Table of contents

Python client documentation

This documentation is for developers interested in using the GOV.UK Notify Python client to send emails, text messages or letters. Notify supports Python 3.x and 2.7.

Set up the client

Install the client

Run the following code in the command line:

pip install notifications-python-client

Refer to the client changelog for the client version number and the latest updates.

Create a new instance of the client

Add this code to your application:

from notifications_python_client.notifications import NotificationsAPIClient

notifications_client = NotificationsAPIClient(api_key)

To get an API key, sign in to GOV.UK Notify and go to the API integration page. You can find more information in the API keys section of this documentation.

Send a message

You can use GOV.UK Notify to send text messages, emails and letters.

Send a text message

Method

response = notifications_client.send_sms_notification(
    phone_number='+447900900123', # required string
    template_id='f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required UUID string
)

Arguments

phone_number (required)

The phone number of the recipient of the text message. This can be a UK or international number.

template_id (required)

Sign in to GOV.UK Notify and go to the Templates page to find the template ID.

personalisation (optional)

If a template has placeholder fields for personalised information such as name or reference number, you must provide their values in a dictionary with key value pairs. For example:

personalisation={
    'first_name': 'Amala',
    'application_date': '2018-01-01',
}

You can leave out this argument if a template does not have any placeholder fields for personalised information.

reference (optional)

A unique identifier you can create if necessary. This reference identifies a single unique notification or a batch of notifications. It must not contain any personal information such as name or postal address. For example:

reference='STRING', # optional string - identifies notification(s)

You can leave out this argument if you do not have a reference.

sms_sender_id (optional)

A unique identifier of the sender of the text message notification. You can find this information on the Text Message sender settings screen:

  1. Sign into your GOV.UK Notify account.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. If you need to change to another service, select Switch service in the top right corner of the screen and select the correct one.
  4. Go to the Text Messages section and select Manage on the Text Message sender row.

You can then either:

  • copy the sender ID that you want to use and paste it into the method
  • select Change to change the default sender that the service will use, and select Save
sms_sender_id='8e222534-7f05-4972-86e3-17c5d9f894e2' # optional UUID string

You can leave out this argument if your service only has one text message sender, or if you want to use the default sender.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict:

{
  "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "reference": "STRING",
  "content": {
    "body": "MESSAGE TEXT",
    "from_number": "SENDER"
  },
  "uri": "https://api.notifications.service.gov.uk/v2/notifications/740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "template": {
    "id": 'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a',
    "version": INTEGER,
    "uri": "https://api.notifications.service.gov.uk/v2/template/ceb50d92-100d-4b8b-b559-14fa3b091cd"
  }
}

If you are using the test API key, all your messages will come back with a delivered status.

All messages sent using the team and whitelist or live keys will appear on your dashboard.

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code.

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Can't send to this recipient using a team-only API key"
]}
Use the correct type of API key
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Can't send to this recipient when service is in trial mode - see https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/trial-mode"
}]
Your service cannot send this notification in trial mode
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
429 [{
"error": "RateLimitError",
"message": "Exceeded rate limit for key type TEAM/TEST/LIVE of 3000 requests per 60 seconds"
}]
Refer to API rate limits for more information
429 [{
"error": "TooManyRequestsError",
"message": "Exceeded send limits (LIMIT NUMBER) for today"
}]
Refer to service limits for the limit number
500 [{
"error": "Exception",
"message": "Internal server error"
}]
Notify was unable to process the request, resend your notification.

Send an email

Method

response = notifications_client.send_email_notification(
    email_address='sender@something.com', # required string
    template_id='f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required UUID string
)

Arguments

email_address (required)

The email address of the recipient.

template_id (required)

Sign in to GOV.UK Notify and go to the Templates page to find the template ID.

personalisation (optional)

If a template has placeholder fields for personalised information such as name or reference number, you need to provide their values in a dictionary with key value pairs. For example:

personalisation={
    'first_name': 'Amala',
    'application_date': '2018-01-01',
}

You can leave out this argument if a template does not have any placeholder fields for personalised information.

reference (optional)

A unique identifier you can create if necessary. This reference identifies a single unique notification or a batch of notifications. It must not contain any personal information such as name or postal address. For example:

reference='STRING', # optional string - identifies notification(s)

You can leave out this argument if you do not have a reference.

email_reply_to_id (optional)

This is an email reply-to address specified by you to receive replies from your users. Your service cannot go live until you set up at least one of these email addresses. To set up:

  1. Sign into your GOV.UK Notify account.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. If you need to change to another service, select Switch service in the top right corner of the screen and select the correct one.
  4. Go to the Email section and select Manage on the Email reply-to addresses row.
  5. Select Change to specify the email address to receive replies, and select Save.

For example:

email_reply_to_id='8e222534-7f05-4972-86e3-17c5d9f894e2' # optional UUID string

You can leave out this argument if your service only has one email reply-to address, or you want to use the default email address.

Send a file by email

Send files without the need for email attachments.

This is an invitation-only feature. Contact the GOV.UK Notify team to enable this function for your service.

To send a file by email, add a placeholder field to the template then upload a file. The placeholder field will contain a secure link to download the file.

The links are unique and unguessable. GOV.UK Notify cannot access or decrypt your file.

Add a placeholder field to the template

  1. Sign in to GOV.UK Notify.
  2. Go to the Templates page and select the relevant email template.
  3. Add a placeholder field to the email template using double brackets. For example:

“Download your file at: ((link_to_document))”

Upload your file

The file you upload must be a PDF file smaller than 2MB.

Pass the file object as a value into the personalisation argument. For example:

from notifications_python_client import prepare_upload

with open('file.pdf', 'rb') as f:
    ...
    personalisation={
      'first_name': 'Amala',
      'application_date': '2018-01-01',
      'link_to_document': prepare_upload(f),
    }

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict:

{
  "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "reference": "STRING",
  "content": {
    "subject": "SUBJECT TEXT",
    "body": "MESSAGE TEXT",
    "from_email": "SENDER EMAIL"
  },
  "uri": "https://api.notifications.service.gov.uk/v2/notifications/740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "template": {
    "id": "f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a",
    "version": INTEGER,
    "uri": "https://api.notifications.service.gov.uk/v2/template/f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a"
  }
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code.

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Can't send to this recipient using a team-only API key"
]}
Use the correct type of API key
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Can't send to this recipient when service is in trial mode - see https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/trial-mode"
}]
Your service cannot send this notification in trial mode
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Unsupported document type '{}'. Supported types are: {}"
}]
The document you upload must be a PDF file
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Document didn't pass the virus scan"
}]
The document you upload must be virus free
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Service is not allowed to send documents"
}]
Contact the GOV.UK Notify team
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct type of API key
429 [{
"error": "RateLimitError",
"message": "Exceeded rate limit for key type TEAM/TEST/LIVE of 3000 requests per 60 seconds"
}]
Refer to API rate limits for more information
429 [{
"error": "TooManyRequestsError",
"message": "Exceeded send limits (LIMIT NUMBER) for today"
}]
Refer to service limits for the limit number
500 [{
"error": "Exception",
"message": "Internal server error"
}]
Notify was unable to process the request, resend your notification.
- ValueError('Document is larger than 2MB') Document size was too large, upload a smaller document.

Send a letter

When your service first signs up to GOV.UK Notify, you’ll start in trial mode. You can only send letters in live mode. You must ask GOV.UK Notify to make your service live.

  1. Sign in to GOV.UK Notify.
  2. Select Using Notify.
  3. Select requesting to go live.

Method

    response = notifications_client.send_letter_notification(
        template_id='f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required UUID string
        personalisation={
          'address_line_1': 'The Occupier' # required string,
          'address_line_2': '123 High Street' # required string,
          'postcode': 'SW14 6BH' # required string,
        },
    )

Arguments

template_id (required)

Sign in to GOV.UK Notify and go to the Templates page to find the template ID.

personalisation (required)

The personalisation argument always contains the following required parameters for the letter recipient’s address:

  • address_line_1
  • address_line_2
  • postcode

Any other placeholder fields included in the letter template also count as required parameters. You need to provide their values in a dictionary with key value pairs. For example:

personalisation={
  'address_line_1': 'The Occupier',
  'address_line_2': '123 High Street',
  'postcode': 'SW14 6BF',
  'name': 'John Smith',
  'application_id': '4134325'
}

reference (optional)

A unique identifier you can create if necessary. This reference identifies a single unique notification or a batch of notifications. It must not contain any personal information such as name or postal address. For example:

reference='STRING' # optional string - identifies notification(s)

personalisation (optional)

The following parameters in the letter recipient’s address are optional:

personalisation={
    'address_line_3': '123 High Street',
    'address_line_4': 'Richmond upon Thames',
    'address_line_5': 'London',
    'address_line_6': 'Middlesex',
}

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict:

{
  "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "reference": 'STRING',
  "content": {
    "subject": "SUBJECT TEXT",
    "body": "LETTER TEXT",
  },
  "uri": "https://api.notifications.service.gov.uk/v2/notifications/740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "template": {
    "id": "f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a",
    "version": INTEGER,
    "uri": "https://api.notifications.service.gov.uk/v2/template/f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a"
  }
  "scheduled_for": None
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code.

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Cannot send letters with a team api key"
]}
Use the correct type of API key
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Cannot send letters when service is in trial mode - see https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/trial-mode"
}]
Your service cannot send this notification in trial mode
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "personalisation address_line_1 is a required property"
}]
Ensure that your template has a field for the first line of the address, check personalisation for more information.
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
429 [{
"error": "RateLimitError",
"message": "Exceeded rate limit for key type TEAM/TEST/LIVE of 3000 requests per 60 seconds"
}]
Refer to API rate limits for more information
429 [{
"error": "TooManyRequestsError",
"message": "Exceeded send limits (LIMIT NUMBER) for today"
}]
Refer to service limits for the limit number
500 [{
"error": "Exception",
"message": "Internal server error"
}]
Notify was unable to process the request, resend your notification.

Send a precompiled letter

Method

response = notifications_client.send_precompiled_letter_notification(
    reference,      # Reference to identify the notification
    pdf_file,       # PDF File object
    postage         # set postage on your precompiled letter
)

Arguments

reference (required)

A unique identifier you create. This reference identifies a single unique notification or a batch of notifications. It must not contain any personal information such as name or postal address.

pdf_file (required)

The precompiled letter must be a PDF file which meets the GOV.UK Notify PDF letter specification.

with open("path/to/pdf_file", "rb") as pdf_file:
    notification = notifications_client.send_precompiled_letter_notification(
        reference="your reference", pdf_file=pdf_file
    )

postage (optional)

You can choose first or second class postage for your precompiled letter. Set the value to first for first class, or second for second class. If you do not pass in this argument, the postage will default to second class.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict:

{
  "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a",
  "reference": "your-letter-reference",
  "postage": "postage-you-have-set-or-None"
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code.

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Cannot send letters with a team api key"
]}
Use the correct type of API key
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Letter content is not a valid PDF"
]}
PDF file format is required
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Cannot send letters when service is in trial mode - see https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/trial-mode"
}]
Your service cannot send this notification in trial mode
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "reference is a required property"
}]
Add a reference argument to the method call
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "postage invalid. It must be either first or second."
}]
Change the value of postage argument in the method call to either ‘first’ or 'second’
429 [{
"error": "RateLimitError",
"message": "Exceeded rate limit for key type live of 10 requests per 20 seconds"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
429 [{
"error": "TooManyRequestsError",
"message": "Exceeded send limits (50) for today"
}]
Refer to service limits for the limit number

Get message status

Message status depends on the type of message you have sent.

You can only get the status of messages that are 7 days old or newer.

Status - text and email

Status Information
Created GOV.UK Notify has placed the message in a queue, ready to be sent to the provider. It should only remain in this state for a few seconds.
Sending GOV.UK Notify has sent the message to the provider. The provider will try to deliver the message to the recipient. GOV.UK Notify is waiting for delivery information.
Delivered The message was successfully delivered.
Failed This covers all failure statuses:
- permanent-failure - “The provider could not deliver the message because the email address or phone number was wrong. You should remove these email addresses or phone numbers from your database. You’ll still be charged for text messages to numbers that do not exist.”
- temporary-failure - “The provider could not deliver the message after trying for 72 hours. This can happen when the recipient’s inbox is full or their phone is off. You can try to send the message again. You’ll still be charged for text messages to phones that are not accepting messages.”
- technical-failure - “Your message was not sent because there was a problem between Notify and the provider.
You’ll have to try sending your messages again. You will not be charged for text messages that are affected by a technical failure.”

Status - text only

Status Information
Pending GOV.UK Notify is waiting for more delivery information.
GOV.UK Notify received a callback from the provider but the recipient’s device has not yet responded. Another callback from the provider determines the final status of the notification.
Sent / Sent internationally The message was sent to an international number. The mobile networks in some countries do not provide any more delivery information. The GOV.UK Notify client API returns this status as sent. The GOV.UK Notify client app returns this status as Sent internationally.

Status - letter

Status information
Failed The only failure status that applies to letters is technical-failure. GOV.UK Notify had an unexpected error while sending to our printing provider.
Accepted GOV.UK Notify has sent the letter to the provider to be printed.
Received The provider has printed and dispatched the letter.

Status - precompiled letter

Status information
Pending virus check GOV.UK Notify has not completed a virus scan of the precompiled letter file.
Virus scan failed GOV.UK Notify found a potential virus in the precompiled letter file.
Validation failed Content in the precompiled letter file is outside the printable area. See the GOV.UK Notify PDF letter specification for more information.

Get the status of one message

Method

response = notifications_client.get_notification_by_id(notification_id)

Arguments

notification_id (required)

The ID of the notification. You can find the notification ID in the response to the original notification method call.

You can also find it by signing in to GOV.UK Notify and going to the API integration page.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client will return a dict:

{
  "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a", # required string - notification ID
  "reference": "STRING", # optional string
  "email_address": "sender@something.com",  # required string for emails
  "phone_number": "+447900900123",  # required string for text messages
  "line_1": "ADDRESS LINE 1", # required string for letter
  "line_2": "ADDRESS LINE 2", # required string for letter
  "line_3": "ADDRESS LINE 3", # optional string for letter
  "line_4": "ADDRESS LINE 4", # optional string for letter
  "line_5": "ADDRESS LINE 5", # optional string for letter
  "line_6": "ADDRESS LINE 6", # optional string for letter
  "postcode": "STRING", # required string for letter
  "type": "sms / letter / email", # required string
  "status": "sending / delivered / permanent-failure / temporary-failure / technical-failure", # required string
  "template": {
    "Version": INTEGER
    "id": 'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a' # required string - template ID
    "uri": "/v2/template/{id}/{version}", # required
  },
  "body": "STRING", # required string - body of notification
  "subject": "STRING" # required string for email - subject of email
  "created_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time notification created
  "created_by_name": "STRING", # optional string - name of the person who sent the notification if sent manually
  "sent_at": "STRING", # optional string - date and time notification sent to provider
  "completed_at:" "STRING" # optional string - date and time notification delivered or failed
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client will return an HTTPError containing the relevant error code:

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "id is not a valid UUID"
}]
Check the notification ID
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
404 [{
"error": "NoResultFound",
"message": "No result found"
}]
Check the notification ID

Get the status of multiple messages

This API call returns one page of up to 250 messages and statuses. You can get either the most recent messages, or get older messages by specifying a particular notification ID in the older_than argument.

You can only get the status of messages that are 7 days old or newer.

Method

All messages

This will return all your messages with statuses. They will display in pages of up to 250 messages each.

response = notifications_client.get_all_notifications(template_type, status, reference, older_than)

You can filter the returned messages by including the following optional arguments in the method:

One page of up to 250 messages

This will return one page of up to 250 messages and statuses. You can get either the most recent messages, or get older messages by specifying a particular notification ID in the older_than argument.

Most recent messages
response = get_all_notifications_iterator(status="sending")

You must set the status argument to sending.

Older messages

To get older messages:

  1. Get the ID of an older notification.
  2. Add the following code to your application, with the older notification ID in the older_than argument.
response = get_all_notifications_iterator(status="sending",older_than="NOTIFICATION ID")

You must set the status argument to sending.

This method will return the next oldest messages from the specified notification ID.

Arguments

You can omit any of these arguments to ignore these filters.

template_type (optional)

You can filter by:

  • email
  • sms
  • letter

status (optional)

status description text email letter Precompiled letter
created GOV.UK Notify has placed the message in a queue, ready to be sent to the provider. It should only remain in this state for a few seconds. Yes Yes
sending GOV.UK Notify has sent the message to the provider. The provider will try to deliver the message to the recipient. GOV.UK Notify is waiting for delivery information. Yes Yes
delivered The message was successfully delivered Yes Yes
sent / sent internationally The message was sent to an international number. The mobile networks in some countries do not provide any more delivery information. Yes
pending GOV.UK Notify is waiting for more delivery information.
GOV.UK Notify received a callback from the provider but the recipient’s device has not yet responded. Another callback from the provider determines the final status of the notification.
Yes
failed This returns all failure statuses:
- permanent-failure
- temporary-failure
- technical-failure
Yes Yes
permanent-failure The provider could not deliver the message because the email address or phone number was wrong. You should remove these email addresses or phone numbers from your database. You’ll still be charged for text messages to numbers that do not exist. Yes Yes
temporary-failure The provider could not deliver the message after trying for 72 hours. This can happen when the recipient’s inbox is full or their phone is off. You can try to send the message again. You’ll still be charged for text messages to phones that are not accepting messages. Yes Yes
technical-failure Email / Text: Your message was not sent because there was a problem between Notify and the provider.
You’ll have to try sending your messages again. You will not be charged for text messages that are affected by a technical failure.

Letter: Notify had an unexpected error while sending to our printing provider.

You can leave out this argument to ignore this filter.
Yes Yes
accepted GOV.UK Notify has sent the letter to the provider to be printed. Yes
received The provider has printed and dispatched the letter. Yes
pending-virus-check GOV.UK Notify is scanning the precompiled letter file for viruses. Yes
virus-scan-failed GOV.UK Notify found a potential virus in the precompiled letter file. Yes
validation-failed Content in the precompiled letter file is outside the printable area. Yes

reference (optional)

A unique identifier you can create if necessary. This reference identifies a single unique notification or a batch of notifications. It must not contain any personal information such as name or postal address. For example:

reference='STRING' # optional string - identifies notification(s)

older_than (optional)

Input the ID of a notification into this argument. If you use this argument, the method returns the next 250 received notifications older than the given ID.

older_than='740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a' # optional string - notification ID

If you leave out this argument, the method returns the most recent 250 notifications.

The client only returns notifications that are 7 days old or newer. If the notification specified in this argument is older than 7 days, the client returns an empty response.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict.

All messages

{"notifications":
  [
    {
      "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a", # required string - notification ID
      "reference": "STRING", # optional string - client reference
      "email_address": "sender@something.com",  # required string for emails
      "phone_number": "+447900900123",  # required string for text messages
      "line_1": "ADDRESS LINE 1", # required string for letter
      "line_2": "ADDRESS LINE 2", # required string for letter
      "line_3": "ADDRESS LINE 3", # optional string for letter
      "line_4": "ADDRESS LINE 4", # optional string for letter
      "line_5": "ADDRESS LINE 5", # optional string for letter
      "line_6": "ADDRESS LINE 6", # optional string for letter
      "postcode": "STRING", # required for string letter
      "type": "sms / letter / email", # required string
      "status": "sending / delivered / permanent-failure / temporary-failure / technical-failure", # required string
      "template": {
        "version": INTEGER
        "id": 'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a' # required string - template ID
        "uri": "/v2/template/{id}/{version}", # required
      },
      "body": "STRING", # required string - body of notification
      "subject": "STRING" # required string for email - subject of email
      "created_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time notification created
      "created_by_name": "STRING", # optional string - name of the person who sent the notification if sent manually
      "sent_at": " STRING", # optional string - date and time notification sent to provider
      "completed_at": "STRING" # optional string - date and time notification delivered or failed
    },
    
  ],
  "links": {
    "current": "/notifications?template_type=sms&status=delivered",
    "next": "/notifications?other_than=last_id_in_list&template_type=sms&status=delivered"
  }
}

One page of up to 250 messages

<generator object NotificationsAPIClient.get_all_notifications_iterator at 0x1026c7410>

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code:

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "bad status is not one of [created, sending, delivered, pending, failed, technical-failure, temporary-failure, permanent-failure]"
}]
Contact the GOV.UK Notify team
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "Apple is not one of [sms, email, letter]"
}]
Contact the GOV.UK Notify team
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information

Get a PDF for a letter notification

Method

This returns the pdf contents of a letter notification.

pdf_file = notifications_client.get_pdf_for_letter(
  'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a' # required string - notification ID
)

Arguments

notification_id (required)

The ID of the notification. You can find the notification ID in the response to the original notification method call.

You can also find it by signing in to GOV.UK Notify and going to the API integration page.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client will return a io.BytesIO object containing the raw PDF data.

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client will return an HTTPError containing the relevant error code:

error.status_code error.message How to fix
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "id is not a valid UUID"
}]
Check the notification ID
400 [{
"error": "PDFNotReadyError",
"message": "PDF not available yet, try again later"
}]
Wait for the notification to finish processing. This usually takes a few seconds
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Document did not pass the virus scan"
}]
You cannot retrieve the contents of a letter notification that contains a virus
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "PDF not available for letters in technical-failure"
}]
You cannot retrieve the contents of a letter notification in technical-failure
400 [{
"error": "ValidationError",
"message": "Notification is not a letter"
}]
Check that you are looking up the correct notification
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
404 [{
"error": "NoResultFound",
"message": "No result found"
}]
Check the notification ID

Get a template

Get a template by ID

Method

This returns the latest version of the template.

response = notifications_client.get_template(
  'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a' # required string - template ID
)

Arguments

template_id (required)

The ID of the template. Sign into GOV.UK Notify and go to the Templates page to find this.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict.

{
    "id": 'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required string - template ID
    "name": "STRING", # required string - template name
    "type": "sms / email / letter" , # required string
    "created_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template created
    "updated_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template last updated
    "version": INTEGER,
    "created_by": "someone@example.com", # required string
    "body": "STRING", # required string - body of notification
    "subject": "STRING" # required string for email - subject of email
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code:

error.status_code error.message How to fix
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
404 [{
"error": "NoResultFound",
"message": "No Result Found"
}]
Check your template ID

Get a template by ID and version

Method

response = notifications_client.get_template_version(
    'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a' # required string - template ID
    'version': INTEGER,
)

Arguments

template_id (required)

The ID of the template. Sign in to GOV.UK Notify and go to the Templates page to find this.

version (required)

The version number of the template.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict.

{
    "id": 'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required string - template ID
    "name": "STRING", # required string - template name
    "type": "sms / email / letter" , # required string
    "created_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template created
    "updated_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template last updated
    "version": INTEGER,
    "created_by": "someone@example.com", # required string
    "body": "STRING", # required string - body of notification
    "subject": "STRING" # required string for email - subject of email
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code:

error.status_code error.message How to fix
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information
404 [{
"error": "NoResultFound",
"message": "No Result Found"
}]
Check your template ID and version

Get all templates

Method

This returns the latest version of all templates.

response = notifications_client.get_all_templates(
    template_type="sms / letter / email" # optional string
)

Arguments

template_type (optional)

If omitted, the method returns all templates. Otherwise you can filter by:

  • email
  • sms
  • letter

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict.

{
    "templates": [
        {
            "id": 'f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required string - template ID
            "name": "STRING", # required string - template name
            "type": "sms / email / letter" , # required string
            "created_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template created
            "updated_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template last updated
            "version": NUMBER, # required string - template version
            "created_by": "someone@example.com", # required string
            "body": "STRING", # required string - body of notification
            "subject": "STRING" # required string for email - subject of email
        },
        {
            ...another template
        }
    ]
}

If no templates exist for a template type or there no templates for a service, the client returns a dict with an empty templates list element:

{
    "templates": []
}

Generate a preview template

Method

This generates a preview version of a template.

response = notifications_client.post_template_preview(
    'template_id'='f33517ff-2a88-4f6e-b855-c550268ce08a', # required UUID string
    personalisation={
        'KEY': 'VALUE',
        'KEY': 'VALUE',
        ...
        }, # required dict - specifies template parameters
)

The parameters in the personalisation argument must match the placeholder fields in the actual template. The API notification client will ignore any extra fields in the method.

Arguments

template_id (required)

The ID of the template. Sign into GOV.UK Notify and go to the Templates page.

personalisation (required)

If a template has placeholder fields for personalised information such as name or reference number, you need to provide their values in a dictionary with key value pairs. For example:

personalisation={
    'first_name': 'Amala',
    'application_date': '2018-01-01',
}

Response

If the request to the client is successful, you receive a dict response.

{
    "id": "740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a", # required string - notification ID
    "type": "sms / email / letter" , # required string
    "version": INTEGER,
    "body": "STRING", # required string - body of notification
    "subject": "STRING" # required string for email - subject of email
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code:

error.status_code error.message Notes
400 [{
"error": "BadRequestError",
"message": "Missing personalisation: [PERSONALISATION FIELD]"
}]
Check that the personalisation arguments in the method match the placeholder fields in the template
400 [{
"error": "NoResultFound",
"message": "No result found"
}]
Check the template ID
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information

Get received text messages

This API call returns one page of up to 250 received text messages. You can get either the most recent messages, or get older messages by specifying a particular notification ID in the older_than argument.

You can only get the status of messages that are 7 days old or newer.

Get all received text messages

This method returns a <generator object> with all received text messages.

Method

response = get_received_texts_iterator()

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client will return a <generator object> that will return all received text messages.

<generator object NotificationsAPIClient.get_received_texts_iterator at 0x1026c7410>

Get one page of received text messages

This will return one page of up to 250 text messages.

Method

response = client.get_received_texts(older_than)

You can specify which text messages to receive by inputting the ID of a received text message into the older_than argument.

Arguments

older_than (optional)

Input the ID of a received text message into this argument. If you use this argument, the method returns the next 250 received text messages older than the given ID.

older_than='740e5834-3a29-46b4-9a6f-16142fde533a' # optional string - notification ID

If this argument is omitted, the method returns the most recent 250 text messages.

Response

If the request to the client is successful, the client returns a dict.

{
  "received_text_messages":
  [
    {
      "id": "STRING", # required string - ID of received text message
      "user_number": "STRING", # required string
      "notify_number": "STRING", # required string - receiving number
      "created_at": "STRING", # required string - date and time template created
      "service_id": "STRING", # required string - service ID
      "content": "STRING" # required string - text content
    },
    
  ],
  "links": {
    "current": "/received-text-messages",
    "next": "/received-text-messages?other_than=last_id_in_list"
  }
}

Error codes

If the request is not successful, the client returns an HTTPError containing the relevant error code.

error.status_code error.message How to fix
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Error: Your system clock must be accurate to within 30 seconds"
}]
Check your system clock
403 [{
"error": "AuthError",
"message": "Invalid token: signature, api token not found"
}]
Use the correct API key. Refer to API keys for more information

Testing

All testing takes place in the production environment. There is no test environment for GOV.UK Notify.

Smoke testing

If you need to smoke test your integration with GOV.UK Notify on a regular basis, you must use the smoke test phone numbers and email addresses below.

 
Phone number
07700900000
07700900111
07700900222
Email address
simulate-delivered@notifications.service.gov.uk
simulate-delivered-2@notifications.service.gov.uk
simulate-delivered-3@notifications.service.gov.uk

The smoke test phone numbers and email addresses will validate the request and simulate a successful response, but won’t send a real message, produce a delivery receipt or persist the notification to the database.

You can use these smoke test numbers and addresses with any type of API key.

You can smoke test all GOV.UK Notify API client functions except:

  • Get the status of one message
  • Get the status of all messages

You cannot use the smoke test phone numbers or email address with these functions because they return a fake notification_ID. If you need to test these functions, use a test API key and any other phone number or email.

Other testing

You must use a test API key to do non-smoke testing such as performance or integration testing. You can use any non-smoke testing phone numbers or email addresses. You don’t need a specific GOV.UK Notify testing account.

API keys

There are three different types of API keys:

  • test
  • team and whitelist
  • live

To get an API key, sign in to GOV.UK Notify and go to the API integration page.

When you first sign up to Notify, you can create test and team and whitelist keys. You must have a live service to create a live key.

Test

Use a test key to test the performance of your service and its integration with GOV.UK Notify.

Messages sent using a test key:

  • generate realistic responses
  • result in a delivered status
  • are not actually delivered to a recipient
  • do not appear on your dashboard
  • do not count against your text message and email allowances

To test failure responses with a test key, use the following numbers and addresses:

Phone number/Email address Response
07700900003 temporary-failure
07700900002 permanent-failure
temp-fail@simulator.notify temporary-failure
perm-fail@simulator.notify permanent-failure
any other valid number or address delivered

You do not have to revoke test keys.

Team and whitelist

A team and whitelist key lets you send real messages to your team members and addresses/numbers on your whitelist while your account is still in trial mode.

You will get an error if you use these keys to send messages to anyone who isn’t on your team or your whitelist.

Messages sent with a team and whitelist key appear on your dashboard and count against your text message and email allowances.

You do not have to revoke team and whitelist keys.

Live

You can only create live keys once your service is live. You can use live keys to send messages to anyone.

Messages sent with a live key appear on your dashboard and count against your text message and email allowances.

You should revoke and re-create these keys on a regular basis. To revoke a key:

  1. Log into your GOV.UK Notify account.
  2. Select API integration and then API keys.
  3. Select Revoke for the API key you want to revoke.

You can have more than one active key at a time.

You should never send test messages to invalid numbers or addresses using a live key.

Limits

Rate limits

You’re limited to sending 3,000 messages per minute.

This limit is calculated on a rolling basis, per API key type. If you exceed the limit, you will get a 429 error RateLimitError.

Daily limits

There’s a limit to the number of messages you can send each day:

Service status Type of API key Daily limit
Live Team or live 250,000
Trial Team 50
Live or trial Test Unlimited

These limits reset at midnight.

Phone network limits

If you repeatedly send text messages to the same number the phone networks will block them.

There’s an hourly limit of:

  • 20 messages with the same content
  • 100 messages with any content

Your messages may not be delivered if you exceed these limits.

Callbacks

Callbacks are when Notify sends POST requests to your service. You can get callbacks when:

  • a text message or email you’ve sent is delivered or fails
  • your service receives a text message

Set up callbacks

You must provide:

  • a URL where Notify will post the callback to
  • a bearer token which Notify will put in the authorisation header of the requests

To do this, log into your GOV.UK Notify account, go to API integration and select Callbacks.

Delivery receipts

When you send an email or text message through Notify, Notify will send a receipt to your callback URL with the status of the message. This is an automated method to get the status of messages.

This functionality works with test API keys, but does not work with smoke testing phone numbers or email addresses.

The callback message is formatted in JSON. The key, description and format of the callback message arguments will be:

Key Description Format
id Notify’s id for the status receipts UUID
reference The reference sent by the service 12345678
to The email address or phone number of the recipient hello@gov.uk or 07700912345
status The status of the notification delivered, permanent-failure, temporary-failure or technical-failure
created_at The time the service sent the request 2017-05-14T12:15:30.000000Z
completed_at The last time the status was updated 2017-05-14T12:15:30.000000Z or nil
sent_at The time the notification was sent 2017-05-14T12:15:30.000000Z or nil
notification_type The notification type email or sms

Received text messages

If your service receives text messages in Notify, Notify can forward them to your callback URL as soon as they arrive.

Contact the GOV.UK Notify team on the support page or through the Slack channel to enable receiving text messages for your service.

The callback message is formatted in JSON. The key, description and format of the callback message arguments will be:

Key Description Format
id Notify’s id for the received message UUID
source_number The phone number the message was sent from 447700912345
destination_number The number the message was sent to (your number) 07700987654
message The received message Hello Notify!
date_received The UTC datetime that the message was received by Notify 2017-05-14T12:15:30.000000Z

API architecture

Send a message

Notify send a message

Get message status

Notify get message status

Get inbound messages

Notify get inbound messages

Support

Report any problems via the GOV.UK Notify support page.

You can also: