I’m getting the error “The role defined for the function cannot be assumed by Lambda” when I’m trying to create a lambda function with create-function command.

aws lambda create-function
–region us-west-2
–function-name HelloPython
–zip-file fileb://hello_python.zip
–role arn:aws:iam::my-acc-account-id:role/default
–handler hello_python.my_handler
–runtime python2.7
–timeout 15
–memory-size 512

I got the error “The role defined for the function cannot be assumed by Lambda” because i had not updated the roles “Trust Relationship” config file. I didn’t encounter the timeout issues as in the linked answer in the comments.

The comments in the above answers pointed out that you need to add the following.

  1. Go to ‘IAM > Roles > YourRoleName’
    • (Note: if your role isn’t listed, then you need to create it.)
  2. Select the ‘Trust Relationships’ tab
  3. Select ‘Edit Trust Relationship’

Mine ended up like the below.

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      <your other rules>
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Principal": {
        "Service": "lambda.amazonaws.com"
      "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"

I’m also encountering this error. Have not got a definitive answer (yet) but figured I’d pass along a couple of hints that may help you and/or anyone else hitting this problem.

A) If you build the Role ARN by putting together your account ID and role name, I think the account ID needs to be without any dashes

B) If you just created the role, and possibly added policies to it, there seems to be a (small) window of time in which the role will trigger this error. Sleeping 5 or 6 seconds between the last operation on the role and the create-function call allowed me to bypass the issue (but of course, the timing may be variable so this is at best a work-around).

For me, the issue was that I had an incomplete name for the role. I set

--role arn:aws:iam::000000000000:role/MyRoleName

when it should have been

--role arn:aws:iam::000000000000:role/service-role/MyRoleName

(of course my aws id isn’t actually 000000000000)

I discovered this by running

aws iam get-role --role-name MyRoleName

and looking at the "Arn" property in the result set.

I got this problem while testing lambda function.

What worked for me was formatting JSON.

I am just learning to use the AWS CLI and ran into this issue.

I am using a series of PowerShell scripts to deploy an entire AWS architecture. My createRole.ps1 script contains:

aws iam create-role `
--role-name $roleName `
--assume-role-policy-document file://myRoleTrustPolicy.json

The file myRoleTrustPolicy.json contains:

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Principal": {
        "Service": [
      "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"

It is the “lambda.amazonaws.com” line that was missing from Service list that was causing the issue.

Once I fixed that, the invocation of aws lambda create-function worked great.

aws lambda create-function `
--function-name $fn `
--runtime java8 `
--role $currentRoleARN `
--handler "handleRequest" `
--memory-size 128 `
--zip-file $jarFile 

Had the same issue although my IAM role did have the right policy and trust relationship.
Lambda creation worked fine when done through CLI the problem was when using lambda module after just creating the IAM role.

I also tried to “pause” for few seconds but it didn’t help.

Ended up adding retry and delay until registerdLambda.code was defined. Usually it works after 1-2 tries.


 - name: creating lambda function
     state: present
     name: "{{ lambdaName }}"
     zip_file: "{{ lambdaZipFile }}"
     runtime: "{{ lambdaRuntime }}"
     role: "{{ lambdaRole }}"
     description: "{{ lambdaDescription }}"
     handler: "{{ lambdaHandler }}"
   register: lambdaFunc
   retries: 3
   delay: 10
   until: "{{ lambdaFunc.code is defined }}"

For me, the issue was that I had set the wrong default region environment key.

I had this error simply because I had a typo in the role ARN. I really wish the error was more explicit and said something along the lines of “this role doesn’t exist”, but alas.

Most people end up in this error because of giving the wrong Role ARN in CloudFormation while creating the Lambda Function.

Make sure the role is completed first by using “DependsOn” and use the intrinsic function “””{ “Fn::GetAtt” : [ “your-role-logical-name”, “Arn” ] }”””

I was running into this error with terraform and needed to add an assume role policy and apply it to the role that lambda assumes.

data "aws_iam_policy_document" "lambda_assume_role_policy" {

  statement {
    actions = ["sts:AssumeRole"]

    principals {
      type        = "Service"
      identifiers = [

resource "aws_iam_role" "lambda_rotation_role" {
  name               = "lambda-rotation-role"
  assume_role_policy = "${data.aws_iam_policy_document.lambda_assume_role_policy.json}"

It could be that the Lambda is missing an execution role. Or this role has been deleted.

In console you can see the status at Lambda > Functions > YourFunction > Permissions. Even an IAM empty role with no policies is enough to make it work.