validation average - What is the maximum length of a valid email address?

4 Answers

An email address must not exceed 254 characters.

This was accepted by the IETF following submitted erratum. A full diagnosis of any given address is available online. The original version of RFC 3696 described 320 as the maximum length, but John Klensin subsequently accepted an incorrect value, since a Path is defined as

Path = "<" [ A-d-l ":" ] Mailbox ">"

So the Mailbox element (i.e., the email address) has angle brackets around it to form a Path, which a maximum length of 254 characters to restrict the Path length to 256 characters or fewer.

The maximum length specified in RFC 5321 states:

The maximum total length of a reverse-path or forward-path is 256 characters.

RFC 3696 was corrected here.

I've now collated test cases from Cal Henderson, Dave Child, Phil Haack, Doug Lovell and RFC 3696. 158 test addresses in all.

I ran all these tests against all the validators I could find. The comparison is here:

I'll try to keep this page up-to-date as people enhance their validators. Thanks to Cal, Dave and Phil for their help and co-operation in compiling these tests and constructive criticism of my own validator.

People should be aware of the errata against RFC 3696 in particular. Three of the canonical examples are in fact invalid addresses.

limit example

What is the maximum length of a valid email address? Is it defined by any standard?


The maximum total length of a user name is 64 characters.


Maximum of 255 characters in the domain part (the one after the “@”)

However, there is a restriction in RFC 2821 reading:

The maximum total length of a reverse-path or forward-path is 256 characters, including the punctuation and element separators”. Since addresses that don’t fit in those fields are not normally useful, the upper limit on address lengths should normally be considered to be 256, but a path is defined as: Path = “<” [ A-d-l “:” ] Mailbox “>” The forward-path will contain at least a pair of angle brackets in addition to the Mailbox, which limits the email address to 254 characters.

According to the below article: (Page 6, Section 3)

It's mentioned that:

"There is a length limit on email addresses. That limit is a maximum of 64 characters (octets) in the "local part" (before the "@") and a maximum of 255 characters (octets) in the domain part (after the "@") for a total length of 320 characters. Systems that handle email should be prepared to process addresses which are that long, even though they are rarely encountered."

So, the maximum total length for an email address is 320 characters ("local part": 64 + "@": 1 + "domain part": 255 which sums to 320)

64 for the local part (the account/name) and 255 for the domain. I think the @ sign will be counted extra so that sums to 320.

But caution: this is only the length of the real address. An address may contain a display name. Such an address looks like first last <[email protected]> and will often extend 320.


validation email max email-address