Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

How Do I Request Approval for an IBR?

  • For PROPOSED RULE documents (including ANPRMs), simply send in the document for publication.
  • For FINAL RULE documents, follow these steps and use the checklist:

What Do I Send?


Before you submit a request, make sure all the IBR material is:

  1. Legible with no extraneous marks or annotations;
  2. Complete; and
  3. Clearly identified by:
    1. publisher,
    2. identification number of the publication (the designation),
    3. title,
    4. edition (if any),
    5. author (if appropriate), and
    6. date.

(See Example 1 and Example 2.)

Your package must include:

  1. A digitally-signed letter requesting approval of the incorporation —
    1. If you transmit a signed PDF file (by either signing the PDF or by scanning a signed paper letter), also include a draft version as an unsigned MS Word file (in .docx file format)
    2. If you transmit a signed MS Word file, do not include the unsigned version;
  2. A complete copy of the material to be incorporated —
    1. If the exact version of the material is already IBRed elsewhere in the CFR,
      1. include the full description in the letter along with the current approval location, but
      2. do not include a copy of the material in the package
    2. If the regulatory text of the draft rule includes references to material already approved for that section,
      1. add an explanation to the letter, but
      2. do not include the full description in the letter, and
      3. do not include a copy of the material in the package;
  3. The draft rule as a single MS Word file (in .docx file format). The DRAFT rule must include:
    1. all preamble headings and captions,
    2. the IBR section of the preamble,
    3. the words of issuance, and
    4. all amendatory instructions and regulatory text affected by the IBR material.

The draft rule does not have to be otherwise complete, final, or through the OMB review process. It should not be signed because if we require changes, it will have to be re-signed before it can be transmitted for publication.

Who can sign the IBR Request Letter?

We will accept signatures from OFR liaison officers, program staff, or agency attorneys, among others, so the request letter does not necessarily have to be signed by the head of your agency. To determine the Federal employee(s) in your agency who may sign an IBR request letter, ask your agency’s attorneys.

Address the letter to the Director of the Federal Register specifically requesting IBR approval and including the following information (see Example 1 and Example 2, and Template 1):

  1. The identification designation (usually an alpha-numeric designation)1, title, date, version, and author of each standard you wish to IBR, grouped by publisher;
  2. The title and section where you wish to IBR a standard, including any centralized IBR sections. Include references to the lowest paragraph level in the section that requires the use of the standard2; and
  3. Who to contact at your agency regarding your IBR request along with their phone number and email address.

    1 Even if the standard’s designation contains a partial date, for example ASTM F1234-12, this is not the same as the date of the document. You must include the date in addition to the designation.

    For example 40 CFR 63.17(b)(1)(iii)(A). This is more detailed than what you include in a centralized IBR section. You do not need to include the paragraph level for the centralized IBR section in the request letter; the title and section are sufficient.

    How Do I Send?

    C. Transmit the IBR Request Package to OFR

    Under OMB/NARA Memorandum M-19-21, OFR can no longer accept hard copies of IBR material (except under extremely limited circumstances3). In May 2021, we opened our eIBR pilot to all agencies and began providing sftp accounts to each agency that uses IBR in its regulations. Check with your agency’s Federal Register liaison officer for your agency’s internal procedures regarding use of this account – even if you have not gone through your liaison officer in the past. If your agency does not yet have an account, contact

    Contact OFR for pre-approval to send paper as soon as possible if you encounter difficulty obtaining electronic files.


    If you are transmitting at least one standard as part of the request package—

    1. Log into the GPO server using your agency’s sftp account
    2. Navigate to your office’s folder on the GPO server (or create one, if necessary)
    3. Create a new folder for this IBR request and enter it
    4. Upload the signed letter (and unsigned Word file, if applicable), standards, and draft rule to the new folder
    5. Email that you have transmitted a new IBR request.

    If the IBR request includes material that has already been IBRed elsewhere, such that you are not required to send copies of the material to OFR—

          Email the signed letter (and unsigned Word file, if applicable) and draft rule to

    IBR material If OFR has pre-approved your request to send paper IBR material—

    1. Send the IBR material to the attention of OFR, Legal Affairs and Policy Division, 7 G Street, NW, Suite A-734, Washington, DC 20401. Do NOT include the draft rule. You may (but are not required to) include an unsigned request letter.
    2. Email the signed letter (and unsigned Word file, if applicable) and draft rule to In the body of the email, state that you have sent (or are sending) the paper material. Include the date sent, the destination, and any tracking information.

    Warning: If you send the IBR request by U.S. mail, you must use the address found in the sample letter. However, U.S. mail is irradiated before it comes to us, which can damage the documents and delay delivery of the package. If there is too much damage, you will have to resend the IBR material. The preferred method is hand-delivery or courier (including UPS and FedEx) to the address above.

    How Long Will It Take?


    OFR has 20 working days to review a request after transmission of a complete request package. We will notify you within that period that:

    1. No edits are required and the request is approved;
    2. Edits are required, along with appropriate red-line changes; or
    3. The required edits are too extensive and the request is denied.

    We will not notify or remind you to complete a package if we only receive a partial request. Remember:

    • The 20-day period begins when we receive legally-sufficient material for all elements of the request.
    • Failure to follow this procedure will delay the processing of your request.
    • We do not offer expedited or emergency review of IBR requests.

    Your agency has 2 years from the date of the approval letter to send in the final rule for publication, unless you ask for an extension before that date. After 2 years, you will need to send in a new request for IBR approval.



    The designation is at the top of the title page and in the header of the standard.  The approval date is in footnote 1.

    Proper citation: ASTM D4809-13, Standard Test Method for Heat of Combustion Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels by Bomb Calorimeter (Precision Method), approved May 1, 2013.

    Document header and footer of title page of ASTM D4809-13, including title and footnote 1

    The designation and type of date are at the top of the title page and in the header of the standard.

    Proper citation: SAE J1634, Electric Vehicle Energy Consumption and Range Test Procedure, Cancelled October 2002.

    The designation and type of date are at the top of the title page and in the header of the standard.

    Download section VIII, release 1-2022