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HOME / HOME / ELECTRONIC FILING / ELECTRONIC FILING SUPPORT / VALIDATOR FAQ

Validator "Fail" and "Warning" Error Messages Defined

The validator for the electronic filing format evaluates filings,reviews the structure, format, and other aspects of the filing being validated. If error(s)/problem(s) are found, the validator issues a message flagging each one.

If the error(s)/problem(s) will prevent the filing from being successfully processed, a Failing Message is issued. If the error(s)/problem(s) will still allow the filing to be processed, a Warning Message is issued.  Specific definitions are provided for each Failing and Warning message in this resource.

First, Failing Messages are presented immediately below.  Each message is listed by message number. It shows the message that is issued by the validator, and then further defines what the error message means. Warning messages are covered in the same way, in a separate list, after the Failing Messages list. Simply scroll down to the error message you are interested in. They are provided in numeric order for each grouping:

FAILING MESSAGES

WARNING MESSAGES


Failing Messages (most common followed by least common):

1. {Contributor First Name} is Required, but field is Empty

Contributions from individuals (Schedule A transactions) must contain a first and last name. If this error has occurred, the first name of the contributor has been omitted or incorrectly submitted in conjunction with the wrong Entity Type (individual, organization, business, etc.).  Locate the transaction and correct the name.

FECFile users:  From the Individual/Organizations window, scroll down (listings are alphabetical) until you find your contributor. Double-click to open up the profile. Enter in the first name of the contributor if missing or check the first field to verify that you have chosen from the drop-down the entity type of “Individual other than candidate”.

Note: This error can also occur when contributions are imported into FECFile from Excel where inadvertently the first and last names of the contributor have been listed in the last name field of the Excel import format. If this has occurred and the errors are numerous, each name would need to be corrected manually from the Individual/Organizations window.

2. {Recipient First Name} is Required, but field is Empty

Disbursements to individuals (Schedule B transactions) must contain a first and last name. If this error has occurred, the first name of the individual has been omitted or incorrectly submitted in conjunction with the wrong Entity Type (individual, organization, business, etc.).  Locate the transaction and correct the name.

FECFile users:  From the Individual/Organizations window, scroll down (listings are alphabetical) until you find your individual. Double-click to open up the profile. Enter in the first name of the individual if missing or check the first line to verify that you have chosen from the drop-down the entity type of “Individual other than candidate”.

3. {Treasurer Name} is Required, but field is empty

This error indicates that the committee treasurer name is missing.

FECFile users: This error generally indicates that you have not signed the report. From the Reports window, highlight and double-click on your report, the Report Information window will open. Choose the treasure in the “Signed by” field. Close and date the report.

4. {Treasurer Signature Date} is Required, but field is empty

This error indicates that the report signature date is missing.

FECFile users: This error generally indicates that you have not closed the report. From the Reports window, highlight and right-click on your report, and chose “Close Report…”. The Close Report window will appear where you must enter a date, generally the day you close and submit the report.

5. ID# _________ NOT Correct FEC ID# Format

This indicates that the committee OR candidate ID number used is not in the correct format or has been submitted incorrectly in conjunction with the ID entity type. Committee ID type numbers start with a capital “C” and contain nine digits (correct example: C00123456). Candidate ID type numbers start with a capital “H, S, or P”, contain nine digits and a variation of capital letters and numbers (correct example: H2OH17158).

In most cases where this error has occurred there has been a committee ID placed where a candidate ID should be placed or visa versa. Check your related entities to confirm that you have used the appropriate ID number with respect to its entity type.

FECFile users: The “C” leading the committee ID number in the Committee ID field must be capitalized in the profile for the committee. This is a common error. Check this and other profiles for committees by clicking on the Individuals/Organizations icon, highlighting, and selecting the entity. The profile window will appear where you can make the correction.

Another example where this type of problem exists is in the profile for a campaign committee or a candidate. Campaign committee and candidate profiles have a field at the bottom called the “Other ID” field. This field is only available if you have chosen from the entity type “Campaign Committee” or “Candidate”, and should ONLY have a candidate ID number for the “Campaign Committee” entity type and a committee ID number for a “Candidate” entity type. On occasion the “Other ID” field has populated incorrectly with the automated load of the FEC’s lookup database. In any event the ID number must reflect the correct entity type for the profile that exists. Corrections can be made by clicking on the Individuals/Organizations icon, highlighting, and selecting the entity. The profile window will appear where you can make the correction.

6. Leading Blanks {e.g. " TEXT"} not allowed

This indicates that there are blanks prior to text. This is not allowed. Example: (,    text,). Locate the text with the leading blank(s) and delete them.

FECFile users: This problem generally occurs in a MEMO TEXT attached to a transaction or a report, when language is cut and pasted from another document. Locate the MEMO TEXT and remove the leading blanks, usually preceding the first line of text. Or, delete the text entirely and manually retype the text message.

7. {field} exceeds maximum length of ______

This indicates the user has exceeded the maximum number of characters allowed in a particular field. Find the field and either truncate the text or abbreviate appropriately.

FECFile users: Sometimes committee profiles with extended names are copied into FECFile using the committee lookup function.  If this occurs, find the name and either truncate the text or abbreviate appropriately.

8. Header (HDR) inconsistent with Orig/Amend status

This indicates that the header line in the file (report) reflects an AMENDED status, but the form type indicates the file is a NEW report (F3N when it should be F3A or, F3XN when it should be F3XA). If you use vendor provided software, it is recommended that you call them to assist you in resolving this problem.

9. Amended filing must have an "Amendment Number"

This means that either the amendment indicator in the report is missing or incorrect. Each amendment is numbered beginning with “1”. If the same report is amended again the amended number will be “2” and so on.If you use vendor provided software, it is recommended that you call them to assist you in resolving this problem.

10. Back-Reference TRAN-ID does not match Sched TRAN-ID

Every transaction in a report must contain a unique transaction ID. This error indicates that an associated link between transaction IDs is broken because the IDs do not match. If you use vendor provided software, it is recommended that you call them to assist you in resolving this problem.

11. Filing must be in the current FEC format

This indicates the user is trying to submit a file in an older format version that has been disallowed. When the FEC releases a newer version of the format, the previous version is discontinued (cut-off). Filers should contact their vendor for software conforming to the latest format.

FECFile users: Download the latest version of the FECFile from the FEC's website at http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/FECFileIntroPage.shtml

12. Illegal character(s) found in text field

This indicates the user has typed an illegal character. Keyboard characters and punctuation characters are allowed, specifically ASCII characters: 32 – 168 and 173 (excluding 127 and 157 - 159).

13. Illegal character(s) found in text line #____ (Used for F99's)

This indicates the user has typed (or copied and pasted) an illegal character. Keyboard characters and punctuation characters are allowed, specifically ASCII characters: 32 - 168 (excluding 127 and 157 - 159) and 173. The TAB character (ASCII-9)is also allowed inF99 Miscellaneous Electronic Submission.

14. HDR record must be First in File

In an electronic filing (*.fec), the header record comes first, before the form line, and followed by the schedule lines. If you use vendor provided software, it is recommended that you call them to assist you in resolving this problem.

15. "Cover" (eg. F3A, F3XN, ...) must be 2nd in File

In an electronic filing (*.fec), the form line comes after the header line, followed by the schedule lines. If you use vendor provided software, it is recommended that you call them to assist you in resolving this problem.

16. Filing must be an "FEC" Type of filing

This indicates that the user is trying to submit a file that is not in the “*.fec” format.

17. Amended filing must have an ID of the "Original"

This indicates that the user is trying to submit an amendment absent of the original report ID number. You can find the ID number of the original report in its receipt, or you can look it up on the FEC website http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/efile_search.shtml.

NOTE: The report ID must be entered in the correct format. Example: (FEC-12345) letters are capitalized and no space should exist between characters. If the original report ID number is entered incorrectly, system errors will occur on upload.

18. Unrecognized Form Type / Record Ignored

The first field in a transaction indicates form type (F3X, SA11AI, SB17, etc). This error message indicates the use of an improper form type in a transaction line of the file.

19. Schedule does not belong with Form ____

This indicates the user is attempting to file an invalid schedule for this Form.

20. Validation Terminated! - Over 32,000 Problems Found!

This indicates that 32,000+ errors have been found, which limit (32,000) is the threshold for acceptance by the system; the first 32,000 errors will be listed in accordance with their severity.

21. ID# _________ NOT SAME AS Cover Page ID# _________

This indicates that a transaction line contains a committee ID number different than the one at the beginning of the report. They must match.

22. Report Type is Missing or Invalid

This indicates the user has either failed to enter the report type or is using a report type inconsistent with FEC report types.

23. Multi-Form Filings are NOT Allowed

This indicates a user has multiple forms in a file. Each file must contain only one form (F1, F3, F6. etc)

24. Extraneous data follows last field

This usually indicates a technical problem, generally involving invalid characters

Note: Only characters between ASCII 22 and ASCII 126 are acceptable.

(Note: The ASCII 32 - 126 used to be the only characters allowed, however, the foreign language alphabet and punctuation characters are also allowed. Specifically ASCII characters: 32 - 168 are allowed (excluding 127and the series157 through 159). Also, 173 is allowed.

25. Extraneous data coded in a Dummy field

This message results if data is found in a field position once used in an earlier FEC format which is no longer used.

26. Invalid double-quote surround text field

This indicates that there exist a set quotes around a text field where there shouldn't be.

Note: Quotes are used as part of the data delimiter. Since the introduction of a level-8 message that says "Embedded double-quotes (") not allowed", this message only applies to the very last field of a CSV string and only in the instance where a begin-quoted text is not terminated with an end-quote (falling within the maximum length of that last field.)

27. Illegal character(s) found in text field

Keyboard characters and foreign language alphabet and punctuation characters are allowed. Specifically ASCII characters: 32 - 168 (excluding 127 and 157 - 159) But, 173 are allowed.

28. Illegal character(s) found in text line #____ (Used for F99's)

Keyboard characters and foreign language alphabet and punctuation characters are allowed. Specifically ASCII characters: 32 - 168 are allowed {excluding 127 and 157 - 159}. Also character173 andthe TAB character (ASCII-9)is allowed inF99 miscellaneous text filings

29. Body of text exceeds maximum of 20,000 characters (F99 filings)

F99 (Miscellaneous text document) filings are limited to 20,000 characters in length.

30. Embedded double-quotes (") not allowed

Any field can have begin/end quotes (they are necessary for text that has embedded commas). However, any field that has surrounding quotes may not also contain double quotes anywhere within the text. Note: Validator is only trapping "embedded quotes" within "text fields" which have surrounding begin-quotes and end-quotes. For example [,""",] is a case of an embedded double-quote, but [,",] is not.

31. Leading Blanks {e.g. " TEXT"} not allowed

This indicates that there are blanks prior to data, this is not allowed.

Note: Example (,    text,)

32. Bad Date - ________ not YYYYMMDD format

This indicates the user has entered a date in the incorrect format.

33. ________ is not a Real Date

This indicates that the user has entered an invalid date.

34. Invalid Amount format: ____________

This indicates that the user has entered values other than numbers and decimals.

Note: Dollar signs and commas are not permitted.

35. Non-numeric data in Numeric Field

This indicates that the user has entered in non-number characters into a field that requires numeric characters only.

36. ____ is an Invalid Year (CCYY) Format

This indicates the user has entered the year in the incorrect format.

37. Invalid Rate format: _____

This indicates that the wrong interest rate format was used to describe percentage rate terms on loans   (i.e., should be between 0 and 1 – i.e., .0192)

38. Wrong Report Type for this Form

This indicates the user has chosen the wrong Report type (MY, Q1, etc.) for the Form being submitted.

39. District "__" is not 2-digit Numeric format

This indicates the user failed to enter the congressional district as two digits.

40. Tran ID is NOT UNIQUE - This one is same as other(s)

This indicates the transaction ID is a duplicate.

Note: Each transaction in an electronic filing must have a unique transaction ID.

41. Back/Cross-Reference to Schedule/Tran ID not valid

This indicates that a transaction ID falls outside of the acceptable format (i.e., alpha numeric instead of numeric only.)

42. Schedule H1 contains Redundant Sections             (formerly a level-4 warning)

This indicates that the user has entered values under more than one method of allocation.

43. Event MUST be identified as [D]irect or [E]xempt  (H3)

This indicates the user has failed to specify an event as D (direct candidate support) or E (exempt).

44. Event MUST be [A]dministrative [D]irect or [E]xempt           (H3)

This indicates the user has failed to specify an event as A (administrative/voter drive) or D (direct candidate support) or E (exempt).

45. Event Type {__} Invalid - OK Vals: [AD|GV|DF|DC|EA]        (H3)

This indicates an Event Type used is not within accepted range of choices.

46. Amendment Codes are not applicable in Filing Ver. 3

This indicates that Amendment Codes have been used which are not applicable to reports beginning with Version 3 Format.

47. Filing must have [BEGINTEXT] followed by text

This indicates that the “*fec” file is in the incorrect format for text entries.

48. Non-Fed Account# does not link to any Schedule I

This indicates that a Sched. A generated from Sched. I does not have a back reference indicating a Non-Federal account number linking it to Sched. I.

49. Field no longer used starting with Version 5.1.1.0

This message currently applies to Version 5.1.1.0 filings and is issued if the "old" carat (^) delimited name fields are used instead of the new, separate ones for organization and individual's last, first, middle, prefix, and suffix.

-- End of Failing Messages -- 


Warning Messages:

1. Conditionally Required field is Empty

This indicates the user has failed to enter data in a particular field.

2. __{date}__ is outside range of 1960-2099

This indicates that the date range entered falls outside the maximum range (either before 1960 or after 2099.

3. Subtotal {__________} not supported by other lines

This indicates that the summary amount does not equal the total of the other lines on the summary (total contributions do not match all the contribution lines added together).

4. Subtotal {__________} not supported by Schedule ___

This indicates that the summary page amount does not match the associated schedule amount.

5. Election Code invalid: ___ {description}

This indicates that the user has failed to provide an election (Primary, General, Special, or Runoff) towards which a contribution was made.

26. Election Code missing: ___ {description}

This indicates that the user has failed to provide an election (primary, general, special, or runoff) towards which a contribution was made.

27. Street Address is Missing

This indicates that the street address for a particular entry is missing.

28. Single-line Address NOT in 1st delimited field

This indicates that the user has entered a one-line address in the SECOND address field.

29. __ not a valid 2-character USPS State Code

This indicates that the user has failed to enter in a correct two digit state code.

30. Zip Code is Invalid or Missing / Zip = _________

This indicates the user has failed to provide the state zip code or has entered in too many or too few numbers.

31. Invalid Area Code/Phone Number: __________

This indicates the user has entered a phone number with too many or two few numbers.

32. Office Code "_" Invalid (Valid Codes: H, S, P)

This indicates the user has entered an office code that does not fit the format of H (House),

S (Senate), or P (President)

33. Comm. Code "__" Invalid. (Valid: DM,TP,TM,G)

This indicates that a Form 7 (Report of Communication Costs) does not disclose the code for the type of communication in the category of DM (Direct Mail), TP (Telephone), TM (Telegram), or O (Other).

34. Comm. Target "_" Invalid. (Valid: E, S, M)

This indicates that a Form 7 (Report of Communication Costs) does not disclose the correct code for the class of recipient, in the category of E (Executive/Administrative Personnel),

S (Stockholders), or M (Members)

35. Ratio Code "_" Invalid (Valid Codes: N, R, S)

This indicates the user has entered a ratio code that does not fit the format N (New),

R (Revised), or S (Same).

36. Sup/Opp Code "___" Invalid (Valid Codes: S, O)

This indicates the user has entered a code that does not fit the format of S (Support) or

O (Oppose) on Schedule E.

37. Committee Type "_" is Invalid for this form

This indicates that the user has entered an invalid committee type on Form 1.

38. ___ not a valid 3-character Party Code

This indicates that the user has entered a code on Form 1 that does not correspond to a recognized political party.

39. ___ not a valid Party Type (NAT,STA,SUB)

This indicates that the user has entered a code on Form 1 that does not fit the party type and format of NAT (National), STA (State), of SUB (Local).

40. ___ Invalid Creditor (ICV,UCV,CAN,EMP,OTH)

This indicates that the user has entered something other than the specified options for a Creditor.

41. ___ not a Valid Itemized Transaction

This indicates that an itemized transaction does not fall within the normal rules for itemization.

42. Value "_" is Invalid for this Yes/No field

This indicates that the user has entered something other than "yes" or "no" in a field that requires one of these responses.

43. Value "_" is Invalid for "Checkbox=X" field

This indicates the user has entered something other than a check in the checkbox.

44. Point Value Subtotal is INCORRECT

This indicates that the subtotal on Schedule H1 is incorrect.

45. Entity Type [___] is not an acceptable value

This indicates that the user has entered a name that is too long to completely appear on public record.

46. Delimited Name should not exceed 38 letters & spaces

This indicates that the name field has exceeded the maximum number of characters allowed.

Note: 38 characters is the maximum, including carat delimiters. (Smith^John^Mr.^Jr.)

47. Name has Too Many Parts (Over 3 Delimiters Found)

This indicates that more than the allowable number of name delimiters (3) have been used.

Note: Correct example (Smith^John^Mr.^Jr.), incorrect (Smith^John ^N^Mr.^Jr.)

48. Some H3 Transfer $ Aggregates not equal Dollar Total

This indicates that transactions showing funds transferred from Non-Federal accounts, when added, do not equal the total amount entered for that event.

49. H5 Transfer Total not equal sum of Dollar Breakdowns

This indicates that the total amount entered for transfers of Levin funds received does not equal the sum of each of the transfers for each type of allocable federal election activity.

50. Superfluous Data in field not used with this Filing

If a field should not contain data, yet does, this message alerts the user to the fact. Some fields on schedules do not always apply (depending on the type of filing and/or the format version). Validation now checks data fields not only for when data is required, but also when data should not exist.

51. Invalid reference to Summary Page Receipts Line#

On Schedule C of Form 3, filings that support the summary page line item #10 (SC/10) and Form 3P filings that support summary page line item #12 (SC/12) there is an additional question of whether the loan is guranteed by the candidate. If a Form 3; Schedule SC/10 loan item is guranteed by the candidate the amount is included in summary page line item #13a - if not, the amount is included in item #13b. The values for this field are '13A' or '13B'. Likewise for Form 3P, values '19A' or '19B' refer to summary page line item numbers #19a and #19b.

-- End of Warning Messages -- 

Page Modified April 6, 2007