Code of Colorado Regulations FAQs

Q1. What is an administrative rule or regulation?

A1. When the legislature passes laws, state agencies adopt administrative rules and regulations to interpret and enforce those laws.

Executive departments and agencies of Colorado adopt, amend, and repeal regulations under the authority granted to them by the state legislature. The State Administrative Procedure Act governs this general rulemaking process.

Administrative rules carry the weight of law, and noncompliance can result in citations, fines, or other consequences (such as losing a license). You may wish to talk to an attorney or other legal counsel to determine your obligations and risk.

 

Q2. What is the Code of Colorado Regulations?

A2. The Secretary of State collects and publishes the official version of Colorado’s administrative rules in the Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR).  

 

Q3. What is the Colorado Register?

A3. Notices of rulemaking, proposed, new, and amended rules, and Attorney General Opinions are published twice a month in the Colorado Register. [1]  You can view back issues of the register by clicking on the "Back Issues" dropdown in the top right corner of the Colorado Register web page.

 

Q4. How do I find a rule in the online Code of Colorado Regulations?

A4. Rules are grouped under the agency that administers them, so you can browse the rules by agency or, if you already know the CCR regulation number, you can browse by number.

You can also search the CCR by a word or phrase using the CCR Search.

 

Q5. How can I track the progress of a rulemaking?

A5. You can search and view a real-time log of agency rulemaking filings, the online eDocket page.  Search by tracking number, if you have one, or by agency name and date range.

Q6. What software do I need to read the regulations?

A6. The regulations are published as PDF documents that can be read with any PDF viewing software. To access the digital certificate features, you must open the regulations in Adobe Reader. For help displaying PDF documents in your browser with Adobe Reader, refer to Adobe's help page on the topic.

 

Q7. How do I verify that the regulation is original and unaltered since it was published?

A7. As of March 31, 2014, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office stamps each published regulation with a digital certificate displaying the date and time of certification and indicating that the document is unaltered from the Secretary of State’s published official record. [2] The certificate can be viewed and validated by opening the regulation in Adobe Reader.


Q8. Where is the Table of Contents for each rule?

A8. Access each rule’s Table of Contents using the "Bookmarks" icon in the left navigation pane in Adobe Reader. 

 

Q9. How do I print a rule from the online Code of Colorado Regulations?

A9. Use the "Print" icon at the top of the PDF document. You may print the whole regulation or specific pages.

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 Q10. Where can I find a printed copy of the regulations?

A10. As required by law. [3] the Secretary of State publishes the official Code and Register online. An unofficial print version can be purchased from LexisNexis. The CCR is also available at the Colorado Supreme Court Law Library, as well as at some public libraries.

Regulations are also available from the state agency that adopted the regulation. Some additional material, such as a rule adopted by a federal agency, may be incorporated by reference in regulations. Contact the individual state agency to determine if its regulations or incorporated material is available.

 

Q11. Where can I find older versions of the regulations?

A11. The online CCR publication contains past versions of the regulations dating back to 2007. To view these prior versions:

  • Go to a specific rule.
  • The "All versions" table shows the available versions of the CCR number, sorted by effective date. 
  • Click on the version number.


For administrative rules in effect before 2007, you may need to talk to the agency that adopted the rules or check with the State Supreme Court Library or the State Archives.

 

Q12. How do I find the history of changes made to a rule?

A12. Go to the rule and scroll to the end. If the rule has been updated since April 1, 2007, there will be an "Editor’s Notes" section that lists the history of changes to the rule.

For rule change history before April 1, 2007, you can use the Rule history before April 1, 2007 link on the Administrative Rules Program home page. The Rule History has images of the History Notes from the print publication of the CCR. Enter the exact CCR number, such as "8 CCR 1505-1" (without quotes) into the "Name" search field, and then click on the "Search" button.

 

Q13. Where can I get more information about a rule?

A13. For any questions about the content and application of a particular rule, please contact the state agency that adopted the rule. For questions about the rulemaking process or the official publication of the Code and Register, please contact us at rules@sos.state.co.us or 303-894-2200, ext. 6418.

 

Q14. How can I find out if an agency is planning to make or change rules?

A14. The Secretary of State’s office offers an email notification service. To sign up for it, start on the web page for the Colorado Register. Near the bottom of the screen, click on the "Sign up to receive Colorado Register email updates" link.

This will take you to a screen where you can enter your email address and then select a rulemaking entity or "agency" from the list. If you would like to select more than one agency, hold down the "Ctrl" key while you click on the agency names. Click on the "Subscribe" button to submit your request.

When the agency or agencies that you selected engage in rulemaking, and notices of a rulemaking hearing or adopted rules are published in the Colorado Register, you will receive an email. The email will notify you of the publication and provide a link to the relevant issue of the Register.

 

Q15. How are rules adopted, amended, or repealed?

A15. The first step to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations is for an agency to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Colorado Register. (There are limited instances where an agency may adopt a temporary or emergency rule without publishing a notice; however, it must still publish the adopted rule.)

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking contains the date, time, and location of the hearing, which must be held at least 20 days after publication in the Colorado Register. The Register is published on the 10th and 25th of each month. The Notice also contains the statutory authority for the proposed action, the subject matter of the proposed rulemaking, and the agency’s contact information. It may also contain the text of the proposed rules and other information.

The agency then allows time for and reviews public comment before taking final action. The agency must publish a newly adopted, amended, or repealed rule in the Colorado Register before the rule can take effect. The rule may become effective twenty (20) days after publication or later, if desired. An emergency rule may become effective upon adoption. 

As part of the rulemaking process, the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Office of Policy, Research, and Regulatory Reform, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Office of Legislative Legal Services also review the rules.

Rulemaking time periods are counted by calendar days, beginning with the day following the action, including weekend days and holidays. The only exception is the 20-day deadline for completion of rule-filing after adoption. If this deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the filing agency may file on the next business day.

A flowchart (PDF) that shows how the rulemaking process works is available. Other process diagrams and rule-filing schedule calculators are available on the Administrative Rules home page.

 

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[1]  Published in accordance with 24-4-103(11), C.R.S.
[2]  In accordance with 24-71.5-102 and 105, C.R.S.
[3]  24-4-103(11), C.R.S.