How can I prevent duplicates being entered during registration?

Best practices to prevent duplicates during registration.

Churchteams recommends some best practices to reduce duplicate adds to the database during
registration. But first, it’s useful to understand what’s happening behind the scenes.

When a person completes a registration, the system automatically searches for them in the database to keep from creating duplicates.  If the name and email OR name and phone match to an existing record in the database, that person will be registered.  If there is not a match, the registrant will be added as a new person.  

If the record is close to an existing record, (e.g. the name spelled right but different email or phone number), it will ask them to verify based on the last 4 digits of their phone number.

This is a similar logic that our merge report (Members > Member > Merge) uses, which helps to prevent duplicates as best as possible.  It is a best practice recommendation to run the merge report regularly to continue to check for duplicates that are possibly entered during registrations.


  • The best practice for preventing duplicates via registration is to require both the email and the mobile phone number in the registration settings for the group or event.  
    • To do this, go to the group/event page, click the blue Registration button, then Settings.  On the Registration Settings page, add Mobile Phone (Member) from the Registration Attribute dropdown menu located toward the bottom of the page.  Name and Email should already be there as a default.
  • Use the custom member attribute called "Legal First Name."  (Or create this as a custom member attribute)Use this field when a member has a "goes by" name and a Legal First Name.  The goes-by name should be entered as a First Name in the member profile.  Enter the Legal First Name in the custom attribute labeled "Legal First Name."  During the registration process, the software will look to both of these fields when searching a member before creating a duplicate.