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Using the eCFR Point-in-Time System

Reader Aids

Reader Aids help people use and understand the eCFR. Reader Aids information is not published in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Navigating to Content of Interest

Each title in the CFR is organized hierarchically – for example a title may be divided into chapters, parts, subparts, sections and appendices. Each level of hierarchy provides some context about the content contained in it and is useful in understanding the broader purpose of the content. You can see an example below or a live version here.
eCFR Hierarchy display example

Go to CFR Reference

The Home Page of eCFR is shown below. From the home page of eCFR, you can navigate to content of interest several ways. If you know that CFR reference, you can navigate directly to the content that interests by entering it in the gray CFR Reference box as “1 CFR 1.1” or “1 CFR.” If you know which title contains your content you can click on it to visit the table of contents for that title. You can also browse by title or agency or you can search for the desired content. We will review these other methods below, but first let us consider the Table of Contents.

Table of Contents

The figure above shows a portion of the table at the highest level. Each title is listed and linked. In addition on the right side there are links to the recent changes in titles that have them. We’ll come back to those recent changes, but for now if we click on a link to a title we see a more detailed view of the table of contents for that title.

This shows the table of contents of Title 2 down to the part level. You can expand and collapse the content by clicking on the gray arrowheads. In the screenshot above, the content for Subtitle A is expanded and the contents of Subtitle B are collapsed. You can continue to explore the table of contents by clicking on Subtitle A to get a detailed views of its contents seeing

Chapter 1 of Subtitle A, Part A of Chapter 1, etc. In this view we have hovered over the title of Part 25. The tooltips indicate that you have two options. You can skip hierarchical navigation by clicking on the name of the part or section link (starting with “Universal Identifier…”) and going directly to the content of Part 25 or you can see the table of contents for Part 25 by clicking on the Part 25 link. Navigation directly to the content is possible for non-reserved parts, subparts, sections and appendices.

Browsing for Content

Using the top navigation bar you can also browse to individual titles, specific agencies, or content incorporated by reference.

Browsing by title allows you to navigate directly to an individual title. Browsing by agency allows you to view a table showing which titles and chapters pertain to the work of each federal agency. Incorporation by reference links provide information about where in the CFR material is incorporated by reference and the publisher’s contact information so that readers can obtain the material.

On each of these pages, you can use find in page (Control-F or Command-F) in your browser to search for the title, agency, reference of interest.

Searching for Content

The point-in-time system supports full text search of the eCFR content. By default the search is performed on the current content of the eCFR, you can also use the date field to search eCFR content from as it appeared at a specific point in time.

If you click on the “Search” link in the top navigation bar you’ll be taken to a page where you specify your search terms and optionally limit to a particular title or date.

Searching for specific terms

If you are currently viewing eCFR content at the Part level or higher, you can also begin a search from the left side navigation.

Individual Search Result Display

Search results default to being displayed as individual results much like a search result page from search engines like Google.

Within these search results you can filter to see the table of contents for a specific title or chapter, or view the text of a part by clicking on the links within the results. An example is shown below.

You can also navigate the search results in their hierarchy.

In any search results, you can click on the magnifying glass icon to filter your results to just that portion of the hierarchy of eCFR.

Subscribing to Search Results

You can subscribe to eCFR search results to be notified of any changes to the search results by clicking on the “Subscribe” link in any view of search results.