Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

Frequently Asked Questions for OFR

Federal Register and CFR

The OFR publishes on behalf of over 300 Federal entities but has no involvement with their policies or programs. We are responsible only for the accuracy of the content of the Federal Register and its codification in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which must reflect what the agency submitted for publication in the Federal Register. OFR staff do not provide legal advice or assistance. Federal regulations do not permit us to:

  • evaluate or interpret material published in the Federal Register;
  • provide legal analysis of material published in the Federal Register;
  • explain or provide compliance guidance of material published in the Federal Register

If you have a question about the content of a document published in the Federal Register or a regulation published in the CFR, contact the agency that issued the document or regulation. 

You can find the issuing agency by looking at the heading of the Federal Register document. 

heading of 3-column federal register documentheading of federal register document on





You can find the agency responsible for a regulation by looking at the top of the printed CFR page, at the eCFR chapter or subchapter heading, or by clicking "Details" in the eCFR sidebar.

print CFR with "Consumer Product Safety Commission" as part of the page headereCFR breadcrumb banner showing "Consumer Product Safety Commission" when hovering over "Chapter II""Consumer Product Safety Commission" shown as agency after clicking "Details" on eCFR left navigation bar








To find agency contact information:

  • search the agency's regulations (using the search feature on
  • look under either the ADDRESSES or FOR FURTHER INFORMATION captions of a relevant Federal Register document
  • visit the agency's website
  • search the U.S. Government's official web portal,

We are not permitted to perform research or make detailed suggestions to locate material published on specific topics.  Contact the agency responsible for the document or topic or search (see search tips) for documents published since 1994 or for regulations in effect since 2017.  You can also search for regulations in effect back to 1996.  For documents published before 1994, if you know the timeframe or have a specific FR citation, you can search within individual Federal Register issues on

The CFR is divided by subject matter across titles and then subdivided by agency within the title.  (See for the subject matter associated with each title and the eCFR's agency list for titles in which a particular agency has regulations.)

If you need help with research, ask a librarian at a local Federal Depository Library.  

You can learn more about the Federal Register (what it is and how to use it) and it's special edition publication Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) through our online tutorial - a 45-minute video with associate text materials.

Contact the responsible agency if you wish to report a statutory or regulatory violation or to file a complaint.  (See "Document-specific questions" to learn how to identify an agency responsible for regulations.) If you don't wish to contact that agency or if you have not gotten a response, contact that agency's Office of the Inspector General. (See "Document-specific questions" to learn how to find agency contact information.)

If you wish to report a crime, contact your local law enforcement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Federal Register publication and CFR content


An agency may post a document to its website on its own schedule; that has no connection to publication in the Federal Register. Contact the issuing agency if you have questions about that agency's documents or programs.  (See "Document-specific questions" if you're not sure how to contact an agency.)

OFR staff must treat all documents as confidential before they are filed for public inspection. We cannot comment on what may or may not publish in any future issue — unless the public inspection list specifies that the document in which you are interested is scheduled to publish on that date.

Any document that publishes in the daily Federal Register must be filed for public inspection at least one business day before publication. The public inspection list is available each morning at 8:45 and is updated, as necessary, typically at 11:15 and 4:15.

CFR volumes are published annually, throughout the year (see About the Code of Federal Regulations for publication information). A rule, or an amendment to a rule, will appear in the next CFR volume to publish after the effective date of the rule — unless the rule was subsequently amended.  In that case, only the rule as subsequently amended will appear in the CFR.

The eCFR is updated daily, with rules and amendments appearing approximately two business days after the effective date.

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) only publishes on behalf of Federal agencies. In general, organizations that need to publish material in the Federal Register partner with Federal agencies. Those Federal agencies assist with drafting, helping to ensure documents meet the publication requirements of the Federal Register Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 15), its implementing regulations at 1 CFR chapter I, incorporation by reference regulations at 1 CFR part 51, and OFR’s Document Drafting and IBR Handbooks. They also transmit the finished documents for publication and cover the publication costs. OFR cannot recommend partner agencies or provide agency contact information for non-Federal entities.

If you are asking on behalf of a Federal agency, review the Document Drafting Handbook and then contact your Federal Register liaison officer.

Each issue of the Federal Register is a permanent Federal record of agency action at that point in time. The individual documents that are published in a Federal Register issue, and which are available in an official, digitally-signed pdf format and endorsed, but unofficial, html and xml formats, are likewise permanent Federal records. The Federal Register issues are part of the archival collection of the National Archives and Records Administration. Permanent Federal records may not be altered or destroyed (44 U.S.C. ch. 31). Further, published documents cannot be unpublished. They can be corrected, withdrawn, or rescinded, but only if the issuing agency publishes a new document in the Federal Register.

If you believe a published document needs any modification, you should share your concerns with the issuing agency.  (See "Document-specific questions" for information about identifying and contacting the issuing agency.)

You have permission to reproduce or republish the content published in the Federal Register, as established by 1 CFR 2.6. You do not need to ask permission.

You may purchase a print copy by visiting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at or by calling the toll-free number 1-866-512-1800.

The OFR is responsible only for accurately publishing content, as provided by the issuing agency, of the Federal Register and the subsequent codification of that content in the CFR.

If you believe that there is an error in a Federal Register document, contact the issuing agency.

If there is a discrepancy between the published Federal Register document and the CFR, contact

If you believe there is an error in the CFR (or eCFR) but the content matches the published Federal Register document, contact the issuing agency.

To identify the published Federal Register document that amended a CFR provision, look for the source note for the part or subpart (following the table of contents in the print CFR or by clicking "Details" in the eCFR) and the source note at the end of the specific CFR section.  

source note for 1 CFR part 2 located after the TOC for part 2source note for 1 CFR part 2 in the "Details" call-out on eCFR and source note for 1 CFR 2.4 at the end of that section 















For information about identifying and contacting the issuing agency, see "Document-specific questions".

Commenting on agency documents


The OFR does not accept, manage, or maintain agency comments.  However, for agencies that have created dockets on, we offer the ability to comment directly from the document on

If a document is open for comment, you will see a green "Submit a Formal Comment" button.

location of comment button on document page



If the docket is available on, clicking the comment button opens the agency's comment form from on the document page. (The sidebar is available on the right for documents on  That sidebar includes a link that will take you directly to the official comment pages on

If the docket is not available on, clicking the comment button will redirect to the ADDRESSES caption for the agency's instructions on how to comment.

Do NOT send substantive comments to as site feedback or blog comments, and do NOT send them to the OFR.  We will not forward comments to the agency docket or issuing agency.

If you have questions about a specific document, contact the issuing agency (see "Document-specific questions" to learn how to identify the issuing agency).

The OFR does not collect, maintain, or track comments. For the convenience of users, when available, the OFR provides the comments form from for individual documents. The published document page will also display data about comments on, for that specific document, that makes available to

If you have questions about how an agency handles comments or about how functions, contact the issuing agency or the help desk. (See "Document-specific questions" to learn how to identify the issuing agency.)

Agencies assign individual rulemaking projects to specific dockets and keep all material related and relevant to the rulemaking in that docket. The rulemaking documents published in the Federal Register are typically the documents that are required to be published under specific statutes (like the Administrative Procedure Act) and they are the only documents from the docket that are transmitted to the OFR. The OFR requires only that docket numbers appear in a specific location in published documents, if the agency includes a docket number. We do not require that agencies have a docket number, nor do we assign docket numbers to documents. We do not accept or maintain dockets on behalf of agencies.


If agencies use to create and manage their dockets, that system assigns docket numbers automatically, which is a combination of the agency acronym, the year the docket was established, and the order it was created. Most, but not all Executive branch agencies use The independent agencies, boards, and commissions may or may not use For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created its own electronic docketing system.


Each agency decides, for itself, if and when to use to manage their docket and each agency maintains its own docket for the life of a rulemaking, according to its records schedule. The docket should be classified as a permanent Federal record which is then accessioned into the National Archives after it is at least 10 years old. (The specific age and timing for accessioning depends on the records schedule for that specific agency.)

Where to find agency dockets
For a docket that ... Go to...
Is still active or was closed less than 10 years ago the agency that created it.
Closed more than 20 years ago the National Archives. You can start your search with the online catalog.
Closed between 10 and 20 years ago either the agency or the National Archives; it could be in either location. and

Accordion is updated by 9:00 every business day.

Click the "Site Feedback" button located on the bottom right-hand side of the webpage. This tool can be used to report a technical issue with the website (including issues with myFR and subscriptions), as well as creating a helpdesk ticket.

You can sign up to receive specific subscriptions via email for:

  • the daily public inspection list (PIL), including updates during the day, on
  • the daily Table of Contents (ToC) for the Federal Register on 
  • updated results from searches that you create on and
  • amendments to specific CFR parts, subparts, and sections on

Log into your account to subscribe or manage your subscriptions (If you do not already have a myFR or myCFR account, you will need to create one during the subscription process).

For the PIL:

  • Go to the electronic PIL on
  • Click the green "Subscribe" button on the right, just above the calendar
  • Select either RSS or email (if selecting email, choose "Filed on Public Inspection")

location of subscribe button and options window















For the daily TOC:

  • Go to the electronic TOC on
  • Click the green "Subscribe" button on the right, just above the calendar
  • Select either RSS or email (if selecting email, choose "Published")

location of subscription button and options window















For search results:

  • Create a search using either the search bar or Advanced Document Search on or the search bar on
  • On the search results page, 
    • ( Click "Subscriptions" to the right of the search bar, select either RSS or email, and specify if you want published or PIL documents
    • location of subscription link and options window

    • ( Click "Subscribe" to the right of the search bar
    • location of subscribe link and options window















For CFR provisions:

  • Go to the provision you wish to monitor on
  • Click "Subscribe" in the left navigation bar

location of subscribe callout on navigation bar









For more information about subscriptions, visit the Readers Aids page

Presidential documents


The OFR publishes the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents (DCPD) which are the official publications of materials released by the White House Secretary. The compilation is available online.

To learn more about the DCPD, or to access an index of the compilations, visit our DCPD page.

The OFR publishes all Executive orders that the White House sends for publication. Published Executive orders are available on or You can find disposition tables for Executive orders on this site (Roosevelt through Obama) and on (1994 Clinton through today).

Unless we have the EO for confidential processing (which typically takes less than one business day), if it is not published in the Federal Register or on public inspection, then it was not sent for publication and we do not have it in any form. If you know that it has an EO number, then it was published.

When searching, make sure that you search for words and phrases relevant to the order, not just the full title, and don’t restrict your search to Executive orders.

While we have no control over what the White House does and does not send, the most common reasons an Executive order is not published in the Federal Register are:

  • the White House publicized the order in advance of signing but the President did not actually sign it
  • what was signed was something other than an Executive order, not requiring publication
  • the President signed it for political/policy reasons but intended to implement it only if certain, later, conditions either were or were not met
  • an outgoing President signed the order but the incoming President chose to disregard it.


The OFR is responsible for publishing Executive orders in the Federal Register as signed by the President. If you have questions about the content of a specific Executive order (including its effectiveness or enforceability) or questions about the process in general, please contact the White House.

If an Executive order specifically states that it revokes or amends an identifiable Executive order, the OFR includes that disposition information in the disposition tables it makes available to the public.

OFR maintains two sets of disposition tables for Executive orders:

  1. from Franklin D. Roosevelt (1/8/1937) through Barack Obama (1/17/2017)
  2. from William J. Clinton (1/15/1994) to present

The first set of tables contains information about the orders but do not link to the published orders until the Clinton administration, when the first official online version of the Federal Register was published. You can access the earlier orders with the FR citation from

The second set of tables is also downloadable as Excel/CSV and JSON files.

Published laws


The OFR is responsible for assigning law numbers based on the President’s signature date. Public law numbers are assigned to laws in sequential order. In some rare instances, the White House directs OFR to assign a law number to a law out of sequential order. In each case, the OFR complies as directed by the White House.

The United States Statutes at Large is legal and permanent evidence of all the laws enacted during a session of Congress. It also contains concurrent resolutions, reorganization plans, proposed and ratified amendments to the Constitution, and proclamations by the President.

To learn more, visit our Public Laws page.

The slip law is an official publication of the law and is admissible as "legal evidence." The OFR assigns the permanent law number and legal statutory citation of each law and prepares marginal notes, citations, and the legislative history.

To learn more, visit our Public Laws page.

The Public Laws Electronic Notification Service (PENS) is available for the public. This service is strictly for the email notification of new laws. To subscribe to PENS, register for an account at:

There are also multiple ways to track legislative actions on