How Do You Cite the Federal Register?

The Federal Register serves as a repository of proposed and final agency rules, presidential proclamations orders, executive orders and notices from various government agencies, along with notices. Many rules adopted from here eventually become part of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Cite the Federal Register with this format: Title in upper case, Volume # Federal Register Page Number (month/day/year status), CFR Parts Affected in parentheses.

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Citing the federal Register requires noting the title and place where its regulations will be codified into the Code of Federal Regulations. For example, 87 FR 42636 (July 18, 2022) refers to safety standards for high chairs. Next comes the US government’s rules, known as Code of Federal Regulations; divided into 50 titles covering broad areas of regulation as well as parts which cover specific regulatory areas and sections which define terms used within each part.

The Federal Register is an annual publication that highlights proposed rules, proposed regulations, meeting notices and other items before being finalized by agencies that promulgate them. Once published in the Federal Register, these rules will eventually be codified and updated into the Code of Federal Regulations annually. Electronic versions can be found online while paper volumes are distributed to federal depository libraries around the United States through Federal Depository Library Services; additionally, Government Printing Office offers free access to full texts of these volumes via its website.

Citing regulations from the Federal Register requires providing its title, date of publication and 12 digit GPO sales stock number; for official documents the GPO also offers full text search capability on its website.


The Federal Register is an official daily publication of regulations, proposed rules, notices, executive orders and presidential documents such as proclamations and presidential determinations issued by agencies and organizations. Once published in the Federal Register they are later codified into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Cite regulations published in the Federal Register by including their volume number and page number at the end of your reference. You should also include their date in format yyyy-MM-dd; where yyyy is year and MM month. In addition to these elements, your citation should also include who issued it as well as its title if applicable – in such instances omitting agency names would suffice instead.

Citations for regulations published in the Federal Register should begin with their title; if it’s widely recognized by its name, however, you can omit this step and use its abbreviated form instead. If it is a final rule that has been codified into another section of CFR as reference material, include its text in italics as well.

Govinfo makes accessing the Federal Register online easy with access to full issues in PDF and XML formats as well as smaller sections in either format, plus its Table of Contents for each issue. Furthermore, this site includes a tool to locate CFR parts affected by specific regulations; simply use the format [volume] FR ([date]) or [volume>]FR(date>). Lastly, individual sections can also be cited using our link service.


Federal Register pages where regulations, notices, or presidential documents were published. Each issue can be searched using firstpage and lastpage field operators; documents on specific pages are sometimes listed with their page numbers displayed on their Details pages or through firstpage and lastpage field operators; their titles can also be found using title field operators; additionally agencies may include their rule or proposal in full text or tables of contents depending on how it was classified and published.

Information regarding which CFR parts are affected by each regulation can be found in both the table of contents and Reader Aids sections of each issue, often abbreviated as “pt.” It may take the form of full or partial CFR numbers, abbreviations (such as 16 CFR SS1231.2), or code list entries (e.g. 87 Fed Reg 42636). Typically it is acceptable to shorten long titles when providing references in reference lists as long as these still clearly identify both CFR part and title.

Date of Publication in the Federal Register; for final and nonfinal regulations this should follow the format “YYYY-MM-DD”; it can also be useful to search on specific formats (YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM) when looking for guidance from regulations. Default Permalink for PDF version of document


The Federal Register Section contains regulatory documents, Presidential documents and notices from executive departments and agencies, with most later codified into the Code of Federal Regulations. This publication also features an index listing the parts affected by each document; this can help when trying to locate future regulations.

Citing regulations in the Federal Register typically begins with their names in title case followed by their volume number and page numbers where they begin. Publication dates should then follow with periods between months and days (e.g. 84 Fed. Reg 73355) when possible. It may also be acceptable to shorten a regulation’s name when listed in parenthetical reference lists.

If a regulation will be codified, its citation in the Federal Register typically includes its title and abbreviated part number: “(to be codified at X C.F.R pt Y)”. Both publications can be found through large library systems and college libraries participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), authorized by GPO to offer public access for free to government publications.

Trying to locate a regulation? Use Govinfo Search’s full citation feature. Additionally, find information on its legal status, authenticity, schema of digital Federal Register renditions using their metadata fields – full text collection branch category date author SuDoc Class Number issue package ID are just a few examples of them!


The Federal Register is an official daily publication from executive agencies. This publication contains US federal laws, regulations and notices as well as uncodified rules before they’re codified in the Code of Federal Regulations. If your research paper involves government regulations then citing from this source could become necessary; APA style has specific requirements for doing this including including publication dates for these rules in their citation.

Dates in citations to Federal Register regulations should include month, day and year information; if after a deadline, days past should also be included as parenthesis. Regulation titles should be written in title case followed by their agency of origin in italics; if not yet effective or “active/pending.”

Citations should end with the date of publication, including any applicable CFR part numbers if applicable, and specifying which edition it refers to – currently the e-CFR available from GPO on Govinfo; earlier editions can be downloaded as PDF files from the FR website.

Each Federal Register issue features a table of contents organized alphabetically by agency name and classified into Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices. Additional sections exist for Presidential Documents or special topics with separate parts including page numbers for every entry and brief descriptions of what documents exist within that section.