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Legal Research: A Guide to Administrative Law

Checking Currency

The official print version of the CFR is updated and reprinted only once each year. However, amendments, additions, and deletions to any given section or sections in the CFR can happen at any time (these would all be published as final rules in the Federal Register). The instructions below will help you find the most current version of any given section in the CFR.
  1. Identify the section in question that you wish to update.
  2. Navigate to GPO's monthly publication, List of CFR Sections Affected, available on GPO's govinfo (also available onsite at the Library of Congress and at some federal depository libraries). Open the most recent edition and look up the CFR section that you are researching to see if it is on the List.
    • If the section in question is not on the monthly List, then there were no changes between the annual publication and the last date that was included on the monthly List.
    • If the section in question is on the List, then you are referred to the page in the Federal Register where the change occurred.
  3. Check to see if any changes to the part containing the section in question occurred since the most recent List of CFR Sections Affected was published through "today." Navigate to the most recent edition of the Federal Register (usually published each weekday morning). At the back of each Federal Register, there is a daily, cumulative list of CFR parts that were affected by changes in the current month through the date of publication.
    • If the part that contains the section in question is not on the "parts affected" list, then there were no changes to that section between the most recent List of CFR Sections Affected and the date of publication of the most recent edition of the Federal Register.
    • If the part that contains the section in question is on the "parts affected" list, navigate to the page of the Federal Register where the part was affected and check to see if the section in question was amended.

Unofficial Method for Checking Currency

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) is a continuously updated online version of the CFR. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR; however, eCFR conveniently incorporates changes to material in the CFR very quickly. Researchers seeking to confirm the currency of a rule in the eCFR (and whose research does not depend on the official records) should use the "current as of" information provided on eCFR, which is usually up-to-date within 1-2 days of "today."