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PHP preg_match and Date of Birth

I have a form that I am validating.  However I am having trouble with the Date Of Birth field.
I am using the following piece of code to validate the field but it is not 100% correct:
	// Check for a dob:
		if (preg_match ('/^[a-z A-Z 0-9 -\'.-]{2,20}$/i', $trimmed['dob'])) {
			$dob = $trimmed['dob'];
		} else {
			echo '<p class="error">Please enter a Date Of Birth!</p>';
		}

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I need to validate the following input formats:
6/1/1999
6-1-1999
June 1, 1999

What do I need to add or take out of my "preg_match"???
0
rgranlund
Asked:
rgranlund
1 Solution
 
gr8gonzoConsultantCommented:
First off, you should understand that 6-1-1999 is not the same as 6/1/1999. In almost every case, when you see dashes, the assumption is that you're using European formats, which are either DD-MM-YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD. So 6-1-1999 is typically understood as the January 6th, 1999 while 6/1/1999 is June 1st, 1999.

I would suggest using strtotime() to validate instead of a regular expression:

<?php
date_default_timezone_set("UTC");

$arr = array();
$arr[] = '6/1/1999';
$arr[] = '6-1-1999';
$arr[] = 'June 1, 1999';

foreach($arr as $val)
{
  $ts = strtotime($val);
  echo $val . " => " . $ts . " => " . date("c",$ts) . "\n";
}
?>
0
 
gr8gonzoConsultantCommented:
If you're just looking to get a true/false validation result:

function isValidDate($str)
{
  return (strtotime($str) > 0);
}

echo (isValidDate("6/1/1999") ? "Valid date!" : "Invalid date!");
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Ray PaseurCommented:
You don't use regular expressions to do this.  You use strtotime() and date().  This article explains it, with examples.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/A_201-Handling-date-and-time-in-PHP-and-MySQL.html
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rgranlundAuthor Commented:
I just need it to be true or false.  Is it valid or not.
0
 
Ray PaseurCommented:
No, true or false is not good enough if you want to keep the information for any future use.  You need to normalize the date by converting it to the ISO-8601 standard data type.  It's all in the article, really!
0
 
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
If you are getting this thru an HTML form, I suggest you use dropdowns to select the correct info so you can format it yourself.  This eliminates dealing with the variable formats.
0
 
Ray PaseurCommented:
Thanks for the points and thanks for using EE! ~Ray
0
 
gr8gonzoConsultantCommented:
Umm... what part of my initial comment didn't answer your question?
0

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