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/Submissions. 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/Submissions
Clicking on one of these links will direct you to the results of a specific search. You can search for All Documents Open for Public Comment, All Documents Published Today Open for Public Comment, Regulations Open for Public Comments/Submissions by Topic, or All Documents for Which the Comment Period Closes Today.
How do I use Advanced 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.
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.
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/Submissions
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 'Add Comments/Submissions' section 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/Submissions on the document.
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
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.corel.com). Most other office suites (e.g., Word) can read WordPerfect files.