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 via the DocuSign API, 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 in the updateNotificationSettings, then DocuSign will follow the hierarchy listed above.


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, even if the templates are password protected against editing. Other users with permission to create and/or share templates, will need the password to edit a password protected template.

When creating or editing a template, you can find the Reminder and Expiration settings in the Advanced Options, located at the top-right corner of the "Prepare Envelope" page.
If the options are grayed out, this means the account has been configured to prevent senders from changing these settings.

Before these settings can be edited in a template, an Administrator will first need to enable “Allow users to override these settings” in Settings > Reminders and Expiration.
Reminders an Expiration.png

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 Expiration, and disable “Allow users to override these settings” again if you wish.

Keywords: Reminder, Reminders, Expiration, Expirations, Template, Expired, Wrong, Hierarchy