Welcome to the New Regulations.gov!
Regulations.gov is a U.S. Federal government system that contains proposed regulations, other actions (e.g., notices, announcements, final rules), and additional related information for all Federal Departments and Agencies. If you are new to this site, the topics in User Tips below will help you get started using Regulations.gov. For definitions of terms used on the site, go to the Glossary. For answers to common questions about Regulations.gov, go to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). For detailed instructions on how to use this site, you can browse through the comprehensive Help feature.
What the User Tips contains:

About Regulations.gov 2.0

New Features
    RSS Feed of Federal Registers
    E-mail Notifications
    Comment Tracking Number

Using the New Regulations.gov
    Basic Search for a document from the Home Page
    Quick Links/Submit Comments
    How do I use the Advanced Search?
    Locating a docket
    Overview of the Search Results page
    Submitting your comments or filing submissions
    About the Comment Icon

Helpful Hints
    Opening Document files within Regulations.gov
    Clearing your cache
    Compatible Internet Browsers and User workstation requirements

Finding help on using Regulations.gov

About Regulations.gov 2.0

We have redesigned Regulations.gov to give you an easier and faster way to find information from the home page. New site features include:

   •  Full text search capability

   •  Home page redesigned to make it easier for you to enter search terms like keyword, phrase, agency name, docket and docket ID or title.

   •  New features on your search results so you can narrow or expand your search results

Looking at the new Regulations.gov 2.0 site

The Regulations.gov 2.0 home page has a new design look and feel, and you can still perform the same searches as before with the new home page features.

New Features - RSS Feed of Federal Registers

Users may now set up an RSS feed of the most recent Federal Register information sent to Regulations.gov.

To set up the RSS feed to Regulations.gov, you must first install an RSS reader. After you have installed an RSS reader, do the following to establish the RSS feed of Federal Register information to Regulations.gov:

   1. Drag the RSS icon (located at the bottom of most Regulations.gov screens or at the top right corner of your search results page) to your RSS reader.

   2. You will then be able to see new items from the Federal Register on Regulations.gov. Those items will have active bookmarks to the document details page in Regulations.gov.

   3. The RSS reader will update itself when new items are published in the RSS xml file on Regulations.gov


You can now bookmark a specific Docket or Document on Regulations.gov. The Bookmarking feature lets you easily return to the Docket or Document by saving the URL in your Internet browser as a 'bookmark' (also known as 'Favorites').

To save a bookmark, a Bookmark icon is available at the top of both the Docket Details and Document Details screen. You can add the bookmark to your list of favorites by right-clicking on the Bookmark icon. You can also copy a shortcut or drag the icon to your desktop, a document, or an email to save the bookmark.

E-mail Notifications

You can receive an e-mail alert every time a new document is added to a specific docket with the new 'E-mail Notifications' feature.You can register to receive e-mail notifications on a specific docket by clicking on the notification icon found on your search results or the Docket Details page.

With this feature, you will be e-mailed when a new type of document (i.e., Rule, Proposed Rule, Notice, Public Submission, Supporting and Related Materials, or a document categorized as 'Other') is available in a specific docket. You can choose one or any combination of types of documents for the notification. You can also choose the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) that you want to receive the e-mails, and the duration of the subscription (up to 12 months).

Registration is easy all you need is a valid e-mail address. You will receive a separate e-mail alert for each docket that you register to receive a notification. In addition, the e-mail will provide a link to manage all of the notifications that have been established under the same e-mail address.

Comment Tracking Number

Many Federal agencies currently have the ability to post entire rulemaking and non-rulemaking dockets, including comments, on Regulations.gov. When you submit a comment through Regulations.gov to one of these Agencies, a Comment Tracking Number will be included on the "Comment Receipt" screen that you receive when you finish the comment submission process.This Comment Tracking Number can be used to quickly search on and locate your comment once it has been posted to Regulations.gov by the Agency using the Advanced Document Search function. The Comment Tracking Number will be permanently tied to your comment, and is a unique number that cannot be duplicated.

Please note that the Comment Tracking Number is not available for searching on Regulations.gov until the Agency makes your comment available on Regulations.gov. Each agency has its own policies related to posting of comments and the time period for posting received comments. Please contact the agency if you have a specific question regarding your comment.

Using the new Regulations.gov

Basic Search for a document from the Home Page

Use the "Search Documents" section of the homepage to conduct a Basic Search for a document.

Step 1. Select what documents to search. Regulations.gov defaults to allow you to run a Basic Search on all documents accepting comments. If you want to see a document whose comment period has closed, or if you are not sure of the status of a document, choose the radio button marked "All Documents (Open and Closed for Comment)."

Step 2. (Optional) Narrow your search by Federal Department or Agency. Regulations.gov defaults to allow you to search across all Agencies and Departments. If you know which Department or Agency published the document, you can select that Department or Agency from the drop-down list. The Departments and Agencies listed with an asterisk on the drop-down menu can post additional rulemaking and non-rulemaking documents on Regulations.gov. Please note: While Regulations.gov enables Agencies to post rulemaking and non-rulemaking documents on the site, it is up to each Department or Agency to determine what information is made available on the site.

Step 3. (Optional) Narrow your search by Document Type. The 'Document Type' is the primary classification of materials on Regulations.gov. For a comprehensive search, you can leave the drop-down list on the default, -All Document Types-. If you select one of the specific options in the drop-down menu (Notices, Proposed Rules, or Rules), your search results will include only the document type that you selected. If you are looking for a specific document classified as Supporting & Related Materials or Public Submissions, click on "Advanced Search" from the top menu and select "Document Search."

Step 4. (Optional) Please select a Category from the drop-down list below and enter a Keyword. To further narrow your search, select a category from the drop-down menu. You may select "Document Title", "Abstract", "Document ID", "Subject", "Legacy ID", or "Submitter Info". Enter a keyword, Docket ID, or Document ID in the space provided. Choose the radio button for either 'Exact Words' or 'Any Words.'

Please note: If you select "All Documents" in Step 1, you have to select at least one other criterion from Steps 2 through 4 (i.e., select an agency, select a document type, or enter a keyword).

Step 5. Click Submit. You will be taken to the Search Results screen.

Quick Links/Submit Comments

Clicking on one of these links will direct you to the results of a specific search. You can search for All Documents with an Open Public Comment Period, All Documents Published Today Open for Public Comment, Regulations Open for Public Comments by Topic, or All Documents for Which the Comment Period Closes Today.

How do I use Advanced Search?

Advanced Search / Docket Search Use the Advanced Search / Docket Search to find Agencies' dockets, both open and closed for comment. This search is limited to those Departments and Agencies posting their complete dockets (i.e., collections of documents commonly including, Federal Register documents, supporting and related materials, and public submissions) on Regulations.gov.

Advanced Search / Document Search Use the Advanced Search / Document Search to find documents from all Federal Agencies. The public can search on any document type (e.g., rules, proposed rules, notices, supporting and related materials, public submissions) for agencies listed in the Agency drop-down menu with an asterisk. This search will return only Federal Register documents for agencies that do not post other docket materials on Regulations.gov.

Locating a docket

To find a docket, click on 'Advanced Search' from the top menu and select 'Docket Search'. If you know a specific docket ID number, you can also type the ID number in the Keyword field on the Home Page, and then click the Docket ID in the left-hand column of the subsequent Search Results page.

Some Agencies posting regulatory and non-regulatory information on Regulations.gov previously operated their own publicly-accessibly electronic docketing systems. For these agencies, you can now access this information on Regulations.gov. You can find information using the former Agency docket ID numbers by clicking on the "Advanced Search" tab, selecting "Docket Search" from the dropdown menu, and entering the former Docket identification number in the "Legacy Number" field. If you know a specific Docket ID number, you can use the steps above, being sure to select the All Documents radio button.

Overview of the Search Results page on Regulations.gov

Below is an example of a search results page on Regulations.gov. From here, you can view more information about a Docket or Document, view the Document itself or submit a comment on the Document.

Submitting your comments or filing submissions

Once you locate a rule or document that has been posted by the Agency for comment or submission click on the corresponding "comment" icon in the "Send Comment or Submission" section of your search results or "Add Comments" section of the Docket or Document Details page to access the Public Comment and Submission Form where comments and supporting information or other public submissions can be submitted to the Agency on the posted rule or action.

Step 1. Submitter Information: Each Federal Agency decides what information it wishes to collect from a person submitting a comment. Each Agency determines which fields are required and which fields will be viewable by other users on Regulations.gov. Information that is required in order to submit a comment is identified by a red asterisk (*) next to the field. Information that will be publicly viewable on Regulations.gov when the Agency publishes the comment is identified by a blue pound sign (#) next to the field.

Step 2. Comments: You can type your comments in the General Comments box provided on the comment form. There is no limit to the number of characters that you can type in this box.

Step 3. Attachments: You can attach electronic files with your text comments. To view the file types accepted by Regulations.gov, click the Learn More text. You can attach as many files as you wish. Regulations.gov will show a message when you have successfully uploaded a file. However, you must continue submitting the comment, by clicking on the "Next Step" button, in order for the file to be submitted to the agency.

Step 4. Action: Click on the Next Step button to preview your comment. Here you have the opportunity to review and edit your comment prior to its submission. You can also print the preview of your comment prior to submitting it. Once you are satisfied with your comment, click on the Submit button to complete the process. You will then receive a comment verification note and tracking number. Regulations.gov will show a message when you have successfully uploaded a file. However, you must continue submitting the comment by clicking on the "Next Step" button, in order for the file to be submitted to the agency.

About the Comment Icon

The Comment Icon is displayed in the "Send Comment or Submission" section of your search results or "Add Comments" section of the Docket or Document Details page on Regulations.gov during the published comment period in the relevant Federal Register document, or if the Agency has extended the comment period. If you would like to submit a comment on a document and the Comment Icon is not displayed, please refer to the contact information in the ADDRESSES block of the Federal Register document. You can ask the person listed there if the Agency is still accepting comments on the document.

Helpful Hints

1. Opening Document files within Regulations.gov

Regulations.gov displays document files in one of two ways depending on the type of file you select to view. You can open an HTML file in your current browser window or you can open other file programs (e.g., PDF, Word) in a separate application window.

Viewing the Document File in the Current Browser Window (HTML files only)

If you click on the HTML file icon to view a file, Regulations.gov will open that file in the current browser window. The Document ID will be listed at the top of the window. In addition, you have the option to print the file by clicking on the "Print" button at the top of the screen. To go back to the Search Results page, simply click on the "Close" button at the top of your screen.

In some instances, pop-up blockers may prevent the HTML document from being viewed in the current browser window. If this situation occurs, disabling the pop-up blocker, or selecting to temporarily allow pop-ups from the Regulations.gov site will resolve the issue.

Downloading the Document File in its Native Application (TXT , PDF , DOC , XLS , etc.)

If you click on a file icon other than HTML to view a file, Regulations.gov will open a "File Download" dialog box asking you to either open or save the file. (Certain image files may display in the same window, if your browser is set up as the default application for displaying image files.) If you select "Open", the file will open in another window using the program in which it was created. Your computer must have the registered program with which the file is associated in order to open and view the file. If you select "Save" you will be prompted to save the file to your computer or other storage device. You also have the option to select "Cancel" which will close the "File Download" dialog box and return you to the Search Results screen.

Adobe Acrobat Reader and Portable Document Format (PDF) Files

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html)

Microsoft Office

Certain files available for download from this Web site are in Microsoft Word files are marked (DOC or MS Word), Microsoft PowerPoint files are marked (PPT or MS PowerPoint) and Microsoft Excel files are marked (XLS or MS Excel). If you do not have the relevant Microsoft programs on your computer, you can download Microsoft Office Viewers (http://www.microsoft.com/office/000/viewers.asp)


WordPerfect is a popular word processing application from Corel (www.correl.com). Most other office suites (e.g., Word) can read WordPerfect files.

2. Clearing your cache

The Regulations.gov pages are dynamic and require regular refreshes. Therefore, your browser should be set to refresh each time you visit the site. This action ensures that your workstation will download the latest version of all data from Regulations.gov, instead of using previous information stored in your browser's cache. Make sure that you clear your cache by deleting cookies, Internet files and offline content.

For Internet Explorer users, the settings are found in "Internet Options" (see Figure 3).

   1. In Internet Explorer, go to File - 'Tools' -> 'Internet Options' -> Click on 'Delete Cookies'

   2. Go to 'Tools' -> 'Internet Options' -> Click on 'Delete Files' -> Check 'Delete all offline content' and click 'OK'. (Note that it may take a while depending on the number of files stored.)

   3. Click on 'Settings' button and verify that 'Every visit to the page' has been selected. Click 'OK'. Click "OK" to return to the Internet Options screen. Click "Apply", then "OK"

3. A note on bookmarking search result pages on Regulations.gov

Regulations.gov is designed as a dynamic web application to ensure that search results are always up-to-date and the user receives current and accurate information. Each search result will provide a unique URL, even if an identical search is repeated. Therefore, we recommend that you do not bookmark search results since the resulting bookmarked URL will not be accurate.

4. Compatible Internet Browsers and User workstation requirements

Regulations.gov was designed to be compatible with the Internet Explorer or Netscape Internet browsers

The minimum system configuration for using Regulations.gov is any computer running with at least a Pentium or G4 processor and 128 megabytes (MB) of free RAM. The Internet browser should be at least Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape 6. The minimum display settings are 800x600 pixels at 256 colors.

For optimum system performance, the recommended set of specifications for your computer should include a Pentium processor with at least 512 MB of free RAM, Windows 2000 SP4 or XP SP1 Internet Explorer 6.0 or Netscape 7.0.2, SVGA (1024 x 768) or higher-resolution monitor set to 32-bit color, and a high-speed Internet connection. Document files on Regulations.gov may be available in various formats; therefore, you may need to have specific software (e.g., Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, etc.) on your desktop to view certain files.

Send us your comments on using Regulations.gov!

We invite your feedback and suggestions about Regulations.gov to help us serve you better. Send us your comments through the Web form found on the Contact Us page that can be accessed by clicking on the Contact Us button at the bottom of any Regulations.gov screen or the Contact Us for Help option on the "How to Use This Site" menu item on the Regulations.gov homepage

Finding help on using Regulations.gov

For detailed instructions on how to use the features on Regulations.gov, click on the Help menu item located on the main navigation bar on any screen or the User Guide option on the "How to Use This Site" menu item on the Regulations.gov homepage. The Help function will display relevant information related to the section of the application you are in. The Help button is included on every Regulations.gov screen.

If you need additional assistance using Regulations.gov, please call 1-877-378-5457 (1-877-ERUL-HLP). Help Desk hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. You may also use the online submission form at any time by clicking on the Contact Us button at the bottom of any Regulations.gov screen or the Contact Us for Help option on the "How to Use This Site" menu item on the Regulations.gov homepage.