Where can I find a public law?

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U.S. public laws and private laws beginning with the 104th Congress (1995-96) may be found on the GPO govinfo site. GPO govinfo permits browsing public laws within a particular Congress, or searching by date or by citation.

Acts passed by Congress from the 101st Congress (1989-1990) to the present may be found on Congress.gov. Under the Search box in the Bill Searches and Lists section, choose Public Laws to browse by public law number. Public law texts are available on Congress.gov from 1989 (101st Congress) to the present.  To access a public law, click the link to the bill number, click on the Text tab, and the “enrolled” version of the bill which contains the exact language of the public law will appear.

For the 93rd to 100th Congresses, Congress.gov contains information about public laws, but not the full text. To research public laws from these Congresses, click on the Public Laws page, under SELECT CONGRESS, and then choose the Congress in which the law was passed.

The United States Statutes at Large is the official printed source for public laws.  It is available in print at the Law Library of Congress, and at Federal Depository Libraries.

Volumes 1-64 (1789-1950) of the Statutes at Large are available online through the Law Library of Congress. Volumes 65-125 (1951-2011) are available through GPO govinfo website.

The entire Statutes at Large series from 1789 to the present is available electronically on two subscription databases, HeinOnlineand Proquest Congressional, which are available on computer terminals within the Library of Congress and other research libraries.

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