Created: 2008-07-26 16:04
Updated: 2018-12-30 03:25
License: mit



This plugin adds the ability to do stricter date and time checking with ActiveRecord.

This fork is patched to work with Rails 3.0.


Put this in your Gemfile:

gem "validates_date_time", :git => "git://", :branch => 'rails-3'


The validators can be used to parse strings into Date and Time objects as well as restrict
an attribute based on other dates or times.

class Person < ActiveRecord::Base
  validates_date     :date_of_birth
  validates_time     :time_of_birth
  validates_date_time :date_and_time_of_birth

Use :allow_nil to allow the value to be blank.

class Person < ActiveRecord::Base
  validates_date :date_of_birth, :allow_nil => true

Supported formats

The default for the plugin is to expect dates in day/month/year format. If you are in the US, you will want to change the default to month/day/year by placing the following in config/environment.rb

ValidatesDateTime.us_date_format = true

Date format examples:

  • 2006-01-01
  • 1 Jan 06
  • 1 Jan 2006
  • 10/1/06
  • 1/1/2006

Time format examples:

  • 1pm
  • 10:11
  • 12:30pm
  • 8am

Datetime format examples:

  • 1 Jan 2006 2pm
  • 31/1/06 8:30am


If an attribute value can not be parsed correctly, an error is added:

p =
p.date_of_birth = "1 Jan 2006"
p.time_of_birth = "5am" # true

p.date_of_birth = "30 Feb 2006" # false, 30 feb is invalid for obvious reasons

p.date_of_birth = "java is better than ruby" # false

In the final example, as I'm sure you are aware, the record failed to save not only because "java is better than ruby" is an invalid date, but more importantly, because the statement is blatantly false. ;)

Restricting date and time ranges

Using the :before and :after options you can restrict a date or time value based on other attribute values
and predefined values. You can pass as many value to :before or :after as you like.

class Person
  validates_date :date_of_birth, :before => [:date_of_death, {}], :after => '1 Jan 1900'
  validates_date :date_of_death, :before => { }

p =
p.date_of_birth = '1800-01-01'  # false
p.errors[:date_of_birth] # must be after 1 Jan 1900

p.date_of_death =, 1, 1)  # false
p.errors[:date_of_death] # must be before <1 day from now>

p.date_of_birth = '1960-03-02'
p.date_of_death = '2003-06-07'  # true

You can customise the error messages for dates or times that fall outside the required range. The boundary date will be substituted in for %s. Eg:

class Person
  validates_date :date_of_birth, :after =>, 1, 1), :before => { }, :before_message => 'Ensure it is before %s', :after_message => 'Ensure it is after %s'


If you find this plugin useful, please consider a donation to show your support! Suggestions, comments, problems are all welcome. You'll find me at

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