation of the Contents pages from the daily Federal Register. Users may search for regulations by agency name in the Index. Sub-agencies are also referred to under the broader agency name. For example, the Agriculture Department may refer to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Each volume of the Federal Register contains Contents pages for that particular volume.

 

Searching Online

Online locations for the FR: Law Library of Congress; GovInfoFDSys; HeinOnline; Westlaw; Lexis

Law Library of Congress offers historic coverage, starting with the first issue, March 14, 1936 (1 Fed. Reg. 1), to Dec. 30, 1993 (58 Fed. Reg. 69169).

FDSys contains Federal Register volumes from 1970 (or volume 35) to the present. It can be searched by keyword, citation, or page number. GovInfo offers similar coverage.

HeinOnline, a database available through the Tarlton Law Library to members of the law school community only, also cotanins the Federal Register in pdf beginning in 1936.

Westlaw provides the full text of the Federal Register from 1936 through the present in its Federal Register database, located in the Directory under U.S. Federal Materials > Administrative Rules & Regulations.

LexisNexis provides the full text of the Federal Register from 1936 through the present in its Federal Register folder, located in the Federal Legal – U.S. database.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the official compilation of all federal regulations currently in force. The CFR codifies the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent general topic areas subject to Federal regulation. Each title is divided into chapters which usually indicate the name of the issuing agency. Chapters are divided into parts which cover specific areas of regulation.

Each printed volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

  • Titles 1-16 are updated as of January 1st
  • Titles 17-27 are updated as of April 1st
  • Titles 28-41 are updated as of July 1st
  • Titles 42-50 are updated as of October 1st

*It is important to note that the permanent regulations in the CFR may be affected by new regulations or amendments. Because of this, the Federal Register (see section below explaining the Federal Register), which is published on a daily basis, should be used to monitor any amendments or changes to the CFR.

Tarlton Law Library Location for the CFR: Second floor, Stack 216

 

Searching by citation

The elements of a federal regulation citation in the Code of Federal Regulations are:

  1. Title number
  2. Source abbreviation (C.F.R. for Code of Federal Regulations)
  3. Section number
  4. Date (year)

For example, for the citation 27 C.F.R. § 478.34 (2005):

  1. "27" is the title number within the Code of Federal Regulations.
  2. "C.F.R." is the abbreviation for the Code of Federal Regulations.
  3. "§ 478.34" is the section of Title 27 in which the text of the relevant regulation can be found.
  4. "2005" indicates the year of publication of the volume of the CFR in which the regulation was found.

 

Searching without a citation

CFR Indexes and Tabular Guides

A general subject index to the entire Code of Federal Regulations can be found in a separate volume entitled CFR Index and Finding Aids. This volume, which is revised annually as of January 1 each year, contains the Parallel Table of Statutory Authorities and Agency Rules (Table I). Also included is a list of CFR titles, chapters, and parts as well as an alphabetical list of agencies publishing in the CFR.

If the user knows the authorizing statute which gave the agency its power to promulgate regulations, then the user may consult the Table of Statutory Authorities, locate the authorizing statute, and see which regulations followed.

List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA)

The List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) has finding aids to locate new regulations since the last published CFR as well as a citation for where the changes to the CFR, if any, are published in the FR.

 

Searching online

Online locations for the CFR: FDSys; HeinOnline; Westlaw; Lexis

FDSys contains the full text of the current Code of Federal Regulations as well as historical text of the CFR going back to 1996. It can be searched by keyword, citation, or can be browsed by title.

e-CFR The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a currently updated version of the CFR. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR. The e-CFR is an editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office. The current update status appears at the top of all e-CFR web pages.

HeinOnline, a database available through the Tarlton Law Library to members of the law school community only, also cotanins the Code of Federal Regulations in pdf beginning in 1938.

Westlaw provides the full text of all adopted rules and regulations in the CFR in its Code of Federal Regulations database, located in the Directory under U.S. Federal Materials > Administrative Rules & Regulations . Users can browse the CFR by title, or search for regulations using a “Terms and Connectors” or “Natural Language” search.

In addition, Westlaw includes a feature entitled “Regulations Plus.” Once a user has located a regulation, they may use the “Regulations Plus” feature to locate prior versions of the regulation, all citing cases, Federal Register references, etc.

LexisNexis provides the full text of all adopted rules and regulations in the CFR in its Code of Federal Regulations folder, located in the Federal Legal – U.S. database. Users can browse the CFR by title, or search for regulations using a “Terms and Connectors” or “Natural Language” search. Users may also locate regulations through Lexis if they know the authorizing statute. They may look up the authorizing statute, refer to the notes section and see the corresponding regulations.

In addition, LexisNexis enables users to monitor changes to the CFR using the Federal Register. To do so, the user must select the Federal Regulations file from the Federal Legal database. If, for example, the user is interested in proposed or enacted amendments that might affect the text of section 17 CFR 249.310 (in effect on April 1st, 1993), they would enter the following search in the Federal Regulations file: [date aft 4/1/93 and cfr(17 and 249) and 249.310]