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United States Code: About

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The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States based on what is printed in the Statutes at Large. It is divided by broad subjects into 50 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Cover of the 2000 Edition of the United States Code.

Since 1926, the United States Code has been published every six years. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information.

GPO Access contains the 2006, 2000, and 1994 editions of the U.S. Code, plus annual supplements. Files are available in ASCII Text from the 1994 edition forward and Portable Document Format (PDF) from the 2006 edition forward.

The information contained in the U.S. Code on GPO Access has been provided to GPO by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. While every effort has been made to ensure that the U.S. Code database on GPO Access is accurate, those using it for legal research should verify their results against the printed version of the United States Code available through the Government Printing Office.

GPO recognizes that other U.S. Code products exist that are not available from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Among these are the U.S.C.A. (U.S. Code Annotated) and the U.S.C.S. (U.S. Code Service). The U.S.C.A. and U.S.C.S. contain everything that is printed in the U.S. Code but also include annotations to case law relevant to the particular statute. While these publications may be more current, they are not the official version of the U.S. Code that is published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

NOTE: Of the 50 titles, only 23 have been enacted into positive (statutory) law. These titles are 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, 46, and 49. When a title of the Code was enacted into positive law, the text of the title became legal evidence of the law. Titles that have not been enacted into positive law are only prima facie evidence of the law. In that case, the Statutes at Large still govern.

The U.S. Code does not include regulations issued by executive branch agencies, decisions of the Federal courts, treaties, or laws enacted by State or local governments. Regulations issued by executive branch agencies are available in the Code of Federal Regulations. Proposed and recently adopted regulations may be found in the Federal Register.