I have a custom module that invokes the civicrm_buildForm hook to set the default date for a given field to today's date.

It is working - in part. When I examine the code I see that the default value is set. However, it is set in the input that is hidden. Whereas there is a second input that is displayed using what appears to be a randomly generated id (dp1479931180679) which seems to be created by the date picker widget.

If you leave the field blank, the default date is picked up and works. But it's a usability issue since it doesn't appear to be filled out to the user.

Anyone have a work around?

Here is what the html code looks like:

<span class="crm-form-date-wrapper">
<input id="custom_17" class="crm-form-text required crm-hidden-date" data-crm-custom="Constituent_Info__Individuals:Date_Started" data-crm-datepicker="{"date":"mm\/dd\/yy","minDate":"1986-01-01","maxDate":null,"time":false}" name="custom_17" value="11/28/2016" style="display: none;" type="text">
<input id="dp1480365364891" class="crm-form-text required crm-form-date hasDatepicker" style="" type="text">

The first input (which properly shows the right value) is hidden. The second one, which is the one displayed, doesn't have a value set.

  • Hm, your date format is "mm\/dd\/yy", and your date is "11/28/2016". Maybe it has to do with the escape character before the slash. Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:14
  • Where you able to figure this out?
    – Moe
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 8:50
  • Yes - See @TwoMice solved my problem - however, I think the solution requires both answers.
    – Jamie
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 14:08

3 Answers 3


You don't say your version, but I'm guessing 4.7 from the description. The trick is to use ISO date format. So this should work:

function civitest_civicrm_buildForm($formName, &$form) {
  $defaults['register_date'] = date("2017-04-15");

FWIW, this is still an issue for setting defaults via URL query string parameters, as of 4.7.22; there's now an open ticket with PR here: https://issues.civicrm.org/jira/browse/CRM-20922

From https://issues.civicrm.org/jira/browse/CRM-18349:

In 4.7 custom fields of type date do not use the jcalendar.tpl but have been upgraded to use the quickform binding of https://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/crmDatepicker

  • Hooray!!! Success at last! Thank you @TwoMice.
    – Jamie
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 13:47

I think the date widget have its default value based on the format it is being set.

Eg - For mm/dd/yyyy input format set in Administer -> Localization -> Date Formats.

This works -

function civitest_civicrm_buildForm($formName, &$form) {
  $defaults['register_date'] = date("m/d/Y");

This doesn't -

$defaults['register_date'] = date("m-d-Y");
$defaults['register_date'] = date("d/m/Y");
  • Thanks for the answer. Unfortunately, it still doesn't seem to work (it appears I was already adding the right format). I just updated the question to show the output that I'm getting.
    – Jamie
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 20:41

Try inspecting and changing the form element type to a text element and then hide it via css.

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