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Locating and Updating Federal Regulations

Locating Regulations Online

There are many ways you can locate federal regulations. Which method you use depends on what information is available to you. If you are lucky you may already have a citation to a relevant regulation, or a  citation to a relevant statute. Our law library maintains one year of the Federal Register in print and also maintains a copy of the Code of Federal Regulation. 

No cost options  are available via or and e-cfr

Once you have the statutory citation you can use also use a table to identify relevant reg’s. How?  By browsing the CFR Parallel Table!  Go to > click on category > Regulatory Information on the right. This route will allow you to access the  Code of Federal Regulations Index and Finding Aids. Parallel Table of Authorities and rules (linked here).  Your statutory citation will then through this table lead you to relevant regulations in the CFR!


1. If you have the statutory citation in the USC then head to CFR indexes and findlng tools. Parallel Table of Authorities will allow you to find l to identify the CFR Part that you will need to explore

2. However, you can also search with key words in

3.Via  E-CFR . E-cfr will not alert you of pending reg’s that have recently been posted in the Federal Register.  However, there is an option to sign up from alerts; Please beware that Federal Register is the most current source.  Remember to always consult the Federal Register after checking the E-CFR.  One more caveat. You cannot cite to this source. You will have to locate the most recent CFR and check for any updates that may be in place since that was published last. 

4. Via

5. You can also identity final rules via the Federal Register. 

The Federal Register (the daily newspaper of the Federal government) is a legal newspaper published every business day by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA

How is the Federal Register organized?

Each issue of the Federal Register is organized into four categories:

  • Presidential Documents, including Executive orders and proclamations
  • Rules and Regulations, including policy statements and interpretations of rules
  • Proposed Rules, including petitions for rulemaking and other advance proposals
  • Notices, including scheduled hearings and meetings open to the public, grant applications, and administrative orders
  • National Archives and Records Administration - About the Federal Register


Subscription databases:

In addition to accessing your regulation on Westlaw Precision and on Lexis+ you can also access regulations via fee based subscriptions such as e.g. Proquest and HeinOnline. These datebases are great when you are seeking older regulations. 

However, keep in mind that this information is  readily available for free and ofthen the best place to start these days.