Researching Utah's Administrative Rules
Administrative rules are effective for specific periods of time. To determine a past obligation, or requirement, you may need to research historical administrative rules. The information on this page introduces you to the resources available.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- the office does not have the resources to conduct research for you, but will help you by appointment do your own research as resources and publication deadlines allow;
- while some documents are available online going as far back as 1995, the Utah State Bulletin is available (PDF) from 01/01/1998, to the present;
- electronic finding aids are available at the office for rules filed after July 1, 1987;
- researching rules prior to July 1, 1987, will require you to visit the office and use paper finding aids (this will take time);
- reviewing documents older than 2006, will require you to visit the Utah State Archives Research Center (300 S Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, UT 84101, 801-533-3535).
To research an administrative rule, you will need to know as much information as possible. Any of the following information will be helpful:
- the name of the regulating agency;
- the date the rule was filed;
- the Filing ID (a five-digit number assigned by the Office of Administrative Rules);
- the date the rule was published in the Utah State Bulletin;
- the date the rule was made effective;
- the code reference (begins with an "R").
Paper Editions of Utah's Administrative Rules Publications
The Office of Administrative Rules no longer sponsors paper editions of administrative rules publications. Funding for that activity was reallocated by the Utah Legislature in the FY 2003 budget. The official publication is in digital form.
However, paper editions of the Utah State Bulletin and the Utah Administrative Code are still available from other sources.
Understanding the Terminology
The office has prepared a rulemaking glossary to get you through the jargon of the process.
The Office of Administrative Rules has generated an MD5 hash for some of the files that can be downloaded from it's website.
An MD5hash is, in essence, a signature for a file. You can confirm the integrity of the files you download by comparing the MD5 hash the office generated with one that you generate.
Various software packages are available that permit you to generate an MD5 hash such as
- MD5Summer (graphical user interface)
- winMD5Sum (graphical user interface)
- MD5SUMS (no graphical user interface)
- File Checksum Integrity Verifier (no graphical user interface).
If the hashes do not match exactly, then the integrity of the file is in question. Please contact the Office of Administrative Rules immediately if the hash numbers do not match.
Subsection 63G-3-402(1) requires the Office of Administrative Rules to "record in a register the receipt of all agency rules, rule analysis forms, and notices of effective dates" and to "make the register . . . available for public inspection. . . ." The Register is a docket of rule filings arranged chronologically.
Visit the Administrative Rules Register page to view the register.
Since 1992, statute has directed the office to compile the Utah Administrative Rules Index of Changes. The Index of Changes documents effective rule filings for the prior calendar year. The Index of changes is available in PDF format.
If you require this information in another format, please contact the office.
Other Research Aids
The Utah State Law Library staff has prepared an administrative rules research guide that was published in the March/April 2009 issue of the Utah Bar Journal (Vol. 22, No. 2) and located here: http://www.utahbar.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2009_march_april-1.pdf
The Office of Administrative Rules staff is available to answer administrative rules research questions. However, the staff does not perform research. If you need to visit the office to research rules, please contact the office to schedule an appointment.
Researching Other Laws
Utah's administrative rules reference other laws, like the Utah Code, the United States Code, or the Code of Federal Regulations. The office has prepared a list of many of those references.
Assistance with Legal Research
Contact the Utah State Law Library for help with legal research.