I'm working on a membership site for a Triathlon club (using Zoo Visitor).

My problem lies in that when a family registers to become members they all use the same email address (as their children may not have one yet) and I'm getting hit with EEs "The email you chose is not available".

I thought about adding the extra member details as custom fields but we do need them to register as individuals in the system.

I need to able to either:

  • have a duplicate email address
  • be able to leave the email address empty on some submissions

I am currently looking to use some javascript to create a "dummy" email address from the timestamp for the other family members but I'm not sure how safe this will be.

Has anyone had this issue before and found a solution? Any ideas would be appreciated.


2 Answers 2


Do they absolutely have to be individual members of the site? If not, you could use Profile:Edit to create a "Household" or master account for the family, and then allow multiple profiles to be created for each subsequent family member. That way you could have one overall contact email address, but additional information per person?

  • Thanks Jessica, (I was using Profile:Edit originally too). Yes they do need to be individual members as they are assigned to an Age Group. I'll have a read of the Profile:Edit docs following your suggestion and see what's involved. I'm not sure budget wise if I can change over this far down the line...
    – xenowebdev
    Mar 15, 2013 at 2:31
  • I would go with this approach. I think it's quite risky to mess with something as fundamental as one member = one person = one email address. There could even be legal/data protection implications to allowing account sharing. Mar 15, 2013 at 12:50

If you don't mind hacking the core, you can comment out lines 370-373 to allow no email address & 418-423 to allow duplicate email in the system/expresssionengine/libraries/Validate.php file

I would just then make note of those changes in a safe place for future updates

  • Thanks bro. I know it's not ideal but this was my last resort if nothing else popped up - I know where to look now :)
    – xenowebdev
    Mar 15, 2013 at 2:32

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