Why aren’t my reminder settings being honored?

After updating the Reminders and Expiration settings on an account, envelopes are still using the old settings.

Either the envelope was created before the settings were changed, or the settings are being overridden by settings configured elsewhere.

It is important to note that the majority of account settings within your DocuSign account are not retroactive.  This means that when you change a setting on your account, that setting change typically will not apply to envelopes that are already in process.  Instead, the change will only apply to new envelopes created after the setting was changed.  The settings configured within Reminders and Expirations (in the Admin panel) follow this behavior.  If you update these settings, they become the new defaults for all users on your account, from that point forward.
If you are seeing the wrong Reminder or Expiration settings being used on an envelope that was created after you updated the account’s settings, then this typically means that the account’s settings were overridden by another source.
DocuSign allows the Reminder and Expiration settings for an envelope to be designated in multiple locations.  Because of this, a hierarchy of priority was established.  The hierarchy (from highest priority to lowest) is:
  1. API Call
  2. Sending User Input
  3. Template Settings
  4. Account Defaults
If an envelope is created directly inside of the DocuSign interface, and a template is not used, then the envelope will use the account’s default settings.

If an envelope is created, and a template is applied to that envelope, then the envelope will use the template’s settings instead of the account’s settings.

If the account has been configured to allow senders to choose their own Reminder and Expiration settings, then anything the sender enters will be used instead of the account’s defaults.  If the sender applies a template, then the envelope will use the settings provided by the newest source.  This means that if the sender sets Reminder and Expiration settings in the envelope, and then applies a template after that, the template’s settings will be applied, and the sender’s manual configuration will be discarded.  The sender has the option to edit the Reminder and Expiration settings after applying a template (so long as the template and the account both permit this).  Editing these settings after applying the template will ensure that the sender’s manual entries are used.

If an envelope uses multiple templates, then the Reminder and Expiration settings from the last template to be applied to the envelope will be used.  As above, a sender can manually edit these settings after applying all templates, and the manual entries will be used instead of what the last template had.

If the envelope is being created by an external source (the sender is not logging directly into DocuSign, but is instead using a different program to send documents to DocuSign for signature), then the instructions provided within that program’s API call will take priority over all other settings.  If that program is not supplying Reminder and Expiration instructions when the envelopes are being created, then DocuSign will follow the hierarchy listed above, and either use the settings in the template (if a template is used), or the account’s default settings (if no template is used).


When a template is created, it acquires the account’s current Reminder and Expiration settings by default.  The creator of the template would have to manually adjust these settings if they wish to use different rules from the account’s defaults.  Once the template is created, it keeps whatever Reminder and Expiration settings it held.  If the creator configured these settings manually, then this is what the template will hold.  If the creator did not adjust these settings, then they will be the Reminder and Expiration settings set for the account at that time.

If the Reminder and Expiration settings are later changed for the account, none of the existing envelopes or templates on that account will change.  If the templates on your account are meant to use your account’s defaults, then this means each template will need to be updated to reflect the new settings.  An account Administrator should be able to complete this task, unless the templates are password protected against editing.  In that case, only someone with the password can edit the template.

When creating or editing a template, you can find the Reminder and Expiration settings by clicking on the Edit link next to Advanced Options (at the bottom of the Recipients page)
Advanced Options
If the options are grayed out, this means the account has been configured to prevent senders from changing these settings.
Reminders and Expirations
Before these settings can be edited in a template, you will first need to enable “Allow users to override these settings” in Go to Admin > Reminders and Expirations.
Account Settings
Once this has been enabled, you can return to your template, and the settings should now be editable.  Once you have finished updating your templates, you can go back to Reminders and Expirations, and disable “Allow users to override these settings” again if you wish.
Keywords: Reminder, Reminders, Expiration, Expirations, Template, Expired, Wrong, Hierarchy