Dates, times, and phone numbers
Dates, times, and phone numbers often appear together, so we’ve put guidelines for these in one place.
Dates and years
Spell out dates in body copy, using the full construction: March 31, 1989. In general, spell out days of the week and months also in body copy.
- Use 9/11 when it’s part of a program name such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
- Abbreviate days and months when space is very limited, such as in callout boxes, alerts, or promo components, etc.
- Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat., Sun.
- Jan., Feb., Mar., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. (Don’t abbreviate May, June, July.)
- In application form fields, we often use the construction: mm/dd/yyyy
When referencing decades or periods of years, don’t use an apostrophe with the “s.”
- Like this: The early 2000s
- Not this: The early 2000’s
Times and time zones
Write out times, using a.m. and p.m. with periods: 9:00 a.m.
- Spell out noon and midnight. Don’t use 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 a.m.
- Include the minutes, even when on-the-hour.
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET
- Include time zones as CT, ET, MT, or PT (no parentheses, periods, or daylight/standard).
When referencing international time zones, use the time zone name for that country or the UTC (coordinated universal time) offset. (Example: Central European Time; Korea Standard Time; UTC +2)
- In body copy, write out ranges using sentence construction: We’re open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday.
- Where space is limited, indicate ranges with the – en dash (not the shorter - hyphen) and a space on either side. Don’t combine the en dash with from/between sentence construction.
8:00 a.m. – noon CT
from 8:00 a.m. – noon CT
Use hyphens between numbers, and don’t use parentheses to set off the area code: 212-123-1234
Use +1 only when the information is specifically addressing Veterans or people who are living outside the U.S.: +1-201-123-1234.
For phone numbers with an extension, use ext. at the end: 202-123-1234, ext. 9.
Use “select” to indicate the menu option after dialing a phone number.
We don’t use vanity phone numbers in body copy, as it adds visual noise and is not helpful to screen readers. We use and hyperlink only the numeric phone number in body copy.
- Exception: In marketing or promotional messaging, such as the right rail promo component, we discourage but make an exception for vanity phone numbers. In marketing or promotional components, use the format: 877-222-VETS (8387) and hyperlink the complete number including the parenthetical.
Call us toll free at 800-123-1234, then select 2.