Date Validation Methods in PHP

Date Validation Methods in PHP
Date Validation Methods in PHP

How to Validate Dates in PHP: Using checkdate() and Beyond

Introduction date validation methods in php

Validating dates is a critical step in data collection. In this guide, we’ll show you how to easily validate dates using PHP’s built-in function, checkdate().

Why Date Validation Matters

Date validation serves multiple purposes:

  1. Ensures that the specified day in a given month of the provided year is valid.
  2. Enables data sanitization for various applications like birthday wishes, expiration dates, and age verification.

Objectives of This Guide

In this post, we’ll focus on date validation using PHP. While other programming languages like jQuery and Python can also perform date validation, we’ll stick to PHP for now. However, stay tuned for future guides on date validation in other languages.

Methods for Date Validation in PHP

There are at least two methods for validating dates in PHP:

  1. Using checkdate().
  2. Using range() and in_array().

In this guide, we’ll primarily focus on the checkdate() function, which is widely accepted as the most straightforward and reliable method.

How checkdate() Works in PHP

The checkdate() function in PHP uniquely handles date validation. It checks if:

  1. The month is an integer and falls within the range of 1-12.
  2. The year is an integer.
  3. The given day exists within the range of days for the given month.

For example, if the given day is the 31st of February, it will return false because February never has a 31st day.

Understanding checkdate()

You can find more information and examples of checkdate() in the official PHP documentation.

Implementing Date Validation in PHP range() and in_array().

To validate a date, follow these steps:

  1. Get a date in the standard PHP format, such as ‘YYYY-MM-DD.’ For example: $ourdate = '2012-04-18';
  2. Convert the date into an array to split it into year, month, and day:
$ourdate = explode('-', $ourdate);
$theyear = $ourdate[0]; // Year provided in the date
$themonth = $ourdate[1]; // Month provided in the date
$theday = $ourdate[2]; // Day provided in the date

may sometimes want to try validating day seperately using PHP in_array function to determine a match see an insight match day in_array(array_of_number_of_days, $theday)

  1. Perform date validation using checkdate():
if (checkdate($themonth, $theday, $theyear)) {
    echo 'The date provided is valid.';
} else {
    echo 'The date provided is invalid.';


Now, when you run a test, you should receive a message stating, “The date provided is valid.” If you encounter a different outcome, double-check your date format and correct any mistakes. Try modifying the date to ‘2011-02-30,’ and it should return “The date provided is invalid” because February does not have 30 days; it ends on the 28th or 29th.

Optimizing date validation in your code is crucial for maintaining data accuracy and ensuring the smooth functioning of your applications.


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