Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) in Print

What are the Code of Federal Regulations also referred to as the CFRs?  

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is an annual codification of the general and permanent rules of the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in the Federal Register. The purpose of the CFR is to present the official and complete text of agency regulations in one organized publication and to provide a comprehensive and convenient reference for all those who may need to know the text of general and permanent Federal regulations.

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The CFR is divided into 50 titles representing broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each Title is divided into chapters that are assigned to agencies issuing regulations pertaining to that broad subject area. Each chapter is divided into parts and each part is then divided into sections -- the basic unit of the CFR.  Those interested in a specific topic, such as Telecommunications, need only purchase a specific volume or groups of volumes that pertain to the desired topic. 

A full set of the CFR consists of approximately 200 volumes. The approximately 200 CFR volumes are revised at least once a year on a quarterly basis as follows:

  • Titles 1 -- 16 as of January 1
  • Titles 17 -- 27 as of April 1
  • Titles 28 -- 41 as of July 1
  • Titles 42 -- 50 as of October 1

The CFR is keyed to and kept up-to-date by the daily Federal Register. These two publications must be used together to determine the latest version of any given rule. When a Federal agency publishes a regulation in the Federal Register, that regulation usually is an amendment to the existing CFR in the form of a change, an addition, or a removal.

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