Skip to: Content | Footer | Accessibility

Office of Administrative Law



* Not maintained by OAL 

Contact OAL:

Office of Administrative Law
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1250
Sacramento, CA 95814-4339

Phone (916) 323-6225
CALNET 473-6225
Fax: (916) 323-6826

Reference Attorney phone message line: (916) 323-6815

Reference Attorney e-mail:


OAL is responsible for ensuring that California state agencies comply with the rulemaking procedures and standards set forth in California's Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Regular and Emergency Rulemaking - Generally, there are two types of rulemaking procedures that a state agency can pursue: regular or emergency.

Underground Regulations - OAL also reviews petitions challenging alleged underground regulations--those rules issued by state agencies which meet the Administrative Procedure Act's definition of a "regulation" but were not adopted pursuant to the APA process.

Decisions Pending

Regular and Emergency Rulemaking - OAL has 10 calendar days to review proposed emergency regulations and 30 working days to review proposed regular rulemakings for compliance with the procedural and legal standards of the APA. A listing of all proposed rulemakings currently under review (updated daily) is available on our homepage under News/Information.

Underground Regulations – Any interested person may submit a petition to OAL alleging that a state agency has issued, used, enforced, or attempted to enforce an underground regulation. OAL has 60 calendar days to determine whether to consider the petition. If OAL decides to consider a petition, after public comment and an opportunity for the state agency to respond, OAL will issue a Determination setting forth whether or not the agency has issued, used, enforced, or attempted to enforce an underground regulation. A list of underground regulation petitions currently under consideration is available on our homepage under News/Information.

Opportunities for Public Participation

Regular Rulemaking - OAL cannot accept comments on regular proposed rulemakings. Comments on regular proposed rulemakings must go directly to the agency which is proposing them during the specified public comment period. Notices of proposed regulatory action in which agencies specify the 45-day period for public comment are published in the California Regulatory Notice Register (Notice Register). Any subsequent 15-day notice of modification is not published in the Notice Register but is sent to anyone who submitted a written comment during the 45-day comment period, submitted a written or oral comment at a hearing, if one was held, and to anyone who requested to be notified of any modifications to the proposed text.   Additionally, the modified text is posted on the agency’s website.

Emergency Rulemaking – For proposed emergency regulations, the APA allows comments to be made both directly to the agency and to OAL within a specified period, unless the emergency situation clearly poses such an immediate, serious harm that delaying action to allow public comment would be inconsistent with the public interest. Otherwise, any person may comment on a proposed emergency regulation within five calendar days after the emergency regulation has been posted on the OAL website. Comments must be submitted to OAL in writing, contain a notation that they are submitted to OAL in connection with an emergency regulation under review and identify the topic of the emergency regulation. Public comments on proposed emergency rulemakings must be sent to the agency contact and OAL. Public comments on proposed emergency rulemakings can be sent to the OAL Reference Attorney at or via fax: (916) 323-6826.

Underground Regulations – If OAL accepts a petition challenging an alleged underground regulation for consideration, OAL will give notice in the California Regulatory Notice Register (Notice Register) that comments will be taken for 30 days from the date of publication in the Notice Register. Public comments on underground regulation petitions can be sent to: Office of Administrative Law 300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1250 Sacramento, CA 95814-4339 Fax: (916) 323-6826 e-mail:

How to Participate

Regular Rulemaking - Flowchart of the Regular Rulemaking Process.

Emergency Rulemaking – Information on the emergency rulemaking process is available on our website under “Emergency Regulations Adoption Process.”

Underground Regulations – Information on underground regulations and the petition process is available on our website under “Underground Regulations.”