I have Drivers License as one field and State as the other and there are to be combined and formatted as Drivers License, State. How do I handle records that do not have either a Drivers License or State so that the field does not have a comma populated in it


Record One: XXXXXX, ST

Record Two: ,

Record Three: XXXXX, ST

Record Four: ,

  • Are you using field calculator to populate your new field?
    – bluefoot
    Nov 15, 2012 at 15:44
  • yes, the VB script option
    – user12813
    Nov 15, 2012 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


You can use a regular expression.

In ArcGIS, go to the Field Calculator. For safety's sake run it on a new column.

Set to python.

Pre-logic script code:

import re
def my_regex(s):
    return re.sub("^,", "", s)

Name =

my_regex ( !Column_Name! )

Replace Column_Name with the name of the column you want to strip the , from.

Field Calculator dialog

This will strip the comma if, and only if, it is the first character in the field. It will ignore following characters. So:

XXXXXX, ST = unchanged

, becomes blank

, ST = becomes ST (including leading space)

To do it with VB Script (the regex will be the same): VBscript Regular Expression in ArcMap Field Calculator

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