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Searching the Federal Register

Finding Publications March 27, 2019 – Tips and Tricks


This new series of features, Finding Publications, will highlight search and browse tips and tricks for various content on govinfo. For more information, visit each collection's help page where you can learn more about the publication, see sample URLs and metadata fields and values, and more. General search tips are also available.

The information on this page will help you find issues of the Federal Register and individual documents within a single issue on govinfo. This information is also available on the Federal Register help page.

Finding Information in The Federal Register

Please note the differences in searching and browsing the recent volumes (Volume 60 to present) versus the historic digitized volumes (Volume 59 and older). Also note that Volume 59 (1994) has issues available in PDF format only, and articles within issues available separately in text format only.

Searching Recent Volumes (Volume 60 to present)

Search options are available by clicking the orange SEARCH button in the top right of any page across the site.

Basic Search – Use keywords, search operators, and metadata fields in the single search box.

  • Search over just the Federal Register by adding collection:fr to your Basic Search query.
  • Combine fields for targeted searches. For example, use Basic Search to find final rules issued in the Federal Register by the Social Security Administration since 2015.

Advanced SearchClick here to select a date or date range, collection, and up to 5 fields to search in.

  • Select Federal Register under Refine by Collection first! Then, fields custom to the Federal Register will populate automatically in the box under Search In.
  • Combine fields for targeted searches. For example, use Advanced Search to find final rules issued in the Federal Register by the Social Security Administration since 2015.

Citation SearchClick here to retrieve a single FR document in PDF format if you know the Year (Volume) and Page Number of the document.

BrowseClick here to browse FR issues by year, month, and day.

Link ServiceClick here to easily construct links to a full issue if you know the issue date; or a link to an article within an issue if you know the FR Doc Number or volume and page numbers.


In Basic and Advanced Search, only the articles within the FR will display in results for Volume 59 (1994) to present. If you want to see the entire issue, do one of the following:

  • From Basic Search Results, click Details next to any result, click the Document in Context tab, then see options next to View Entire Issue
  • From FR Browse, expand sections to see options next to View Entire Issue
  • From Browse by Date, select a date or date range to see a list of entire FR issues that meet that criteria

Find an entire issue of the FR

  • Issues are published daily and can be found by browsing issues by date (year, month, then day).
  • For 1994 forward, when using Basic or Advanced Search, only the separate articles are listed in search results. To find the entire issue, click Details next to any FR search result, click the Document in Context tab, then see options next to View Entire Issue.
  • When using the Browse by Date feature, only full issues of the FR are listed in search results.

Find one or more articles within an issue of the FR

Articles within each issue of the Federal Register are organized by the issuing agency and categorized as Notices, Rules, Proposed Rules, or other types of documents.

Find an FR document... Search example(s)

by Citation (volume and page number)

70 FR 7298

Also try Citation Search

The format is volume and page number.

by associated CFR citation

cfrcitation:(42 CFR 410)

cfrcitation:(7 CFR Part 1005)

See in Advanced Search

The format is CFR title, part, and section numbers, but the section number is optional.

from a certain department or agency

agency:"housing and urban development"

See in Advanced Search

by its Regulatory ID Number (RIN)

RIN is the same for FR documents associated with the same agency regulation

rinnumber:0938-AO65

See in Advanced Search

by agency docket numbers

Docket numbers are the same for the proposed and final rule

docketnumbers:WY-100-05-1310-DB

by its FR doc number

FR doc number is unique to each document in the FR

frdocno:05-2639

published on a specific date

publishdate:2018-12-20

publishdate:2018-12

publishdate:2018

The format for dates in basic search is YYYY-MM-DD. You can also use just YYYY or YYYY-MM

See in Advanced Search

by effective date (for final rules)

effectivedate:2006-08-31

The format for dates in basic search is YYYY-MM-DD. You can also use just YYYY or YYYY-MM

by the section it's in

section:notice

See in Advanced Search

Possible values: rule, correct, notice, prorule, presdocu, sunshine, unknown

by page number

firstpage:43345

Find popular types of documents published in the Federal Register

Looking for... Try this...
CFR Parts Affected from the Federal Register Browse CFR Parts Affected from the Federal Register to find final and proposed rules that affect the CFR and have been published in the Federal Register within the past 24 hours, week, month, or within a specific date range. Also contained in the Reader Aids section of each Federal Register issue.
Disaster declarations Basic Search
Advanced Search
Environmental Impact Statements Basic Search
Advanced Search
Grant information Basic Search
Advanced Search
Physician Fee Schedule Released once a year, usually during November. Basic Search
Presidential Documents Use presdoctype field operator. Possible values: dterm, execord, prmemo, prnotice, procla, unknown.
Basic Search example.
Regulatory (Unified) Agenda Appears twice a year in the printed version of the Federal Register. Linked on a separate page on govinfo.
Table of Contents Click here then change the date in the URL to the date of the issue you're looking for. The date format is YYYY-MM-DD.
Browse to the desired issue and click the TOC button.

Searching Historic Digitized Volumes (Volume 59 and earlier)

There are several differences between how you can access the historic digitized issues (Volume 59 and earlier) and how you can access the recent issues:

  • Digitized Federal Register issues are available for full-text searching. Some metadata fields can be used to craft specific searches using the basic or advanced search. Searchable metadata fields for the digitized issues (Volume 59 and earlier) are: Full-Text, Branch, Category, Dates, Government Author, Issue, SuDoc Class Number, Title, and Volume. Additional fields are available for searching the more recent volumes.
  • Digitized Federal Register issues (Volume 59 and earlier) are available to browse and download at the issue level while the more recent issues are available at the article level.
  • Digitized Federal Register issues (Volume 59 and earlier) are searchable using the citation search feature.

Learn more including sample URLs, metadata fields and values, FAQs, and more on the Federal Register help page.