Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)

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The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the federal government's rules and regulations published in the Federal Register. The official version is published annually by the Office of the Federal Register and the Government Publishing Office. The informal version is updated daily online. The CFR encompasses the wide breadth of federal rules and regulations published by the federal government’s agencies and executive departments. It differs from the Federal Register because, unlike the Federal Register, the CFR contains merely the final and effective rules of Federal agencies and any related official interpretations of the rules. It does not contain preambles, proposed rules, notices, or general policy statements found in the Federal Register.

The CFR was created with the passage of the Federal Register Act and amended in 1937 to provide a “codification” of all regulations every five years. It was published for the first time in 1938.

The CFR reflects the tenet that the federal government must follow an open public process when rulemaking. The United States Constitution permits federal agencies to promulgate rules to enable Congress’ legislation. This rulemaking process is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act. The Act requires a formalized procedure for agencies to follow. Proposed rules must be first published in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This notice allows the public to comment and participate in the rulemaking process before the final rule is adopted and published. A rule becomes final when it is published in the Federal Register.

The CFR is divided into 50 titles. Each agency is assigned chapters within the titles. The standard organization of a title consists of:

  • Chapters
    • Subchapters
      • Parts
        • Sections
          • Paragraphs

The CFR’s 50 titles are divided by subject areas:

  • Title 1: General Provisions
  • Title 2: Grants and Agreements
  • Title 3: The President
  • Title 4: Accounts
  • Title 5: Administrative Personnel
  • Title 6: Domestic Security
  • Title 7: Agriculture
  • Title 8: Aliens and Nationality
  • Title 9: Animals and Animal Products
  • Title 10: Energy
  • Title 11: Federal Elections
  • Title 12: Banks and Banking
  • Title 13: Business Credit and Assistance
  • Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
  • Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
  • Title 16: Commercial Practices
  • Title 17: Commodity and Securities Exchanges
  • Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources
  • Title 19: Customs Duties
  • Title 20: Employees' Benefits
  • Title 21: Food and Drugs
  • Title 22: Foreign Relations
  • Title 23: Highways
  • Title 24: Housing and Urban Development
  • Title 25: Indians
  • Title 26: Internal Revenue
  • Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms
  • Title 28: Judicial Administration
  • Title 29: Labor
  • Title 30: Mineral Resources
  • Title 31: Money and Finance: Treasury
  • Title 32: National Defense
  • Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
  • Title 34: Education
  • Title 35: Reserved
  • Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
  • Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
  • Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
  • Title 39: Postal Service
  • Title 40: Protection of Environment
  • Title 41: Public Contracts and Property Management
  • Title 42: Public Health
  • Title 43: Public Lands: Interior
  • Title 44: Emergency Management and Assistance
  • Title 45: Public Welfare
  • Title 46: Shipping
  • Title 47: Telecommunication
  • Title 48: Federal Acquisition Regulations System
  • Title 49: Transportation
  • Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]