DataBar Coupon Code Structure

GS1 has endorsed the new coupon code to be used in retail industry across North America. The new coupon code is designed to replace the old UPC coupon and UCC/EAN-128 extension code, in circulation since 1980s.

The new coupon code can have a dozen fields with total length no more than 70 digits. It can encode quite a lot of information, and often confuse users. This articles explains how you can construct the code.

Some data fields in coupon code have fixed length, such as offer code (6 digits). But many have variable length. For those variable length field, coupon code uses one digit to indicate its length. This digit is called VLI (Variable Length Indicator). For example, Save Value VLI is the length indicator of the following field, Save Value.

After you come up the data encoded, use Morovia DataBar Fontware to create DataBar Stacked Barcode for the coupon.

Application Identifier

The application identifier used in coupon code is 8110. It indicates that the data encoded in the barcode is a coupon code. The data followed is treated as a single record, with no other separator involved.

Required Fields

Nine fields are required in a coupon code, as illustrated in the table below. For variable length fields, the columns Min and Max list their length range. If the field has fixed length, the length is listed in Min column.


The remaining of this section is not shown. Interested readers can obtain a copy from local GS1 organization.

Optional Fields

Optional Fields are divided into seven groups. Each group starts with a digit indicating if this group is present.

  • Data Field 1: Second Purchase Qualification

  • Data Field 2: Third Purchase Qualification

  • Data Field 3: Expiration Date

  • Data Field 4: Start Date

  • Data Filed 5: Serial Number

  • Data Field 6: Retailer Identification

  • Data Field 9: Miscellaneous Elements


The remaining of this section is not shown. Interested readers can obtain a copy from local GS1 organization.

Barcode Requirement

GS1 DataBar Expanded symbology should be used to print coupon barcodes.

The nominal X-dimension for this application shall be 0.0130 inch (0.33 mm). If a specific application requires, the X-dimension may be as small as 0.0100 inch (0.254 mm) or as large as 0.013 in. (0.33mm).

The nominal symbol height, as well as the minimum symbol height, may provide a square aspect ratio for each symbol segment. The symbol may be stacked in two to eleven rows. Each row shall be 34X high, and the separator pattern shall be 3X (minimum) high.

Human Readable Requirement

GS1 requires only GS1 company prefix and Offer Code, separated by a dash, printed besides the barcode. This allows processors to properly handle a coupon with a bar code that does not scan. Retailers will need to manually verify the product purchase requirements and key enter the coupon value into their Point-of-Sale (POS) system in the event of a non-scannable bar code.

It is recommended to print human readable with OCR-B font, which is conveniently included in Morovia OC-A & OCR-B Fontware package.

A Sample Application

The image below encodes coupon code 10014141012345290110100.