Regulations are used to handle the day-to-day administration of a government. Although they are not laws, regulations from Texas agencies can have the force of law, since they often include penalties for violations. They are not published in Vernon's Texas Statutes and Codes Annotated.
- The Texas government publishes proposed regulations every Friday in the Texas Register.
- Each entry includes the text of a proposed regulation, an address for written comments, a deadline for those comments, and (occasionally) supplementary information.
- Once the deadline (at least 30 days) has passed, the agency will review all comments received and (usually) publish the final version of the regulation.
- Occasionally, when changes are needed, an amended version of the proposed regulation will be published with a request for further comment.
- When the regulation is then finalized, the final version is published in the Texas Register with an effective date.
- Regulations that are not acted upon within six months are withdrawn.
- Individual regulations are cumulated and codified into one of 16 subject titles in the Texas Administrative Code, which is revised annually.
How Do I Find Regulations on the Web?
- Texas Administrative Code
- Free access which is "approximately one week behind the current effective date". For example, rules with an effective date of April 1, 2015, would be included in the database on approximately April 8, 2015. Not searchable and does not include any graphics, such as tables or charts.
- Texas Register
- Full text of the most recent 12 months of the Texas Register. Available in two formats -- HTML and PDF. Previous years of the Texas Register are available in print (January 1976 - September 1991) in the Government Documents Unit. They are also online (1976 - present) from the University of North Texas archived Texas Register via the Portal to Texas History. While the official site includes some indexes, the back issue archive at UNT provides online keyword searching.
How Do I Find Regulations By Subject?
When looking for regulations by subject, begin with the Texas Administrative Code online. There is no subject index, so you will need to browse through the available titles looking for the most appropriate section. If that fails, try to find an article in a magazine or newspaper that refers to the regulatory information you need.
- Legal Research Process: How to Use the TAC
- Short overview from the University of Texas School of Law.
- Finding Texas Regulations
- Tips on how to search the TAC and the Texas Register with and without a citation. From the University of Texas School of Law.
- Texas Administrative Law
- A PDF pathfinder from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library.
- Guide to using Texas Administrative Code
- Short guide to using the TAC and Texas Register from Texas Tech University School of Law Library.
Any questions? Ask a Librarian, or call us at (806) 651-2205.