Federal Register

OFR Handbooks

Document Drafting Handbook (DDH)

The DDH gives Federal agencies guidance and examples for drafting Federal Register documents.  This guidance explains how to follow the submission, format, and editorial requirements established in 44 U.S.C. chapter 15 (the Federal Register Act) and 1 CFR chapter I

We will always have the most-current edition available for download from this page and we will alert your agency's liaisons whenever we issue a new edition. The May 2017 edition is a complete revision of the DDH.  We have reorganized the material and expanded our coverage of several topics.  We have also provided more detailed examples of how to format certain types of documents and document sections.  Appendix A contains templates for letters, Appendix B answers questions about PKI and digital submissions, and Appendix C is a listing of all the examples and tables used in the DDH.

We also rewrote many sections in plain language, clarifying existing requirements.

Revision 5 (October 2, 2017) replaces all other revisions of the May 2017 edition. This revision adds additional cross-references within the Handbook, corrects errors to some examples, and removes misleading ACTION lines. It also clarifies how to designate tables and appendices and what headings to use for Sunshine Act meeting notice documents.

Important: Because of issues with receiving documents, OFR has established a new delivery address.  You must use the new address to deliver documents.  The new address is:

7 G Street, NW
Suite A-734
Washington, DC 20401


Current Edition: May 2017 (Revision 5)



Incorporation by Reference (IBR) Handbook

This handbook highlights the issues agencies should consider when thinking about IBRing materials into the CFR and describes the purpose and legal effect of IBR.  It provides guidance to Federal agencies on the following:

  • the factors that agencies should consider when incorporating standards by reference into the CFR;
  • the types of materials that are eligible for IBR;
  • how an agency can request approval for an IBR;
  • how to use the right IBR language in a rulemaking document;
  • how to remove the IBR from the CFR.

The October 2017 IBR Handbook replaces all other versions of the handbook.  We have included additional delivery information and modified the request process.  You must use the new process to send requests for IBR approval as of January 2, 2018.

Current Edition: October 2017

IBR Handbook