The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is an annual codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
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.
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.
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.
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 revision date of each volume is printed on the cover, and at the top of every even-numbered page. Each year's cover is a different color for quick reference.
As indicated by the images below the Print CFR Index and Finding Aids volume contains an alphabetical subject index as well as an alphabetical list of agencies appearing in the CFR. Other finding aids, including a list of CFR Titles, Chapters, SubChapters, and Parts is also included. Electronic images of the print CFR Index and Finding Aids are also available.
Westlaw/WestlawNext also provide a commercial subject index to the CFR.
Finding regulations with a statutory citation
1) Use the annotations after the text of the statute in USCA or USCS for references to the CFR
2) Consult the Table of Parallel Authorities in USCS or the CFR Index to find regulations interpreting the statute or issued pursuant to the statute.
As mentioned on the Getting Started tab, agencies are are authorized by Congress to enforce legislation through the promulgation of regulations. One basis for challenging agency action is that the agency has exceed the authority provided by Congress. Thus, it is important to be able to locate the enabling authority. As illustrated below, enabling authority my be set forth at the end of a particular section of the CFR or the enabling authority may be set forth at the beginning of a CFR part.
Westlaw provides a linked index to assist you in locating CFR materials. Westlaw's RegulationPlus also provides access to cases and agency decisions regarding the CFR. Thus, RegulationsPlus functions as an annotated version of the CFR. WestlawNext provides similar information for regulations. Click on the link below to see a demo of the RegulationsPlus functions.
The Legal Information Institute, hosted by Cornell University, allow the user to search an Index of Subject Headings for "all the section headings in the CFR and as a consequence receives sections in context. In other words you not only get sections whose headings contain your search terms but also those related sections in the same part of the Code." The LII search results then link to the e-CFR available via GPOAccess.