Help Searching the United States Code
Office of the Law Revision Counsel
Any part of a search query may be keyed in either upper or lower case. Some of the following examples use upper case for readability only.
Put the phrase in single quotes, as in:
1. A question mark represents individual characters. For example, searching
will retrieve all occurrences of int, followed by two characters, followed by city (e.g., intercity and intracity).
2. An asterisk represents an unlimited number of characters. For example, searching
will retrieve all occurrences of int, followed by any number of characters, followed by city.
3. A dollar sign represents one or zero characters. For example, searching
will retrieve both labor and labour.
Add an exclamation mark after the name of the topic. For example, searching
will retrieve all documents that relate to grapes (but do not necessarily use the word "grapes"). The computer will search for all occurrences of "grapes", look at what words occur near "grapes", look at how near they are to "grapes", look at how often they occur near "grapes" versus how often they appear throughout the Code, put all of this information through a formula that results in a list of words related to "grapes", search on those new words, and then rank the results in relevance order.
The documents in the Code database are divided into fields as shown in the table below. A search query can be constructed so that documents are found only if certain words appear in certain fields.
To apply a field limiter to a single word, insert a colon and the field name after the word. For example, to retrieve documents containing 'wheat' in the STATUTE field, search:
To apply a field limiter to an entire query, insert /F: and the field name after the query. For example, to retrieve documents containing 'short title' in the section heading, search:
short adj title /f:head
The following fields are available in the Code database:
The following words cannot be searched:
To find documents containing an executive order, enter
EX W/2 ORD W/2
followed by a space, the executive order number, another space, and then
To find documents containing a presidential proclamation, enter
followed by a space, the proclamation number, another space, and then
When the section of the Code containing the order or proclamation is found, use your browser to search within that section for the order or proclamation.
To make a permanent link to a U.S. Code section, insert the following code in your HTML, substituting the title number for title and the section number for section:
<FORM METHOD=POST ACTION="http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?search">
If you were to substitute 39 for title and 3008 for section, the result will be: