Bills v Acts

A Bill is not an Act of Parliament. A Bill becomes an Act if it is approved by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and is formally agreed to by the reigning monarch (known as the Royal Assent). An Act of Parliament is a law, enforced in all areas of the UK where it is applicable.

Once a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament, it is the responsibility of the appropriate government department to implement it. For example, the Department for Transport would enforce a new law concerning speeding.

Access to current Bills and Acts

Texts of Bills are available on the Bills pages of the Parliament website.
Bills before Parliament

Texts of Acts of Parliament going back to 1988 are hosted on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website.
OPSI website

Access to earlier Bills and Acts

Earlier Bills and Acts that are not available on the Parliament or OPSI website are held in hardcopy by the Parliamentary Archives.
Parliamentary Archives

If you wish to conduct your own research and trace earlier Acts of Parliament, a guide to useful external services and reference texts is available.
Tracing Acts of Parliament (PDF PDF 71 KB) (PDF)

Related information

Texts for UK legislation since 1988 is hosted on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website.

Parliament is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Further information on Bills and Acts.