An Extensible Message Format for Delivery Status Notifications (RFC1894)
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo defines a MIME content-type that may be used by a message transfer agent (MTA) or electronic mail gateway to report the result of an attempt to deliver a message to one or more recipients. This content-type is intended as a machine-processable replacement for the various types of delivery status notifications currently used in Internet electronic mail.
Network Working Group K. Moore
Request for Comments: 1894 University of Tennessee
Category: Standards Track G. Vaudreuil
Octel Network Services
An Extensible Message Format for Delivery Status Notifications
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This memo defines a MIME content-type that may be used by a message
transfer agent (MTA) or electronic mail gateway to report the result
of an attempt to deliver a message to one or more recipients. This
content-type is intended as a machine-processable replacement for the
various types of delivery status notifications currently used in
Internet electronic mail.
Because many messages are sent between the Internet and other
messaging systems (such as X.400 or the so-called "LAN-based"
systems), the DSN protocol is designed to be useful in a multi-
protocol messaging environment. To this end, the protocol described
in this memo provides for the carriage of "foreign" addresses and
error codes, in addition to those normally used in Internet mail.
Additional attributes may also be defined to support "tunneling" of
foreign notifications through Internet mail.
Any questions, comments, and reports of defects or ambiguities in
this specification may be sent to the mailing list for the NOTARY
working group of the IETF, using the address
list should be addressed to
Implementors of this specification are encouraged to subscribe to the
mailing list, so that they will quickly be informed of any problems
which might hinder interoperability.
NOTE: This document is a Proposed Standard. If and when this
protocol is submitted for Draft Standard status, any normative text
(phrases containing SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, MUST, MUST NOT, or MAY) in
this document will be re-evaluated in light of implementation
experience, and are thus subject to change.
This memo defines a MIME  content-type for delivery status
notifications (DSNs). A DSN can be used to notify the sender of a
message of any of several conditions: failed delivery, delayed
delivery, successful delivery, or the gatewaying of a message into an
environment that may not support DSNs. The "message/delivery-status"
content-type defined herein is intended for use within the framework
of the "multipart/report" content type defined in .