Skip to Main Content

Federal Acts (Public Laws)

Finding Federal Acts for Free Online

Federal Acts are available for free online from a few different resources. Congress.gov includes Public and Private Laws beginning with the 82nd Congress (1951-52). The Public and Private Laws on govinfo begin with the 104th Congress (1995-96).

The Statutes at Large are also available for free online. The 1st (1789-91) through 81st Congresses (1949-50) are available via the Library of Congress and coverage on govinfo begins with the 82nd Congress (1951).

See below for more details.

Free Online Resources

Public Laws
82nd Congress (1951-1952) - present. Includes the text of the Public Law as well as information regarding the legislative actions taken, amendments, cosponsors, committees, and related bills.

Private Laws
82nd Congress (1951-1952) - present. Includes the text of the Private Law as well as information regarding the legislative actions taken, amendments, cosponsors, committees, and related bills.

Research Tip: Congress.gov has bills from the 93rd Congress (1973-1974) to present, including bills that did not become law.

Public and Private Laws
Coverage begins with 104th Congress (1995-1996). To search Public and Private Laws, click the orange "Search" button, select "Advanced", then under "Refine by Collection" select "Public and Private Laws". Search results can be further refined by using the side panel on the search results screen. For additional information and tips, see the About Public and Private Laws page.

United States Statutes at Large
Coverage begins with the 82nd Congress (1951, vol. 65). Can browse by popular name or public law number. To search the Statutes at Large, click the orange "Search" button, select "Advanced", then under "Refine by Collection" select "Statutes at Large". Search results can be further refined by using the side panel on the search results screen. For additional information and tips, see the About the United States Statutes at Large page.

Statutes at Large
1st Congress (1789-1791) - 81st Congress (1949-1950).