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 and revision 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 7 (May 15, 2018) replaces all other revisions of the May 2017 edition. Revision 6 added greater detail and clarification for the following topics: certifying copies of documents, signature blocks for digital signatures, effective dates, and non-standard codification.  It also includes more examples, updates URLs, and corrects typographical errors. Revision 7 corrects examples 2-64 and 3-74, titled “Using asterisks” and clarifies the headings required for correction documents.

Important: Because of issues with receiving documents, you must use the following address to deliver document:

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


Current Edition: May 2017 (Revision 7)



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 under 5 U.S.C. § 552 and 1 CFR chapter II.  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 July 2018 IBR Handbook replaces all other versions of the handbook.  We have clarified the electronic files needed as part of the request process. We also added examples.  

Current Edition: July 2018

IBR Handbook