United States Code

Last updated on 12-14-2017

United States Code, 1994 to Present

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About the United States Code

What is the United States Code?

The United States Code, is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 53 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The U.S. Code was first published in 1926. The next main edition was published in 1934, and subsequent main editions have been published every six years since 1934. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information.

Of the 53 titles, the following titles have been enacted into positive (statutory) law : 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 46, 49, 51, and 54. When a title of the Code was enacted into positive law, the text of the title became legal evidence of the law. Titles that have not been enacted into positive law are only prima facie evidence of the law. In that case, the Statutes at Large still govern. Note: Title 52 is an editorially-created title, and Title 53 is currently reserved. For the current list of titles, see http://uscode.house.gov .

What is available?

  • govinfo contains virtual main editions of the U.S. Code from 1994 forward.
  • The information contained in the U.S. Code on govinfo has been provided to GPO by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. While every effort has been made to ensure that the U.S. Code on govinfo is accurate, those using it for legal research should verify their results against the printed version of the U.S. Code available through the Government Printing Office.

Searching the United States Code

You can find and search the U.S. Code by:

  • Using Basic Search for keyword and metadata fielded searches,
  • Using Advanced Search fields specific to the USCODE will display after you select United States Code in the Refine by Collection column,
  • Using Citation Search to retrieve a single United States Code document in PDF format if you know the Year, Title Number, and Section Number of the document,
  • Refining search results by clicking on links in the Refine Your Search panel on the left hand side of the page (the sections under Refine Your Search correspond to the metadata available for the documents), and
  • Browsing the United States Code browse page.

General govinfo Search Tips

Search Examples

Search by United States Code Citation These examples will search for 5 U.S.C. 303.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:uscode citation:"5 U.S.C. 303"
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Code under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Citation from the first box and enter "5 U.S.C. 303" in the next box
  • Using Citation Search, select United States Code from Select Collection box, select Most Recent from Select Year box, select Title 5 from Select Title Number box, and enter 303 in the Section Number box

Search by Title Number These examples will search for documents from Title 27 of United States Code.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:uscode usctitlenum:27
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Code under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select U.S. Code Title Number from the first box and select Title 5 in the next box.

Search by Short Title These examples will search for documents with the short title "Congressional Budget Act."

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:uscode and shorttitle:"congressional budget act"
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Code under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Short Title from the first box and enter "congressional budget act" in the next box.

Search by Public Law Citation This example will search for documents that reference Public Law 90-83.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:uscode plawcitation:"Public Law 90-83"

Search by Statutes at Large Citation This example will search for documents that reference 77 Stat. 81.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:uscode and statutecitation:"77 Stat. 81"

Search by Keyword These examples will search for documents with emissions in the full text of the publication.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: emissions collection:uscode
  • Using Advanced Search, select United States Code under Refine by Collection, then under Search In enter "congressional budget act" in the next box.

Sample United States Code URLs

govinfo uses two key pieces of information to construct predictable URLs to documents and Details pages.

  • Package ID is used to identify an individual yearly title of the United States Code.
  • Granule ID is used to identify an individual document that exists within the yearly title of the United States Code.

Identifier

Structure/Metadata Field

Example

Package ID

USCODE-{Year}-title{Title Number}

USCODE-2009-title2

USCODE-2006-title45

Granule ID

Main Appendix Granule:

{Package ID}-app

Regular Appendix Granule:

{Package ID}-toc

{Package ID}-front

Regular Title Granules:

The structure of the United States Code varies from title to title. Because of this, the identifiers created are reliant upon the structure that exists for that individual title. To accomplish this, the URL for individual granules may also use the Parent ID of the parent granule that it falls beneath.

{Parent ID}-{Granule Label Value}{Granule Number}

Notes:

1. The Granule Label Values can be found in the table below.

2. Parent ID is the Package ID or Granule ID of the granule’s immediate parent.

3. If the resulting Granule ID is a duplicate then append “-dup#” to the end, where “#” is an integer representing the duplicate number. Examples: -dup1, -dup2

4. For granules one level below the title level that do not match any of the Granule Labels in the table below, the Granule Label Value is the granule’s title – converted to lowercase, with non-alphanumeric characters removed – up to 10 characters in length.

5. Granule Number can be blank.

Main Appendix Granule:

USCODE-2008-title28-app

USCODE-2008-title28-toc

USCODE-2008-title28-front

Regular Title Granules:

Front matter of USC Title 17:

USCODE-2004-title17-front

Part 2 of the USC Title:

USCODE-2008-title35-part2

Part A of Subtitle 1:

USCODE-2008-title36-subtitle1-partA

Part B of a Subchapter 3-A of Chapter 6A:

USCODE-2008-title42-chap6A-subchap3-A-partB

Subpart a of Part 1 of Division B of Subchapter I pf Chapter 129:

USCODE-2008-title42-chap129-subchapI-divsnB-part1-subparta

Subtitle child of the USC Title:

USCODE-2008-title26-subtitleK

Subtitle B of Subchapter 3 of Chapter 18:

USCODE-2008-title29-chap18-subchap1-subtitleB

Part 1 of Subtitle E of Subchapter 3 of Chapter 18:

USCODE-2008-title29-chap18-subchap3-subtitleE-part1

Rule 1 of Title 1 of a heading-less node in an appendix:

USCODE-2008-title28a-node94-title1-rule1 (94 is a made up identifier for the heading-less node, which would come from its sequence number).

Section 1 of a heading-less node in an appendix:

USCODE-2008-title5a-node137-sec1 (Sections in appendices are not unique; this is the second Sec. 1 in this appendix.)

Section 181 of the USC Title:

USCODE-2008-title13-sec181 (Even though this section is a child of a subchapter, a section in the main USC Title file is unique and doesn’t need the parent hierarchy.)

Granule Label

Granule Label Value

subtitle

subtitle

chapter

chap

subchapter

subchap

part

part

subpart

subpart

division

divsn

section

sec

appendix

app

title

title

rule

rule

form

form

article

article

toc

toc

frontmatter

front

other

other

Details Page for a United States Code Title

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{Package ID}

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/USCODE-2006-title2

PDF File for a United States Code Title

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/pdf/{Package ID}.pdf

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2006-title2/pdf/USCODE-2006-title2.pdf

HTML File for a United States Code Title

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/html/{Package ID}.htm

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2006-title2/html/USCODE-2006-title2.htm

Details Page for a United States Code Granule

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{Package ID}/{Granule ID}

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/USCODE-2008-title28/USCODE-2008-title28-partI-chap5-sec82

PDF File for a United States Code Granule

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/pdf/{Granule ID}.pdf

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2008-title28/pdf/USCODE-2008-title28-partI-chap5-sec82.pdf

HTML File for a United States Code Granule

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/html/{Granule ID}.htm

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2008-title28/html/USCODE-2008-title28-partI-chap5-sec82.htm


govinfo Link Service

Use the link service to create embedded links to content and metadata on govinfo.


United States Code Metadata Fields and Values

Metadata fields and values can be used to increase the relevancy of your searches. The metadata fields available for the United States Code are listed in the table below. Metadata fields and values are used throughout govinfo for

  • Narrowing Your Search,
  • Browsing Government Publications,
  • Field Operators,
  • Advanced Search, and
  • Display on Details Pages.

Metadata fields and values can be entered into the Basic Searchbox using field operators. The field operators available for the United States Code are listed in the table below, along with examples for each metadata field. Using Field Operators

Some of these metadata fields are made available for use in Advanced Search. The metadata values can be entered in the same format for the fields available on the Advanced Search Page. Using Advanced Search

Metadata Field Display Name

Metadata Field Definition

Field Operator

Field Operator Example

Collection

The collection to which the document belongs. Typically the same as the publication or series.

collection:

collection:uscode

Government Author

The names of the Government organizations responsible for authoring or assembling the document.

governmentauthor:

governmentauthor:"Office of the Law Revision Counsel"

Publication Date

The date the document was first made available to the public.

publishdate:

publishdate:2008-01-01

 

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Language

The language code of the original document, from the ISO639-2b standard.

language:

language:en

Former Package ID

The document ID of the "package" as originally specified on www.gpoaccess.gov.

formerpkgid:

formerpkgid:10USC

SuDoc Class Number

The SuDoc class number from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents which classifies Government publications by publishing agency.

sudocclass:

sudocclass:"Y 1.2/5:"

 

The SuDoc Class Numbers in govinfo are typically at the class stem level, not the book number level.

Ingestion Date

The date the document was ingested into the FDsys preservation repository.

ingestdate:

ingestdate:2010-04-12

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Electronic Location (URL)

The URL where the document or the document in context (the content detail page) is located.

url:

url:"pkg/USCODE-2006-title1/pdf/USCODE-2006-title1-chap1-sec4.pdf"

Publisher

The government organization who publishes the document or publication. Not typically the Government Publishing Office (who serves as the printer and distributor), except in the case of Congressional publications.

publisher:

publisher:"u.s. government printing office"

Branch

The branch of Government responsible for the document's contents.

branch:

branch:legislative

Possible Values: executive, legislative, judicial

Type of Resource

The media type for the document, typically "text". Defined as part of the Library of Congress MODS standard.

typeofresource:

typeofresource:text

WAIS Database Name

The name of the WAIS database to which the document belonged in the former GPO Access system.

waisdbname:

waisdbname:2006_uscode

Record Origin

How the record was originally generated. Typically "machine generated."

recordorigin:

recordorigin:"machine generated"

Title

The title of the publication.

title:

title:maritime

U.S. Code Title Number

U.S. Code Title Number, an integer number from 1 to 51.

usctitlenum:

usctitlenum:2

U.S. Code Chapter Number

U.S. Code Chapter number, which could be either a roman numeral (such as IV) or an Arabic number as specified by the chapter within the title.

uscchnum:

uscchnum:55A

U.S. Code Section Number

The U.S. Code section number.

uscsectionnum:

uscsectionnum:8906

U.S. Code Appendix Section Number

The U.S. Code section number, for appendix sections.

uscappendixsectionnum:

uscappendixsectionnum:7

U.S. Code Heading

Search for the heading, for example "part 2", "subpart I", “chapter 9”, or "Division A".

heading:

heading:"chapter 9"

U.S. Code Chapter Heading

The heading for the U.S. Code chapter that contains the section.

uscchheading:

uscchheading:"chapter 9"

U.S. Code Chapter Title

The subject title text for the U.S. Code chapter that contains the section.

uscchtitle:

uscchtitle:(Election of Senators)

U.S. Code Part Heading

The heading for the U.S. Code part that contains the section.

uscpartheading:

uscpartheading:(Part I)

U.S. Code Part Title

The subject title text for the U.S. Code part that contains the section.

uscparttitle:

uscparttitle:Agencies

U.S. Code Appendix Title

The subject title text for the U.S. Code Title Appendix that contains the leaf node.

uscapptitle:

uscapptitle:appendix

Disposition

The disposition of the USC section. Any granule whose diposition is not otherwise specified is set to "standard".

uscdisposition:

uscdisposition:repealed

Possible Values: repealed, omitted, transferred, abrogated, eliminated, not used, reserved, standard

Short Title

The short title of the bill or the more commonly known title rather than the official long title.

shorttitle:

shorttitle:"head start act"

U.S. Code Source Credit

The source credit, which is given parentheses in U.S. Code elements.

uscsourcecredit:

uscsourcecredit:"Dec. 1, 1981"

U.S. Code Change of Name

Editorial note indicating a change of name for an agency, position, committee, or other entity.

uscchangeofname:

uscchangeofname:"porto rico"

U.S. Code Amendments

Editorial note identifying modifications to the original text.

uscamendments:

uscamendments:act

U.S. Code Effective Date

Editorial note containing a statement regarding the effective date of an act, section, etc.

usceffectivedate:

usceffectivedate:1977

U.S. Code Codification Text

Editorial note containing the codification text for an element in the U.S. Code.

usccodification:

usccodification:"railroad retirement"

U.S. Code References in Text

Editorial note providing clarification regarding an entity in the text.

uscreferencesintext:

uscreferencesintext:"was in the"

U.S. Code Transfer of Functions

Editorial note containing information about responsibilities or activities transferred from one entity and given to another.

usctransferoffunctions:

usctransferoffunctions:functions

Citation

The GPO standard method for searching citation references from the selected publication.

citation:

citation:"5 U.S.C. 8906"

Congressional Report Citation

Citation references to Congressional Reports.

crptcitation:

crptcitation:"H. Rept. 95-595"

Public and Private Law Citation

Citation references to Public or Private Laws.

plawcitation:

plawcitation:"public law 110-2"

United States Code Citation

Citation references to the United States Code.

uscodecitation:

uscodecitation:"42 u.s.c. 5841"

Statutes at Large Citation

Citation references to Statutes at Large.

statutecitation:

statutecitation:"88 Stat. 1242"

Federal Register Citation

Reference to the Federal Register, in standard citation format.

frcitation:

frcitation:"63 FR 42926"

CFR Citation

Citation references to the Code of Federal Regulations.

cfrcitation:

cfrcitation:"40 CFR 133.102"

Reference Citation

Reference to another document within the text of a document.

refcitation:

refcitation:"43 u.s.c. 1635"


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