Email Address Verification in FastAPI using Twilio Verify

May 07, 2021
Written by
Reviewed by
Diane Phan

Email Address Verification in FastAPI using Twilio Verify

Most web applications accept the user’s email address during the sign up process. To keep the creation of fake accounts under control, it is always a good idea to confirm that the user can receive email on the provided address.

Twilio Verify is an easy to use service for user verification through numeric codes that can be sent via SMS, voice call or email. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to implement an email verification flow in a FastAPI application.

Project demo

Tutorial requirements

SendGrid configuration

To configure an email verification solution you have to connect your Twilio and SendGrid accounts. In this section you will make all the necessary preparations in the SendGrid side.

Creating a dynamic template

The first step is to create an email template that the Twilio Verify service can use when emailing verification codes to users.

From the SendGrid dashboard, click on “Email API” on the left-side menu, and then on “Dynamic Templates”.

SendGrid dynamic templates

Click the “Create Dynamic Template” button to create a new template. You will need to give your new template a name. Feel free to use any name that you like. For this tutorial I have used the name email-verification.

Create dynamic template

Clicking on the "Create" button will redirect you to the Dynamic Templates page where you will see the newly created "email-verification" template. Click on it to expand the details as shown in the screenshot below:

Dynamic template details

Click the “Add Version” button to create a first version for the template, and you will be offered a choice of pre-made templates to choose from. For the needs of this tutorial, you can select the “Blank Template”, but if you are familiar with HTML you can try one of the more interesting options.

The next prompt will ask you to select an editor for your template. Select the “Code Editor” option to have direct access to the HTML code of the email body.

You will notice that the blank template isn’t really blank, as it comes with a footer with unsubscribe links. Leave those links alone and add the following HTML line to insert a paragraph with the email body above them, right after the <body> element tag:


Below you can see how this paragraph fits within the email in the code editor:

Dynamic template HTML editor

In this template, {{twilio_message}} is a placeholder that will be replaced with the text of the email by Twilio. The email will read something like “Your verification code is: xxxxxxxx”.

There are a handful of placeholder variables that you can use to design the email body if {{twilio_message}} does not work for your needs. See the documentation to learn about them.

If you’d like to see how the email will look with actual data, you can click on the “Test Data” tab on the top of the page and enter an example value for the twilio_message variable in JSON format. For example, you can enter the following:

{"twilio_message": "Your verification code is XXX"}

Once you are happy with the template, click the “Settings” vertical button on the top-left corner of the page and enter a subject for your email.

Dynamic template subject

Click the “Save” button in the navigation bar and return to the Dynamic Templates page by hitting the back arrow button in the top left corner of the page.

Your new email template will have a “Template ID” assigned to it, which you will need later when configuring the Twilio account. You can see where to find it in the screenshot below.

Dynamic template ID

Creating an API key

The second part of the SendGrid configuration is to create an API key that Twilio can use when sending verification emails to users.

From the dashboard, select “Settings” and then “API Keys”. In the API Keys page click the “Create API Key” button.

You will need to give your API key a name. Once again you are free to use any name that you like. I have used email-verification. From the three options below the name, select Full Access.

SendGrid create API key

Click the “Create & View” button to create the key. In the next page your API key will be displayed. This is the only time you will be able to see your key, so copy the key and paste it in a text document to keep it handy until you need it in the next section.

Twilio configuration

The Twilio Verify service will send email through the SendGrid API key and dynamic template configured in the previous section. You will now move to your Twilio account to complete the configuration and link your Twilio and SendGrid accounts.

Creating an email integration

From the Twilio Console, click the “All Products & Services” button and find “Verify”. Then click on “Email Integration” in the Verify menu.

Click the “Create Email Integration” button to create a new email integration. If you already have one or more email integrations, click the “+” sign to add one more.

Verify email integrations

You will be prompted to give your email integration a name. I’ve used email-verification.

Create new email integration

After you provide the name, you will have to enter the details of your SendGrid account. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your SendGrid API key, created in the previous section.
  • The Template ID of the dynamic template, created in the previous section.
  • An email address to use in the “From” field of the verification emails.
  • A name to use in the “From” field of the verification emails. You can enter your website or company name in this field.

Email integration details

Once you complete the fields indicated above, click “Save” to store the email integration.

Creating a Verify service

Select “Services” from the Verify menu, and then click the “Create Service Now” button. Note that if you already have one or more Verify services in your account, you will need to click the “+” button to add a new service.

Verify services

Give the service a friendly name. This name will appear in the verification emails that are sent out to your users, so it is a good idea to use your website or company name. For this tutorial I’ve used the name My Company.

Create new Verify service

You will now have a list of configuration settings that you can edit on this service. Near the top of the page you will see a dropdown that configures how many digits are used in the verification codes. I’ve chosen 8 digits, as shown below.

Verify service digits configuration

Scroll down to the “Email Integration” section and select the email integration that you created above in the drop down.

Verify email integration

Keep scrolling down to the bottom to find the “Delivery Channels” section. Since you are only going to use emails in this example, it is a good idea to disable the other two channels.

Verify channels

Click the “Save” button to record your changes. Congratulations, your email verification service is now fully configured and you are ready to start coding the FastAPI application!

Project setup

In this section you are going to set up a brand new FastAPI project. To keep things nicely organized, open a terminal or command prompt and find a suitable place to create a new directory where the project you are about to create will live:

mkdir fastapi-verify-email
cd fastapi-verify-email

Creating a virtual environment

Following Python best practices, you are now going to create a virtual environment, where you are going to install the Python dependencies needed for this project.

If you are using a Unix or Mac OS system, open a terminal and enter the following commands:

python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/activate

If you are following the tutorial on Windows, enter the following commands in a command prompt window:

python -m venv venv

With the virtual environment activated, you are ready to install the Python dependencies required for this project:

pip install fastapi python-dotenv aiofiles python-multipart uvicorn twilio

The six Python packages that this project uses are:

Defining application settings

To send verification emails with Twilio Verify, the FastAPI application will need to have access to your Twilio account credentials to authenticate. The application will also need to know the ID of the Twilio Verify service you created above.

The most secure way to define these configuration values is to set environment variables for them, and the most convenient way to manage your environment variables in a FastAPI application is to use a .env file.

Open a new file named .env (note the leading dot) in your text editor and enter the following contents in it:


You will need to replace all the xxxxxxxxx with the correct values that apply to you. The first two variables are your Twilio “Account SID” and your “Auth Token”. You can find them in the dashboard of the Twilio Console:

Twilio account SID and auth token

The TWILIO_VERIFY_SERVICE variable is the “SERVICE SID” value assigned to the service. You can find this value in the configuration page for your service.

Verify service SID

To incorporate these three variables into the FastAPI application, create a file named with the following contents:

from pydantic import BaseSettings

class Settings(BaseSettings):
    twilio_account_sid: str
    twilio_auth_token: str
    twilio_verify_service: str

    class Config:
        env_file = '.env'

FastAPI relies on the BaseSettings class from pydantic to manage its configuration. Subclasses of BaseSettings automatically import variables defined as attributes from environment variables, or directly from the .env file with its dotenv integration.

You will learn how to work with the Settings class in the next section.

Email verification with FastAPI

You will now code the FastAPI application.

Base FastAPI application

Below you can see the first iteration of the FastAPI application. This version just returns the main page, which presents a web form where the user can enter the email address to verify.

Open a new file named in your text editor or IDE and enter this code in it:

import asyncio
from fastapi import FastAPI, Form, Cookie, status
from fastapi.responses import FileResponse, RedirectResponse
from import Client
import config

settings = config.Settings()

app = FastAPI()
client = Client(settings.twilio_account_sid, settings.twilio_auth_token)

async def index():
    return FileResponse('index.html')

The settings variable will import the configuration variables that you stored in the .env file in the previous section. The app variable represents the FastAPI application. The client variable is an instance of the Twilio client library, which will be used to send requests to the Twilio API. Note that the Twilio client is initialized with the credentials loaded from the configuration, which are required to authenticate when sending requests.

The @app.get(‘/’) decorator defines an endpoint that is mapped to the root URL of the application. The implementation of this endpoint returns a response that is loaded from a static file named index.html.

For this endpoint to work, you need to create the HTML file. Open a new file named index.html in your editor or IDE and enter the following HTML code in it:

<!doctype html>
    <title>FastAPI Email Verification Example</title>
    <h1>FastAPI Email Verification Example</h1>
    <form method="post">
      <label for="email">Your email:</label>
      <input name="email" id="email">
      <input type="submit" value="Submit">

This HTML page creates a form with a single field that prompts the user to enter an email address.

Running the server

The application is not complete yet, but it is functional enough to be tested. Make sure you have the, index.html, and .env files created earlier in your project directory, and then start the application using the following command:

uvicorn app:app --reload

Uvicorn is the recommended server to run FastAPI applications. The --reload will make uvicorn watch your source files and automatically restart the server when changes are made. You can leave the server running throughout the rest of the tutorial.

To make sure that your application is running, you can now open a web browser and type http://localhost:8000 in the address bar. The browser should load the main page of the application, which looks like this:

Email form

Handling form data

If you try to submit the form, FastAPI will return a “Method not allowed” error message. This is because the form submission hasn’t been implemented yet.

In the <form> element in index.html, the form is defined with the method attribute set to post and no action attribute. This means that the form will be submitted with a POST request to the originating URL, which in this case is the root URL of the application.

The endpoint that handles the form submission will have the following structure. You can add it at the bottom of, but note the lines that start with # TODO, which indicate parts of the function that haven’t been built yet.'/')
async def handle_form(email: str = Form(...)):
    # TODO: send the verification email
    # TODO: return a response to the client

On this second endpoint, the‘/’) decorator is used to define a handler for POST requests. The web form has a single field named email, so this is given as an argument into the function. FastAPI will parse the form data and extract the value of this field passed by the client and send it to the function in this argument.

You will complete this endpoint in the following sections.

Sending a verification code

When the handle_form() function is invoked, the application will have an email address to verify, so the Twilio client instance created earlier can be used to send the email to the user, except for one small problem.

The problem is that the Twilio helper library for Python does not support asynchronous applications. Since this library will be making network requests to Twilio servers, it will block the asyncio loop if used directly in the asynchronous function. To avoid blocking the loop, all the Twilio related work can be encapsulated in a function that executes inside an executor to keep the application running smoothly.

Below you can see an updated version of the handle_form() function from with the logic to run the send_verification_code() function in an executor.'/')
async def handle_form(email: str = Form(...)):
    await asyncio.get_event_loop().run_in_executor(
        None, send_verification_code, email)
    # TODO: return a response to the client

The run_in_executor() method from the asyncio loop allows you to run a blocking function in a separate thread or process so that the loop does not block. The first argument is the executor that you’d like to use, or None if you are okay using a default thread executor. The remaining arguments are the function to run and its positional arguments.

Let’s now have a look at the implementation of the send_verification_code() function. Note that this is standard synchronous code, so this function is not defined with the async keyword. Add this function to

def send_verification_code(email):
    verification =
            to=email, channel='email')
    assert verification.status == 'pending'

The function uses the instance of the Twilio client created in the global scope to create a verification resource. The status of a newly created verification resource is “pending”, so the function uses an assert statement to confirm the object is in the expected state.

At this point Twilio will use your SendGrid API key and template to send an email to the provided address, including a randomly generated numeric code.

Sending a response

In the previous section the handle_form() function was left in an incomplete state. After the verification code is sent through the executor, the server needs to return a response to the client’s web browser.

The most accepted practice when handling a form submission is to respond with a redirect, which avoids a number of potential issues including double form submissions and confusing warnings presented to the user by the browser. This is known as the Post/Redirect/Get pattern, or PRG.

For this application, the browser now needs to display a second form, in which the user types the code received by email as verification. This second form will be implemented under the /verify endpoint, so that is where the redirect needs to be issued. Here is the complete implementation of the handle_form() function. Make sure you update your version in'/')
async def handle_form(email: str = Form(...)):
    await asyncio.get_event_loop().run_in_executor(
        None, send_verification_code, email)
    response = RedirectResponse('/verify',
    response.set_cookie('email', email)
    return response

The response will instruct the browser to immediately redirect to the /verify URL. One interesting aspect of this application is that the email address from the user is going to be needed again when the code needs to be verified. To avoid losing this address, the function adds a session cookie and stores this address in it before returning the response.

Accepting the code

The user now received an email with the numeric code, so the browser needs to present a second web form in which the user can type the code and verify the email address.

A GET request to the /verify endpoint will simply return the HTML page with the form. Add this endpoint to

async def verify():
    return FileResponse('verify.html')

This endpoint references a verify.html file. Create this file in your project directory and enter the following contents in it:

<!doctype html>
    <title>FastAPI Email Verification Example</title>
    <h1>FastAPI Email Verification Example</h1>
    <form method="post">
      <label for="code">Verification code:</label>
      <input name="code" id="code">
      <input type="submit" value="Submit">

Verifying the code

The logic to verify a code requires making another call to a Twilio API, so once again an auxiliary synchronous function that will run inside an executor is needed. Add the following function to

def check_verification_code(email, code):
    verification =
            to=email, code=code)
    return verification.status == 'approved'

The check_verification_code() function accepts an email address and a numeric code and sends them to the Twilio Verify service for verification. If the check is successful, the status of the returned verification check resource is set to approved. If the code is not the correct one, then the status of the returned resource is pending. The function checks the status and returns True when the provided code was correct or False otherwise.

When the user submits a code for verification the browser will issue a POST request to the /verify endpoint. Below you can see the handler for this request. Add this function to'/verify')
async def verify_code(email: str = Cookie(None), code: str = Form(...)):
    verified = await asyncio.get_event_loop().run_in_executor(
        None, check_verification_code, email, code)
    if verified:
        return RedirectResponse('/success',
        return RedirectResponse('/verify',

This endpoint accepts two arguments. The email argument comes from the cookie that was set earlier, while the code argument comes from the form submission. These are passed to the check_verification_code() function, which needs to run in an executor so that it does not block the async loop.

If the code is verified successfully, then the response from this endpoint is a redirect to a /success URL. If the code does not verify, then a redirect to the /verify endpoint is issued. This is the endpoint that shows the form that accepts the code, so this allows the user to type a new code.

Here is the implementation of the /success endpoint. This handler goes at the end of

async def success():
    return FileResponse('success.html')

This is a short handler that renders an HTML page. Create the success.html file and copy the following contents to it:

<!doctype html>
    <title>FastAPI Email Verification Example</title>
    <h1>FastAPI Email Verification Example</h1>
    <p>You have been verified!</p>
    <p><a href="/">Verify another email?</a></p>

This page notifies the user that the verification was successful, and includes a link to the main page, in case the user wants to verify another email address.

Testing the application

And now you have arrived at the moment you’ve been waiting for. The application is complete and ready to be tested. Make sure your is updated with all the functions shown above and that you have the, .env, index.html, verify.html and success.html files also in your project directory.

If you left uvicorn running from the start of the tutorial, the server should have restarted on its own every time you made an update to the source files so you are ready to go. If you are not currently running the server, you can start it with the following command:

uvicorn app:app --reload

Open your web browser and navigate to http://localhost:8000. In the form, enter your email address. Click the submit button and in just a moment, you will receive an email with a verification code. Enter the code to have your email verified!

Complete project


Congratulations on learning how to verify email addresses with FastAPI and Twilio Verify! The techniques that you learned in this article can be applied to other frameworks, in particular those that are also based on asyncio such as Quart, Sanic, and Tornado. For an in-depth discussion on working with Twilio in your asynchronous applications, check out Using the Twilio Python Helper Library in your Async Applications on this blog. Would you like to learn more Twilio tricks for FastAPI? Here is an article on how to send an SMS.

I’d love to see what you build with Twilio and FastAPI!

Miguel Grinberg is a Principal Software Engineer for Technical Content at Twilio. Reach out to him at mgrinberg [at] twilio [dot] com if you have a cool project you’d like to share on this blog!