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Code of Federal Regulations  
The Code of Federal Regulations.
Language English
Publication details
Frequency Annually
License Public domain
ISSN 1946-4975
A few volumes of the CFR at a law library (titles 12–26).

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States. The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation.

The CFR annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published by the Office of the Federal Register (part of the National Archives and Records Administration) and the Government Printing Office. [1] In addition to this annual edition, the CFR is published in an unofficial format online on the Electronic CFR website, which is updated daily.


Under the nondelegation doctrine, federal agencies are authorized to promulgate regulations (rulemaking) by "enabling legislation".[2] The process of rulemaking is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA): generally, the APA requires a process that includes publication of the proposed rules in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), a period for comments and participation in the decisionmaking, and adoption and publication of the final rule, via the Federal Register.[2][3]

Publication procedure[edit]

The rules and regulations are first promulgated or published in the Federal Register. The CFR is structured into 50 subject matter titles. Agencies are assigned chapters within these titles. The titles are broken down into chapters, parts, sections and paragraphs.[4] For example, 42 CFR 260.11(a)(1) would be read as "title 42, part 260, section 11, paragraph (a)(1)."

While new regulations are continually becoming effective, the printed volumes of the CFR are issued once each calendar year, on this schedule:

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

The Office of the Federal Register also keeps an unofficial, online version of the CFR, the e-CFR, which is normally updated within two days after changes that have been published in the Federal Register become effective.[5] The Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules lists rulemaking authority for regulations codified in the CFR.[6]

List of CFR titles[edit]

Code of Federal Regulations, seen at the Mid-Manhattan Library. Editions of Title 3, on the President, are kept on archive. Notice that for the first year of each new presidency, the volume is thicker.

The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad subject areas:[2]


The Federal Register Act had originally provided for a complete compilation of all existing regulations promulgated prior to the first publication of the Federal Register, but was amended in 1937 to provide a codification of all regulations every five years.[7] The first edition of the CFR was published in 1938.[7] Beginning in 1963 for some titles and for all titles in 1967, the Office of the Federal Register began publishing yearly revisions, and beginning in 1972 published revisions in staggered quarters.[7]

On March 11, 2014, Rep. Darrell Issa introduced the Federal Register Modernization Act (H.R. 4195; 113th Congress), a bill that would revise requirements for the filing of documents with the Office of the Federal Register for inclusion in the Federal Register and for the publication of the Code of Federal Regulations to reflect the changed publication requirement in which they would be available online but would not be required to be printed.[8] The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) strongly opposed the bill, arguing that the bill undermines citizens' right to be informed by making it more difficult for citizens to find their government's regulations.[9] According to AALL, a survey they conducted "revealed that members of the public, librarians, researchers, students, attorneys, and small business owners continue to rely on the print" version of the Federal Register.[9] AALL also argued that the lack of print versions of the Federal Register and CFR would mean the 15 percent of Americans who don't use the internet would lose their access to that material.[9] The House voted on July 14, 2014 to pass the bill 386-0.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Browse Code of Federal Regulations (Annual Edition)". FDsys - US Government Printing Office Federal Digital System. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  2. ^ a b c "Federal Administrative Law". Duke University School of Law. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 553
  4. ^ "eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations". FDsys - US Government Printing Office Federal Digital System. 2014-05-21. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Electronic Code of Federal Regulations". Office of the Federal Register. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "About Code of Federal Regulations". Government Printing Office. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "A Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations". Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "H.R. 4195 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c "The Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations". American Association of Law Libraries. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Medici, Andy (15 July 2014). "House passes bills to change TSP default fund, extend whistleblower protections". Federal Times. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "H.R. 4195 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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275 news items

PR.com (press release)
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 23:56:15 -0700

Veriforce announced today a new service for Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Pipeline Safety Training. Houston, TX, July 19, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Veriforce is dedicated to helping oil and gas operators and contractors achieve and maintain compliance with ...
Juneau Empire (subscription)
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Bailey said his fate changed when a former VA employee gave him a copy of the Code of Federal Regulations on “Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief.” The book contains a wealth of information on how certain injuries are to be rated, and how much ...

The Fiscal Times

The Fiscal Times
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:56:15 -0700

(Obama increased the Code of Federal Regulations more than 11 percent in his first five years in office; with much of Obamacare and Dodd Frank still to go.) Reinstate the $500,000 investment tax credit, which expired in December; some claim the demise ...
Flathead Beacon
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:14:55 -0700

... requiring no more than ½ mile of temporary road construction (36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 220.6(e)(12)); and 2) FSH 1909.15, Chapter 32.2.06 – Timber stand and/or wildlife habitat improvement activities that do not include the use of ...
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700

In the world of privacy law, business owners may find the absence of regulation more problematic than thousands of pages on the topic in the Code of Federal Regulations. And since that sounds counterintuitive at very least, it bears some explaining.
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:00:10 -0700

There were 138,049 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations when the 21st century began, 175,496 at the end of 2013. Pages were added at a rate of 2,490 a year during the Bush administration, 3,504 during each of the first five years of the Obama ...
Targeted News Service (subscription)
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:45:00 -0700

The address of several headquarters offices are referenced throughout numerous sections of the regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This final rule updates the addresses of the Service's headquarters offices in the regulations.
Insurance News Net
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:29:42 -0700

Insulated, leak proof, rigid transport containers/packages as described in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 173.199. A lockable holding cabinet with a key always in the possession of courier personnel performing pickup and a key copy provided ...

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