I inherited a website which contains a Webform made form to which I was asked to make some modifications.

The form contains two drop-down selection lists, one with predefined options, one who's content is dynamically filled in by making a request to a web-service based on the selected value of the first drop-down list.

Filling the second drop-down list is not the problem, but since it's marked as required this means that the form is also validated and that's where the error pops up: An illegal choice has been detected. Please contact the site administrator.

Now, since the content of the drop-down is dynamically generated the error itself makes sense as the selected value is compared to the available options. I want to disable the validation without removing the required flag from the form element.

I tried modifying the element options both via hook_form_alter() and a custom validate function, various combinations and I can see that the variable is set and contains the value, yet it is still validated.

$form['submitted']['ss_function']['#needs_validation'] = FALSE;
$form['submitted']['ss_function']['#webform_validated'] = TRUE;

How can I disable the actual form validation without removing the required flag from a Webform form?

1 Answer 1


After some more trial and error I found my mistake. The '#needs_validation' property of the element is set at a later stage than the hook_form_alter() call.

In my hook_form_alter() implementation I added a custom validation function in which I unset the property. The trick is to actually unset it, because it's only validated with an isset() call.

function mymodule_webform_client_form_FORMID_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) {
  array_unshift($form['#validate'], 'mymodule_validate_FORMID');

function mymodule_validate_FORMID(&$form, &$form_state) {

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