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How to Find the U.S. Code

The U.S. Code is prepared by the Office of Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives, and published by the Government Printing Office. The Code is published every six years. To bring the Code up to date, you must use annual supplements. However, there are versions of the Code issued by commercial publishers that are more current than the official Code and its supplements. These publications are called U.S. Code Annotated and U.S. Code Service.

You can read the full text of the official U.S. Code on the web. The U.S. Code, Code Annotated, and U.S. Code Service may be available from a library.

Web Access

GPO govinfo provides the full text of the official version of the U.S. Code. You can do fielded searches to look for Code material by popular name of the law, the public law number, U.S. Code citation, Statutes at Large citation, or word or phrase. You can also browse the U.S. Code by individual Code titles, down to the section level, for the latest available update.

The U.S. House Office of the Law Revision Counsel also provides the full text of the official version of the U.S. Code. You can do fielded searches or download entire titles and/or chapters. This site also provides classification tables that show where recently enacted laws will appear in the United States Code and which sections of the Code have been amended by those laws.


The U.S. Code, U.S. Code Annotated , or U.S. Code Service are generally available in federal depository libraries. The federal depository library program is made up of over 1,100 libraries that collect and/or provide government documents to make them available to the public. A list of depository libraries is available on GPO's website. Most depository libraries are within a university or state library, so calling ahead to ask about hours is advised.

Many larger public libraries, state libraries, and law libraries may also collect the U.S. Code, Code Annotated, or Code Service. Check with these types of libraries in your community to see if they have the U.S. Code in their holdings and to verify the policies on use of their facilities.