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Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Searching F.R. Online

How to use Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register

Searching F.R. Online


FederalRegister.Gov Search Instructions

1. From the Federal Register homepage, select either "Browse" or "Search" for regulations.

Note: The webpage is updated daily and the homepage will reflect the most recent published version of the Federal Register.


2. "Browse" allows users click-through to locate by "Agency," "Topic," specific date publications, "Public Inspections," and "Executive Orders" organized by president and by year. Subsequently, this feature allows users to narrow their search results using a natural language search.

3. “Document Search” allows you to do a basic keyword search, while “Advanced Search” lets you do a keyword search and limit by date (publication, effective, or comment close), agency, or CFR section affected. You can also look for regulations affecting a certain geographic area.

The search results page will list the title of the document, provide a short preview of where your keyword is located within the document, and tell you which agency published the rule and on which date it was published.

The page for each document will give you the text of the document, a link to the PDF version, status, and citation (in both the Federal Register and, if applicable, the CFR), among other information. Natural Language & Citation Search Instructions




1. From the homepage, enter any search terms relevant to your research.

2. will populate all pertinent results. You may narrow your results by "Source/Collection" (e.g., Federal Register), "Publication Date," "Government Author", and a variety of other metrics.

3. In addition, allows user to search several sources provided the user already has a citation to the pertinent material. 


Westlaw provides the full text of all publications within the Federal Register Database from 1936 to today.

Westlaw Click-Through Instructions

1. From the Texas State Library Website, go to Databases and select Westlaw


2. After logging in, select the "Federal Materials" tab on the Westlaw homepage. Next, select the "Federal Register - All" link.

3. Westlaw will populate a list-form display of the ten most recent Federal Register publications.

4. To locate additional publications, a user may narrow your search using a natural language or boolean terms and connectors search in the search bar at the top of the screen. Alternatively, a user may select "Proposed and Adopted Regulations - Current" from the top left of the screen. This will populate a topic list an allow the user to narrow down by topic. From this point, a natural language or boolean terms and connectors search is the most effective way to pinpoint pertinent publications.

Westlaw Natural Language & Boolean Terms & Connectors Search Instructions

1. Users may browse the Federal Register in-depth using Westlaw's "Terms and Connectors" or "Natural Language" search from either the Westlaw home page or from the Federal Register page shown in step 3 above.