Is this is your first time using the Federal Register?
What is the Federal Register?
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
Who uses the Federal Register?
Reading the Federal Register is vital:
The Federal Register also informs citizens of their rights and obligations and provides access to a wide range of Federal benefits and opportunities for funding.
Where can I find the Federal Register at UCSB?
See our "Federal Register @ UCSB" page for information about online access and Library holdings.
How can I find information in the Federal Register?
If you already have a citation number, you can consult our holdings to see if you will need to look at a print or electronic version of the Federal Register. If you need an issue from 1994 to the present, you can find your citation online. If you need an issue from 1936–2001, then you can use our microfilm copies located in the Government Information collection.
If you do not have a citation, you may need to consult an annual index. We have Annual Indexes for the years 1955–2009 available in the Government Information reference collection to use. There are also online indexes from 1998+ available on the NARA website.
In the surge of New Deal legislation in the 1930s, Congress delegated more and more responsibility to Federal departments and agencies in the form of authority to issue detailed regulations dealing with complex social and economic issues. As more regulations were written, a serious communications problem developed. Since there was no centeral publications system, there was no efficient way for citizens to know about regulations which affected them.
In 1934, Congress recognized the need for a centralized system and enacted the Federal Register Act, which became law on July 26, 1935 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 15). The act established a uniform system for handling agency regulations by requiring the:
Publication in the Federal Register has certain legal effects. Publication:
Several important new dimensions were added to the Federal Register system by the Administrative Procedure Act, which became law on June 11, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.). This act:
These two laws define the basic functions of the Federal Register system and provide the framework for the promulgation of government regulations.
(From: U.S. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. The Federal Register: What It Is and How To Use It. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1993.)
Each issue of the Federal Register is organized into four categories:
Documents published in the Federal Register as rules and proposed rules include citations to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to refer readers to the CFR parts affected by the proposed or official rules. The CFR contains the complete and official text of agency regulations organized into fifty titles covering broad subject areas. The CFR is updated and published once a year in print, fiche and on-line formats.
In addition to using an index, you can find information in the Federal Register with the Table of Contents at the beginning of every issue. The Table of Contents is organized alphabetically by agency. It lists all documents in the issue, and includes page spans.
Two monthly publications, available online and in print, provide information on documents that appeared in past issues of the Federal Register:
For more information about using and searching the Federal Register, check out the NARA FR FAQs.