We have a form that accepts zipcode It has quite a big field

It accepts 90210

It rejects





However it also rejects


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Should I consider this a bug? Is it reasonable to expect a (small) number of people will want to be able to enter their full 9 digit zip code. Even if it's a small number, say 1%, should we allow it?

We use the zip code to store insurance information so we can give quotes from insurers and quote services.

  • 2
    Have you considered asking on ux.stackexchange.com? I think this is less about quality than about usability, and the people over there might have a better sense for how allowing it would impact the other 99%, and how disallowing it would impact the 1%.
    – user246
    Feb 15, 2016 at 15:46
  • 1
    Can you clarify this is for US only?
    – dzieciou
    Feb 15, 2016 at 17:28
  • 1
    Do you have requirements for this field? Perhaps your database only stores 5 digits? Feb 15, 2016 at 20:44

4 Answers 4


It depends.

Assuming that you're working in a US environment (the zip code being in US format) and that your application specifications don't call out whether or not a zip 5+4 should be accepted:

I'd report this as a bug if:

  • Your specifications/user stories call for any or all valid US zip codes to be accepted (this is an implicit requirement to accept zip 5+4)
  • Your application uses the +4 extension in any way

I'd report as a user story if:

  • Your application does not state in any way how zip 5+4 should be handled
  • Your developers are hostile to bug reports (sadly, this happens a lot more than it should)
  • You can reasonably argue that there is a need to handle zip 5+4 in your application (this should be a given, but again...)
  • You think your users will be confused and/or irritated by a field that clearly is long enough to accept a zip code in the 5+4 format but doesn't do so.

Regardless, you need to report something. How you report it will depend on your specifications/user stories, and your team culture.

  • I appreciate that you say it can be a bug or a story depending on circumstance (and culture). And absolutely correct that something has to be reported. Feb 19, 2016 at 19:31

It is definitely a bug, unless your requirements mention that ZIP extension should be ignored. So talk to your customer how to handle it. One possibility is to silently strip the extension if you don't need it.


It totally depends on users of your application.

If your users are from specific country then your test scenarios should be according to zip number used in the country.

If your application is open to any country then you have to test accordingly. So ideally it totally depends on the locations of users your application is targeting.

Here is the link which shows you valid and invalid zip code of different countries.



zip code depends on country to county ,each county has its standard set,go-through your test cases & requirements for validating pin code.

  • 2
    Just telling the OP to check test cases and requirements really isn't helpful here: he is asking whether the case of a US 5+9 zip code failing where other test cases succeed should be considered a bug. A one line "check requirements" isn't helpful.
    – Kate Paulk
    Feb 19, 2016 at 12:56
  • 1
    @KatePaulk Nowhere in the question it is specified that the application should accept only US zip codes.
    – Johnbo
    Mar 10, 2016 at 14:42
  • @Johnbo, all examples given are US zip codes. Further, the USA is the only country that uses the terminology "Zip Code". This constitutes an implicit requirement and acts as an implicit qualifier to the OP's question.
    – Kate Paulk
    Mar 10, 2016 at 16:03

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