How does Twilio bill for short codes?

Short code billing can be a little confusing. Here is what you need to know to make sure your short code remains in good standing. If you have any further questions, please contact us at

  • Your first short code payment is due before we submit your application to carriers for approval.
  • Twilio short codes are automatically charged to your credit card or billed to your invoice once every three months, or once a year, whichever you choose.
  • Twilio will charge your short code payment to the primary credit card on file in your account, or to your invoice, regardless of your Twilio account balance. You cannot pay for a short code by adding money to your Twilio account.
  • Your second short code payment will be collected two weeks before your lease renewal date. This ensures that we have successfully received your payment before your short code lease is due for renewal with the CSCA. If payment is not received, your lease will not be renewed.
  • Because carrier approval may take 12 – 16 weeks (or longer), it is possible that your short code may not be fully live before your second bill is due. You are required to pay for your short code throughout the approval process, even if approval takes longer than expected.
  • Subsequent billing periods will be every 12 (or 52) weeks thereafter.

Note: the two week period between your short code billing date with Twilio and your short code’s lease renewal date is not a grace period. If your payments are repeatedly late, your Account Manager will contact you to discuss other options.

For an overview of short code pricing, please see here.