What is the FEDERAL REGISTER?
What is the Federal Register?
The Federal Register is a legal newspaper published every business day by the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA). It contains Federal agency regulations; proposed rules and notices; and Executive
orders, proclamations and other Presidential documents.
The Federal Register informs citizens of their rights and obligations and provides access to a wide range of
Federal benefits and opportunities for funding. NARA’s Office of the Federal Register prepares the Federal Register for publication in partnership with the
Government Printing Office (GPO), which distributes it in paper, on microfiche and on the World Wide Web.
Why Should I read the Federal Register?
How is the Federal Register Organized?
Each issue of the Federal Register is organized into four
Documents published in the Federal Register as rules and
proposed rules include citations to the Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR) to refer readers to the CFR parts
affected. The CFR contains the complete and official text
of agency regulations organized into fifty titles covering
broad subject areas. The CFR is updated and published
once a year in print, fiche and on-line formats.
Presidential Documents, including Executive orders
Rules and Regulations, including policy statements
and interpretations of rules;
Proposed Rules, including petitions for rulemaking
and other advance proposals; and
Notices, including scheduled hearings and meetings
open to the public, grant applications, and
How do I find the information I need?
The daily Federal Register has a table of contents
organized alphabetically by agency, which lists each
document and span of pages. Two monthly publications
provide information on documents that appeared in past
issues of the Federal Register: the LSA (List of CFR
Sections Affected) is a numerical listing that helps readers
track changes to the CFR; and the Federal Register
Index is a cumulative subject index of documents
published in the Federal Register.
The on-line edition has the same table of contents as the
paper edition with hypertext links to take users directly to
each document in the current issue. Tables of contents
with these hypertext links provide easy access to Federal
Register documents published since January 1, 1998.
How can I use the Federal Register to affect Federal rulemaking?
Federal agencies are required to publish notices of
proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to enable
citizens to participate in the decision making process of the
Government. This notice and comment procedure is
simple. A proposed rule published in the Federal Register
notifies the public of a pending regulation. Any person or
organization may comment on it directly, either in writing,
or orally at a hearing. Many agencies also accept
comments via e-mail. The comment period varies, but it
usually is 30, 60, or 90 days. For each notice, the Federal
Register gives detailed instructions on how, when, and
where a viewpoint may be expressed. In addition,
agencies must list the name and telephone number of a
person to contact for further information. When agencies
publish final regulations in the Federal Register, they must
address the significant issues raised in comments and
discuss any changes made in response to them. Agencies
also may use the notice and comment process to stay in
contact with constituents and to solicit their views on
various policy and program issues.
How does NARA use the Federal Register?
Like all agencies, NARA publishes documents in the
Federal Register to carry out its statutory responsibilities.
These responsibilities include preservation, management
and access to Federal and Presidential records. For
example, NARA publishes for public comment proposed
rules to set standards for electronic, audiovisual and
micrographic records; to announce the opening of donated
historical records and Presidential materials; to develop
design standards for Presidential libraries; and to set
copying fees and hours of operation. NARA considers
these public comments in developing final regulations,
which are published in the Federal Register and codified
in title 36 of the CFR. NARA also publishes notices of
agency records schedules for public comment as required
by 44 U.S.C. 3303a.
In addition, NARA publishes Federal Register notices to
request customer views on a variety of other subjects.
These include requests for comments on the strategic plan
and proposed information collection activities as well as
invitations to attend public meetings of special working
groups on subjects such as space planning and electronic
Where is the Federal Register available?
Free access to the on-line Federal Register and
CFR on GPO Access:
Are there copyright restrictions on Federal Register documents?
Depository Library locations and Federal Register
Prices and ordering information for paper and fiche:
call 202-512-1800, M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fax
orders and inquiries: send to 202-512-2250
Mail orders: Superintendent of Documents, P.O.
Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954.
E-mail questions and comments on Federal Register
No, everything that appears in the Federal Register may be reproduced without restriction
Is Federal Register information available in advance of publication?
Documents are held in confidentiality until they are filed for
public inspection at least one business day before
publication in the Federal Register. NARA produces a
“List of Documents on Public Inspection,” which includes
a short description of documents on file and the date they
will appear in theFederal Register. The list is updated
daily on the NARA Website
(http://www.nara.gov/fedreg/public.html#top). You may
read or copy documents on public inspection during
business hours at the Office of the Federal Register, 800
North Capitol Street, NW., Room 700, Washington,
D.C. There is a nominal per-page charge for copies.