2.4.2 • Public • Published


If you're wondering how to implement authentication with JSON web tokens, Mongo DB, Twilio SMS, and (optionally) GraphQL, you're in the right place!


npm install jwt-mongo-sms


yarn add jwt-mongo-sms


(Before doing anything with this package, you'll need a Mongo database and a Twilio account with a phone number to use for SMS.)

Create an instance of JwtMongoSms:

import JwtMongoSms from 'jwt-mongo-sms';
const {
} = process.env;
const jwtMongoSms = new JwtMongoSms({
  jwtSecret: JWT_SECRET,
  mongoUri: MONGODB_URI,
  twilio: {
    accountSid: TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID,
    authToken: TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN,
export default jwtMongoSms;

Set up REST endpoints to send and verify authentication code (for GraphQL, see Examples below):

import bodyParser from 'body-parser';
import express from 'express';
import jwtMongoSms from './jwtMongoSms'; // from wherever you instantiated JwtMongoSms
const app = express();
// Parses request body as object
// Sample route that sends authentication code via SMS
app.post('/send-auth-code', (request, response) => {
  const { phoneNumber } = request.body;
  // This is a good spot to create your own user with "phoneNumber" if they don't already exist
  // Alternatively, if your user collection and auth collection are the same, the function below
  // will upsert a user/auth document with "phoneNumber", "authCode", and "authCodeCreatedAt"
// Sample route that verifies authentication code (on success, returns a JSON web token and user data)
app.post('/verify-auth-code', async (request, response) => {
  const { phoneNumber, authCode } = request.body;
  const { authToken, user } = await jwtMongoSms.verifyAuthCode({ phoneNumber, authCode });
  response.json({ authToken, user });
// Authenticates each server request by checking for a JSON web token in the "Authorization" header
// Sample authenticated route
app.get('/profile', (request, response) => {
  if (request.user) {
  } else {

Once an authentication code is verified, the client will receive a JSON web token. To make authenticated requests, you will need to store this token on the client (using localStorage, cookies, or any other preferred method) and send it via the request Authorization header. If your JSON web token were abc123, for instance, the header value would be JWT abc123. (For more details, see the GraphQL example below.)

Finally, with the middleware in place, you can check request.user in any subsequent server request to determine which user (if any) has been authenticated!




There are three required fields when instantiating a JwtMongoSms object: jwtSecret, mongoUri, and twilio. Configuring the rest is optional.

Field Default Value Description
jwtSecret JSON web token secret
mongoUri Mongo URI (e.g., mongodb://localhost/my-db)
twilio {} Twilio credentials (accountSid, authToken) and phoneNumber used to send SMS text
setSmsMessage (authCode => `Your authentication code is ${authCode}`) Used to set the message for SMS authentication
usersCollectionName users Name of the Mongo collection used to store user data
authCollectionName users Name of the Mongo collection used to store auth data
requestKey user Key your authenticated user will be assigned to on each server request
authCodeLength 4 Length of authentication code
authCodeTimeoutSeconds 600 Number of seconds it takes for a authentication code to expire
decodeUserId (userId => ObjectId.createFromHexString(userId)) Determines the format of _id for the auth middleware user query. If your user ids are stored as strings instead of ObjectIds (e.g., Meteor), you should replace this with (userId) => userId)
whitelistedPhoneNumber Use this phone number for testing a "happy path". No text will be sent via sendAuthCode (so fake phone numbers will work), and any auth code submitted via verifyAuthCode will be considered a match


The following are methods from the JwtMongoSms class you can use (from an instantiated object):

getAuthMiddleware() : express.Handler[]
  • Returns the middleware needed for authenticating server requests.
sendAuthCode(phoneNumber: string) : Promise<boolean>
  • Sends authentication code via Twilio SMS. Upserts auth collection document for phoneNumber with new authCode and authCodeCreatedAt. NOTE: By default userCollectionName and authCollectionName are both set to users. That means if you don't override these settings, this method will insert a user document for you (if it doesn't already exist). To avoid this behavior, be sure to create the user document beforehand.
verifyAuthCode({ phoneNumber: string, authCode: string }) : Promise<{ user: Object, authToken: string }>
  • Verifies inputted authentication code. Will throw errors if no auth data is found, no code has been generated, the compared codes do not match, or if the code has expired. When verified, the found user document and a generated authToken are returned.
createAuthIndex(fieldOrSpec: string = 'phoneNumber', IndexOptions: object = { unique: true }): Promise<string>
createUsersIndex(fieldOrSpec: string = 'phoneNumber', IndexOptions: object = { unique: true }): Promise<string>
  • Indexes the auth and users collections respectively. Each defaults to a unique index on phoneNumber for faster lookup and data integrity. See the MongoDB documentation for more info on fieldOrSpec and options.


If you experience bugs, try upgrading to the latest version and checking the changelog. You can also post an issue on GitHub!

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