☰ Revisor of Missouri

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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FAQ Revisor

 What is posted on this website?

 Three general categories of information are posted: the electronic version of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo); information about the staff and functions of the office of the Revisor of Statutes; and information about publications created by the Revisor of Statutes.


 When do laws become effective?

 Generally, August 28th is the effective date of the majority of laws passed and approved each year.

 Effective dates prior to 1940 may not be the actual effective date. If the date is Aug. 28 then the date is the YEAR of publication. When the Revisor determines the actual effective date, it will be updated. This is part of the Revisor's ongoing history project.

 All laws passed by the General Assembly and approved by the Governor (other than appropriation acts or laws having emergency clauses or different effective dates) become effective ninety days after the adjournment of the session in which the law was enacted. Section 29, Article III of the Constitution provides:

 “No law passed by the general assembly, except an appropriation act, shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session in either odd-numbered or even-numbered years at which it was enacted. However, in case of an emergency which must be expressed in the preamble or in the body of the act, the general assembly by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house, taken by yeas and nays may otherwise direct; and further except that, if the general assembly recesses for thirty days or more it may prescribe by joint resolution that laws previously passed and not effective shall take effect ninety days from the beginning of the recess.”

 Pursuant to Section 20(a), Article III, Constitution of Missouri, as amended in 1988, the regular sessions of the General Assembly adjourn on May 30th, and laws passed at that session become effective August 28th of that year.

 Also, section 1.130 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri provides additional directions relating to effective dates.

 Laws with specific effective dates contained in the text of the act become effective on the date listed in the act. One example of a specific effective date is any law listed in an emergency clause, which takes effect sooner than the regular ninety-day date and as directed by the General Assembly in the emergency clause. Another example of a specific effective date is a delayed effective date, which occurs when a law is assigned a future effective date that is beyond the regular ninety-day schedule; such laws also have the specific effective date listed in the act creating the law.

 For bills reconsidered after the Governor’s veto, Section 21.250 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, as amended in 2003, provides the following: “Unless the bill provides otherwise, it shall become effective thirty days after approval by constitutional majorities in both houses of the general assembly.”

 Appropriation acts become effective upon signature by the governor, and appropriations are made for each fiscal year beginning on July 1 of each year.

 The effective date for each section displays immediately above the section number. Sections with an effective date that is not August 28th display the effective date in red immediately above the section number and in an Effective Date note in the section footnotes.


 How are new sections of law assigned numbers in the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo)?

 All general laws enacted by the General Assembly are arranged and published in RSMo by the Revisor of Statutes in accordance with a numbering system first adopted for the publication of RSMo in 1939.

 Each year after the close of the regular legislative session, all general laws passed by the General Assembly during the session and signed by the Governor are integrated into the body of existing law and become a part of RSMo. New sections are assigned appropriate numbers and all such materials are published by the Revisor of Statutes either in revised and republished volumes of RSMo or in the supplement to existing volumes of RSMo.


 How do I find out which statutes were enacted or amended during the most recent legislative session? How do I find which statute number is assigned to a particular new section of a bill?

 For information about legislation enacted during the any session, please refer to the Session Laws for that particular session. For information about the treatment of particular section numbers in particular bills enacted in each regular session, please refer to the Disposition of Sections table for each regular session in the RSMo set or supplement. For information about which section numbers have been given to sections enacted in each regular session, please refer to the Sections Involved in Enactments table for each regular session in the RSMo set or supplement. Currently, these items are available on the MOGA website (click the "Other Information" link at the bottom of the page) and will be added to this website as they become available during the transition period.


 Where can I go to use a set of the Revised Statutes of Missouri?

 Complete RSMo sets are available in law libraries and many public libraries throughout the state. An unofficial version of RSMo is available on this website.


 Where can I purchase a complete set of the Revised Statutes of Missouri or the individual supplements?

 The Revisor of Statutes publishes and distributes the official RSMo sets and the official supplements to the RSMo set, and Section 3.140 authorizes the Revisor to sell the sets and supplements. To order individual volumes or complete RSMo sets, or any available supplement, please view the ordering information available under the “Publications” link at the top of this website.


 What payment methods are acceptable for purchases of publications?

 Customers may purchase publications by check or by debit or credit card. (Federal agencies or Missouri state agencies needing an invoice to pay for purchases should call the Revisor’s office to make the necessary arrangements.) If you intend to pay by check, please download the order form on the “Publications” page of this website and follow the instructions on the form.

 PLEASE NOTE that there is an additional processing fee if you wish to pay by debit or credit card. The additional processing fee added to your transaction amount is paid to JetPay, the third-party vendor collecting and processing the payment, not to the Revisor of Statutes. The fee is equal to 2.15% of the transaction amount.

 Debit cards are processed as a credit card transaction. Once you submit your card information on the website, the issuer of the card will either approve or reject the transaction. If approved, the transaction is PENDING, awaiting the Revisor’s card processor to either accept or reject it. If the Revisor’s card processor accepts the transaction, it is successful; it processes, and your order is submitted at the same time. You will receive an email stating that your transaction was APPROVED.

 If a transaction is denied by the Revisor or the Revisor’s card processor for any reason, that transaction will never process and your order will not be submitted. You will receive an email stating your transaction was DECLINED. However, your card may show that transaction PENDING for a few days, then it should disappear.


 How often are the Revised Statutes of Missouri published?

 Section 34, Article III, of the Constitution of Missouri provides the following: “at least every ten years … all general statute laws shall be revised, digested and promulgated as provided by law.” The most recent general republication of all of the Revised Statutes occurred in 2016; this means the next general republication must occur by 2026 to comply with this constitutional requirement. The Revisor of Statutes also publishes RSMo supplements each year, containing the statutes enacted since the last general republication.


 Are the statutes on this website the official statutes in force in Missouri?

 No. The original rolls as enacted by the General Assembly and deposited in the Secretary of State’s office are the official statutes of Missouri. The RSMo sets and supplements are published as evidence of the law. The Revisor of Statutes compares the printed sets and supplements with the original rolls and attests that the sets and supplements are true copies of the original rolls. Although the text and all notes of sections appearing on this website are identical to the text and notes of sections appearing in the official internal statutory database from which the sets and supplements are published, the statutes posted on this website are an uncertified and unofficial posting of RSMo and are intended for informational purposes only. They are as accurate and complete as the Revisor can make them, but they are not the official statutes of the state, and should not be treated as such. You should consult the certified RSMo sets and supplements for all matters requiring reliance on the statutory text.


 Are the statutes on this website updated at the same time as the printed material is published or on a different schedule?

 This website is updated from time to time to reflect changes due to enactments and editorial corrections to the internal statutory database maintained by the Revisor of Statutes. As required by Section 3.090, the Revisor “periodically update[s] such website as new laws are enacted, including an update of the website on the effective date of any section that becomes law.” The Revisor endeavors to post changes on or as close to the effective date of enactments as quickly as the committee staff is able to process them.


 Can the Revisor or the Revisor's staff help with legal issues?

 The Revisor of Statutes and the attorneys on the committee staff work for the Missouri General Assembly and are prohibited from providing the general public with legal advice, legal representation, legal research, interpretations of the law, or applications of the law to specific facts. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult your own qualified private attorney regarding all such questions and issues.


 Why are there statutes with effective dates far in the future?

 This typically is done for sections with contingencies that have not been met. It is possible that the Missouri General Assembly specified the effective date shown. That can be ascertained by reading the section and/or the bill.


 When are new supplements available for purchase?

 The latest supplement to the Revised Statutes of Missouri is generally available the second week of January.


FAQ Site top

 My browser’s statute bookmarks are different now that this new website is operational. How do I bookmark an individual section’s webpage?

 At the bottom of each individual section’s webpage is a link to click before bookmarking a section with your web browser. You may bookmark the individual section’s webpage if you wish, but for technical reasons best left unexplored or unexplained here, that bookmark will not navigate to the most recent version of the section once that section is amended. The bookmark link at the bottom of the webpage will ensure that you always navigate to the most recent version of that particular section when you use a bookmark for navigation. Click the “use this link to bookmark section” link, then bookmark the new section webpage.


 Why is there no “Home” button to get me back to the main Revisor of Statutes page?

 Clicking on the “Revisor of Statutes State of Missouri” graphic on the top of each page navigates to the home page.


 How do I search on this site?

 There are search instructions on a separate “Help” page. The red icon with the question mark next to the search fields on each page navigates to that “Help” page, where you will find helpful instructions and pieces of information to assist and guide you as you perform your search.


 The top line of text on each section’s page is sometimes different colors and sometimes contains more information. What does all that mean?

 The first line at the top of each section’s webpage begins with the effective date for the section you are viewing. This top line is either blue or red. If this line is blue, the effective date of the section you are viewing is the usual effective date of the year in which the section was enacted, which is August 28, and that full date appears. If the top line is red, the effective date of the section you are viewing is some date other than August 28 of the enactment year, and that full date appears.

 The first line may also contain additional pertinent information about that section or about your search. If the line is red, “see footnote” also appears to direct you to the footnote portion of the section for more information. If you arrived at the section webpage by means of a “Words” search, this line will also indicate how many of your search terms are highlighted on the page.


 What are the parts of the section on each page? – Part I

 The first line of the text of each section is in bold type and begins with each statute’s unique identifier, the section number (see the “FAQ Revisor” section of this page for numbering scheme information). The rest of the bold type in the first line or lines of the section is the headnote.


 What are the parts of the section on each page? – Part II

 The headnote is an editorial summary of the section itself. It is provided to assist readers to determine the subject matter of the section they are reading. The headnote is added by the Revisor of Statutes and the committee staff after the enactment of a section as an editorial note. The headnote is not part of the law, and therefore has no legal significance whatsoever.


 What are the parts of the section on each page? – Part III

 Following the headnote is the text of the statute itself. Most sections are subdivided internally to allow for easier reading and better comprehension of what the actual law is. Each subdivision is marked at the beginning with a subdivision indicator; the internal numbering scheme is as follows:

 .1 – subsection indicator

 (1) – subdivision indicator

 (a) – paragraph indicator

 a. – subparagraph indicator

 (i) – item indicator

 i. – subitem indicator


 What are the parts of the section on each page? – Part IV

 At the end of the text of each statute is the “law line”, a listing of the various acts enacting, amending, repealing, or transferring each particular section. For most sections, the initial enactment of a section is given the designation “L.” (L. 1978 H.B. 914 § 1), the “L” meaning Laws of Missouri, followed by the year of enactment and the bill in which the section appeared as well as the section number assigned to the section in the bill (if different from the number in the Revised Statutes). Sections that have been amended after the initial enactment are indicated by “A.L.” (A.L. 2016 S.B. 1025), the “A.L.” meaning Amended Law, followed by the year of amendment and the bill in which the section was amended.

 Some entries in the law line of some sections indicate a page number after the year of enactment rather than a bill number. These page numbers refer to pages within the Session Laws of Missouri publication for the year in which the section was enacted or amended.

 The “Prior Revisions” line that appears as a note for some sections is an indication that the section existed in some form in the years prior to the general republication in 1939. The current statutory numbering system was established in the 1939 general republication, with additional organizational changes occurring during the 1949 general republication. As a result, sections in the Prior Revisions line are designated by section numbers only, which is the official numbering system of the statutes prior to 1939.


 What are the parts of the section on each page? – Part V

 After the law line and the prior revisions line, some sections have additional footnotes. These footnotes provide additional information about the section, such as the effective date of the section, notes from the Revisor of Statutes, or notes indicating some special status of the particular section.

 The footnotes section also may contain case annotations implicating the language of the section or some provision of it. These case annotations are NOT an exhaustive list of all case law relevant to the section. You need to consult other sources to see a definitive, complete, and up-to-date list of pertinent cases.


 What does the “end of effective” line at the end of each section represent?

 The end of each section is marked by a line stating “<end of effective [date]>”. This line indicates that you are at the end of the text and notes of the particular section you are viewing. There may be other versions (historical, future, or multiple enactments) of the section. Links to those other versions appear after this ending notification, and more information about those versions and links appears in the separate question addressing “All entries” on this FAQ webpage.


 What are the “All entries” links after the end of some sections?

 If a section exists in the same form as it was originally adopted, there will be no other entries at the end of the section. If a section has been amended since the original section was adopted, the law line will indicate how many times and when that has happened, and a previous version of the section may appear in the “All entries” section of the webpage. If the official statute database maintained by the Revisor of Statutes contains a previous version of a section, that version will appear as a link with the effective dates associated with it.

 As we transition to the new system for propagating the Revised Statutes and the new website, not all previous historical versions of sections will be available simply because they do not exist in the new statute database. Until we are able to enter electronic historical versions of each section into the new statute database, the best way to view previous versions of sections is in the printed RSMo sets and supplements.


 What do the dates next to the “All entries” links mean?

 Each historical version of a section appearing in the “All entries” section of the webpage displays the date upon which it became effective under the “Effective” heading, and displays the date upon which it was amended, repealed outright, or transferred under the “End” heading. These dates indicate when that particular version of the section was in force. Clicking one of these links will navigate the viewer to the top of the section selected, and you will see the effective date of the version you have selected displayed in the top line of text as explained in the answer to the question addressing the top line of text on each section’s page on this FAQ webpage.


 How can I see repealed or transferred sections on this website?

 After expanding a title containing the list of chapters, click on the chapter you wish to view. This will display all of the current active sections in that chapter. At the top of the page listing the sections, at the end of the chapter number and name, you will see an exclamation point. Clicking this exclamation point opens a new browser tab; it may take a few seconds to open the new tab depending on the amount of section information the browser is loading. This new browser tab will display a line for every section that the Office of the Revisor has in the official statute database, including repealer and transfer lines.

 You may also view a particular repealed or transferred section by entering the section number you wish to view in the search box at the top of each page and selecting "Section" in the pulldown to the left of the search box. Clicking the magnifying glass icon to the right of the search boxes or pressing "Enter" will display the section you entered in the search box.

 If you see a section that is active and also has repealer or transfer lines it means that the section number was re-used.


 What is the schedule for software updates to this site?

 This site is updated periodically to fix errors or to make significant enhancements. The OS is also updated monthly. These updates typically occur before 0700.


 Why aren't all historical sections formatted?

 Historical sections available to the Revisor's office were not formatted. Consult printed RSMo publications for official formatting. Please feel free to contact us for further information.


 How do I email the Revisor staff?

 Navigate to the Contact page, then staff. The email address is under the 'Email' heading. Prepend that to the domain listed in the 'Email' heading.

 This was done to stop BOTs from easily ascertaining the email addresses.


Official Website for the Revised Statutes of Missouri

23 Jun 2024 22:45

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In accordance with Section 3.090, the language of statutory sections enacted during a legislative session are updated and available on this website on the effective date of such enacted statutory section. Revisor Home    

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