Regulations.gov is your one-stop shop for federal regulatory materials. Users can search publicly available regulatory materials like regulations, public comments, and Federal Register Notices, as well as submit comments, applications, or adjudication documents for regulations. The recently updated Regulations.gov offers improvements to many of its features, including searching, commenting, and design.
As highlighted in its introductory video, the search function now features improved filtering to help focus your results. Use the single search bar to search for Rules, Proposed Rules, Notices, or Supporting Documents. The search results list categorizes the results into three tabs: dockets, documents, and comments. The filters are now specific to the category, allowing you to narrow your results by specific criteria. For example, in the Documents category, you can filter the results by document type, when the document was posted, when comments are due, or the agency. You can even filter the results to only those that are currently open for comments.
For those interested in reviewing the comments attached to a specific document, you can now browse and search those comments made available by the agency. Once in the document you would like to see the comments for, select the "Browse Comments" tab. To search the comments, use the search bar located above the comments list.
There may be discrepancies between the number of comments counted and the number displayed for public access. Per the FAQ "How are comments counted and posted to Regulations.gov?", "Agencies may choose to redact or withhold certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. This can result in discrepancies between this count and the number of comments that are displayed for public access. For specific information about an agency's public submission policy, refer to its website or the Federal Register document."
The Regulations.gov update also standardized the comment form across all agencies. Each comment now has two requirements: (1) Users must enter content in the comment field, and (2) Users must choose an identity from three options - as an individual (name required), on behalf of an organization (organization type and name required), or as anonymous. To "support the integrity of the rulemaking process and manage the role of software-generated comments", commenters must also check the reCAPTCHA "I'm not a robot" box.
Additionally, the updated site was built with a responsive design, making the site compatible to use on different size screens, including mobile and tablet devices.
Please note that not all agencies are "participating" agencies with Regulations.gov: "Non-Participating agencies are federal agencies that publish Federal Register documents but do not participate in the eRulemaking program. They may still receive comments, but they are not visible through Regulations.gov. In order to view these comments, users should contact the agency directly." For a full list of participating and non-participating agencies, see the Regulations.gov Agencies page.
For those who want to explore the differences between the updated Regulations.gov and the prior version of the website, the Site FAQ "Finding other Regulations.gov resources" lays out the differences in a table format.
For more information about the updated Regulations.gov, check out their Site FAQs. Have additional questions about Regulations.gov, regulatory materials, and the rulemaking process? Check out their General FAQs.