Parse, validate, and format phone numbers in Ruby using Google's libphonenumber database
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Strip leading country code without leading plus


GlobalPhone parses, validates, and formats local and international phone numbers according to the E.164 standard.

Store and display phone numbers in your app. Accept phone number input in national or international format. Convert phone numbers to international strings (+13125551212) for storage and retrieval. Present numbers in national format ((312) 555-1212) in your UI.

Designed with the future in mind. GlobalPhone uses format specifications from Google's open-source libphonenumber database. No need to upgrade the library when a new phone format is introduced—just generate a new copy of the database and check it into your app.

Pure Ruby. No dependencies. GlobalPhone is designed for Ruby 1.9.3 and up. (Works in 1.8.7, too—just bring your own json gem.)


  1. Add the global_phone gem to your app. For example, using Bundler:

    $ echo "gem 'global_phone'" >> Gemfile
    $ bundle install
  2. Use global_phone_dbgen to convert Google's libphonenumber PhoneNumberMetaData.xml file into a JSON database for GlobalPhone.

    $ gem install global_phone_dbgen
    $ global_phone_dbgen > db/global_phone.json
  3. Tell GlobalPhone where to find the database. For example, in a Rails app, create an initializer in config/initializers/global_phone.rb:

    require 'global_phone'
    GlobalPhone.db_path = Rails.root.join('db/global_phone.json')


Parse an international number string into a GlobalPhone::Number object:

number = GlobalPhone.parse('+1-312-555-1212')
# => #<GlobalPhone::Number territory=#<GlobalPhone::Territory country_code=1 name=US> national_string="3125551212">

Query the country code and likely territory name of the number:

# => "1"
# => "US"

Present the number in national and international formats:

# => "(312) 555-1212"

# => "+1 312-555-1212"

Is the number valid? (Note: this is not definitive. For example, the number here is "valid" by format, but there are no US numbers that start with 555. The valid? method may return false positives, but should not return false negatives unless the database is out of date.)

# => true

Get the number's normalized E.164 international string:

# => "+13125551212"

Parse a number in national format for a given territory:

number = GlobalPhone.parse("(0) 20-7031-3000", :gb)
# => #<GlobalPhone::Number territory=#<GlobalPhone::Territory country_code=44 name=GB> national_string="2070313000">

Parse an international number using a territory's international dialing prefix:

number = GlobalPhone.parse("00 1 3125551212", :gb)
# => #<GlobalPhone::Number territory=#<GlobalPhone::Territory country_code=1 name=US> national_string="3125551212">

Set the default territory to Great Britain (territory names are ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 codes):

GlobalPhone.default_territory_name = :gb
# => :gb

GlobalPhone.parse("(0) 20-7031-3000")
# => #<GlobalPhone::Number territory=#<GlobalPhone::Territory country_code=44 name=GB> national_string="2070313000">

Shortcuts for validating a phone number:

GlobalPhone.validate("+1 312-555-1212")
# => true

# => true

GlobalPhone.validate("(0) 20-7031-3000")
# => false

GlobalPhone.validate("(0) 20-7031-3000", :gb)
# => true

Shortcuts for normalizing a phone number in E.164 format:

GlobalPhone.normalize("(312) 555-1212")
# => "+13125551212"

# => "+442070313000"

GlobalPhone.normalize("(0) 20-7031-3000")
# => nil

GlobalPhone.normalize("(0) 20-7031-3000", :gb)
# => "+442070313000"


GlobalPhone currently does not parse emergency numbers or SMS short code numbers.

Validation is not definitive and may return false positives, but should not return false negatives unless the database is out of date.

Territory heuristics are imprecise. Parsing a number will usually result in the territory being set to the primary territory of the region. For example, Canadian numbers will be parsed with a territory of US. (In most cases this does not matter, but if your application needs to perform geolocation using phone numbers, GlobalPhone may not be a good fit.)


The GlobalPhone source code is hosted on GitHub. You can check out a copy of the latest code using Git:

$ git clone

If you've found a bug or have a question, please open an issue on the issue tracker. Or, clone the GlobalPhone repository, write a failing test case, fix the bug, and submit a pull request.

GlobalPhone is heavily inspired by Andreas Gal's PhoneNumber.js library.

Version History

1.0.1 (May 29, 2013)

  • GlobalPhone::Number#to_s returns the E.164 international string.
  • Ensure GlobalPhone::Number always returns strings for #national_format, #international_format, and #international_string, regardless of validity.
  • Relax format restrictions to more loosely match available national number patterns.

1.0.0 (May 28, 2013)

  • Initial public release.


Copyright © 2013 Sam Stephenson

Released under the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.