What Is Phone Number Data Type in SQL?


Angela Bailey

In SQL, the phone number data type is used to store phone numbers in a database table. It allows for the storage of telephone numbers in a specific format and provides validation to ensure data integrity. Let’s explore this data type in more detail.

Phone Number Data Type

The phone number data type is typically implemented as a string or character data type. This allows for flexibility in storing phone numbers with varying formats, such as including or excluding country codes, area codes, and special characters like parentheses or hyphens.

When defining a column with the phone number data type, it is important to consider the maximum length of the phone number you want to store. For example, if you are working with phone numbers that include country codes, you might need to allocate more characters for storage.

Validation and Formatting

One of the main advantages of using the phone number data type is that it allows for validation and formatting of phone numbers. This ensures that only valid phone numbers are stored in the database.

Validation can be performed using regular expressions or custom logic to check if the entered value matches a predefined pattern for a valid phone number. For example, you can validate if a phone number has ten digits and starts with a specific area code.

Formatting refers to displaying the stored phone number in a specific format when retrieving it from the database. This can be useful for presenting consistent and readable phone numbers to users. Formatting can include adding special characters like parentheses or hyphens at appropriate positions.


  • Stored Value: 1234567890
  • Formatted Value: (123) 456-7890

Querying Phone Numbers

When querying phone numbers stored in the database, it is important to consider any formatting or validation requirements. For example, if you need to search for a specific phone number, you might need to remove any special characters or format the input accordingly before executing the query.

Additionally, when comparing phone numbers in queries, it is crucial to handle variations in formatting. This can be achieved by removing special characters and standardizing the format of phone numbers before performing comparisons.


The phone number data type in SQL provides a convenient way to store and manage phone numbers in a database. It allows for validation and formatting of phone numbers, ensuring data integrity and consistency. By using this data type effectively, you can handle various formats of phone numbers and perform queries accurately.

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