Code of Federal Regulations

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Code of Federal Regulations  
The Code of Federal Regulations.
Language English
Publication details
Publisher Office of the Federal Register (United States)
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 is compiled by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), an agency of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and printed by the Government Printing Office (GPO).


Under the delegation doctrine, federal agencies are authorized to promulgate regulations (rulemaking) by so-called enabling legislation.[1] 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.[1][2]

Publication procedure[edit]

The rules and regulations are first promulgated or published in the Federal Register. Each is given a CFR citation, such as 42 CFR 260.11(a)(1), that can be cited immediately, without waiting for a page number from the physical copy. The aforementioned citation would be read, "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 on January 1
  • Titles 17–27 are updated on April 1
  • Titles 28–41 are updated on July 1
  • Titles 42–50 are updated on October 1

The Office of the Federal Register also keeps an 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.[3] The Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules lists rulemaking authority for regulations codified in the CFR.[4]

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:[1]


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.[5] The first edition of the CFR was published in 1938.[5] 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.[5]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]