Internet-Draft Example RFC Numbers August 2023
Eastlake Expires 22 February 2024 [Page]
Network Working Group
Intended Status:
Best Current Practice
D. Eastlake
Futurewei Technologies

RFC Numbers for Example and Testing Use


This document specifies several RFC numbers of various lengths for which RFCs have never been and will never be issued. These RFC numbers may be useful in use as examples in documentation and referencing systems or in testing.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at

Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

This Internet-Draft will expire on 22 February 2024.

1. Introduction

The RFC Series (ISSN 2070-1721, [RFCeditor]) contains technical and organizational documents about the Internet, including the specifications and policy documents produced by several streams, currently the following five: the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Independent Submissions, and Editorial. It was begun before the IETF was formed. Each RFC is assigned a unique number and these number are not reused. (An RFC is replaced by issuing a new RFC with a new number that obsoletes the RFC being replaced.)

RFC numbers are widely used in IETF documentation and are frequently referred to or displayed. Current systems are adapted for RFC numbers up to four digits ("9999") but RFC numbers will soon overflow to 5 digits. A five-digit example number is required that can be used as an example in documentationa dn for testing such systems if needed.

Example / test RFC numbers of shorter lengths may also be useful and, conveniently enough, there exist 2-, 3-, and 4- digit RFC numbers that have never been issued and, under current policies, never will be issued. A system tested only with the currently common 4-digit RFC numbers might have difficulty with shorter as well as long RFC numbers. For example, in any such system, there are questions of whether to pad with leading zeros to some fixed length or the like.

These considerations have some overlap with those noted in [RFC2606] and [RFC5737], which point out that the use of designated code values reserved for documentation and examples reduces the likelihood of conflicts and confusion arising from such code points conflicting with code points assigned for some actual use.

2. The Reserved RFC Numbers

The reserved RFC numbers that are available for use as examples and in testing and experimentation with systems that process or use RFC numbers are show below. These numbers were chosen as the smallest unused number of each length that had not been used yet and which, to minimize the likelihood of errors, did not include any zeros or multiple occurrences of the same digit.

Table 1
Length RFC Number
1 none available
2 14
3 159
4 1839
5 12345

3. RFC Editor Considerations

The RFC Editor is requested to reserve the RFC numbers listed in Section 2 so that RFCs with those numbers are never issued.

4. IANA Considerations

In order to improve the findability/visibility of these reserved RFC numbers, IANA is requested to create a registry as follows with contents from Table 1:

Reserved RFC Numbers
Assignment Method:
RFC Editor approval.
[this document]

5. Security Considerations

This document has only minor security considerations. It is hoped that use of these reserved RFC numbers in testing will make some documentation and referencing systems more robust and available.

6. Informative References

The Internet Society, "RFC Editor", <>.
Eastlake 3rd, D. and A. Panitz, "Reserved Top Level DNS Names", BCP 32, RFC 2606, DOI 10.17487/RFC2606, , <>.
Arkko, J., Cotton, M., and L. Vegoda, "IPv4 Address Blocks Reserved for Documentation", RFC 5737, DOI 10.17487/RFC5737, , <>.


The idea behind this document was originated by Brian E. Carpenter.

The suggestions and comments of the following persons are gratefully acknowledged: Andrew G. Malis, Martin J. Dürst, Tony L. Hansen.

Author's Address

Donald E. Eastlake 3rd
Futurewei Technologies
2386 Panoramic Circle
Apopka, Florida 32703
United States of America