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Ohio Primary Law Legal Research Guide: Agencies

Covers Ohio cases, statutes, legislative history, regulations, and administrative decisions.

Ohio Administrative Code

  • The Ohio Administrative Code contains regulations promulgated by Ohio administrative agencies.

  • Arranged by Agency

Also available on Westlaw and Lexis Advance.

Agency Guidance

Guidance documents are written by an agency to inform the public or provide direction to its staff. Guidance documents can explain how an agency interprets existing law, or can announce a tentative policy. They are not binding on a court. Guidance documents can be in the form of manuals, guidelines, policy statements, opinion letters or rulings.

Guidance documents are often contained on the agencies web sites. 

Ohio Administrative Code Citations

What does this citation mean?




Rule No.


Commerce Dept, Industrial Compliance Division


Building Standards Board, Mechanical Code


Signs, Radio and Television Towers, Flood Resistant Buildings


Radio and Television Towers

Ohio Administrative

Regulations Adopted by Reference

Regulations "adopted by reference" are not contained in the Ohio Administrative Code. You must locate the text in other documents. This is especially true of the building code, which incorporates the Ohio Building Code by reference (Print copy of the Ohio Building Code also available in the library at KFO 459 .A3). The General Index volume to the Ohio Administrative Code contains a list of documents incorporated by reference. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission and Ohio Secretary of State can provide the text of the regulations adopted by reference, if the text is not available otherwise.

Updating Regulations & Finding Old Regulations

New regulations are found in the Register of Ohio online and the Ohio Monthly Record in print, KFO 35 .A242. The Franklin County Law Library does not have a current subscription the print Monthly Record, but does have a historical collection from 1981-2007.  These sources can also be used to find regulations in effect at a prior point in time.

See Updating Regulations and Finding Prior Regulations page of this guide.

The Rulemaking Procedure

There are two rule-making procedures in Ohio, one in ORC Chapter 119 (Ohio Administrative Procedure Act, 1943) and the other in ORC 111.15 . Rule-making procedures under ORC Chapter 119 require agencies to give notice of their intent to promulgate new rules and to conduct public hearings.  ORC 111.15 procedures have no notice and hearing requirement.

The basic steps for Chapter 119 rulemaking are:

1. Agency gives public notice in the Register of Ohio of: (1) the proposed rule; and (2) the public hearing to be held on the proposed rule.

2. Agency files the proposed rule, fiscal analysis and rule summary with the Ohio Secretary of State, Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) and Legislative Service Commission. These documents are published in the Register of Ohio.

3. Agency holds a public hearing on the proposed rule.

4. JCARR reviews the proposed rule, unless exempt by statute. JCARR will tell the General Assembly if a proposed rule should be invalidated.

5. The agency finalizes the rule, and files a final rule with JCARR, Legislative Service Commission and the Secretary of State. The rule can not be finalized until 66 days after filing the proposed rule. The rule may not become final if the legislature objects.

6. The General Assembly can invalidate an adopted rule within 59 days after it was filed with JCARR.

Chapter 119.01 does not apply to the public utilities commission, the utility radiological safety board;  the controlling board;  the superintendent of financial institutions and the superintendent of insurance in the taking possession of, and rehabilitation or liquidation of, the business and property of banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, credit unions, insurance companies, associations, reciprocal fraternal benefit societies, and bond investment companies; to any action taken by the division of securities; or to any action that may be taken by the superintendent of financial institutions, the industrial commission or the bureau of workers' compensation.

For more details, see Michael Burns, An Overview of Administrative Rule-Making in Ohio (July 30, 2008), an Ohio Legislative Service Commission Members Only Brief; as well as Cleveland State University Law Library's  Administrative Law Research Guide; and Ohio Administrative Law Handbook (volume included with the Ohio Administrative Code KFO 34.5 .A24)