Frequently Asked Questions

Electronic Logging Devices

 NOTE: The information provided on this website is to help promote understanding of and compliance with the ELD rule - it is not a substitute for the  specific requirements documented in the rule. (click link to download full 512 page Rule)

E.L.D. Benefits include:

  • ELDs make it easier, simpler, and quicker to keep driver logs.
  • ELDs limit mistakes and reduce form and manner errors.
  • ELDs provide information to drivers and motor carriers so that drivers can better manage fatigue and schedule issues.
  • ELDs correctly record location and accurate information to easily track duty status.
  • ELDs are a good management tool and back office asset to improve productivity and enhance compliance.
  • With ELDs, there is less paperwork, and driver logs are orderly, clear, and accurate.

About the ELD Rule

 The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier, faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. For carriers using AOBRDs (automatic onboard recording devices) before the rule compliance date December 18, 2017, the rule will replace AOBRDs with ELDs over a four-year implementation period.

An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording. The rule applies to most carriers and drivers who are required to maintain RODS.

The ELD Rule:

  • Specifies who is covered by the rule and exceptions to it.
  • Provides for ELDS to be certified, registered, and listed on a FMCSA website.
  • Includes technical specifications to ensure ELDs are standardized and compliant.
  • Includes a phased implementation timeline to give drivers and carriers time to comply.
  • Includes provisions to help prevent data tampering and harassment of drivers.
  • Creates standard data displays and data transfer processes, making it easier to demonstrate compliance and faster to share RODS with safety officials.

ELD Rule Impacts

 Carriers and Drivers who are subject to the rule must install and use ELDs by the appropriate deadline:

  • Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
  • Carriers and drivers who use AOBRDS prior to the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019.

Enforcement Partners must understand enforcement and compliance procedures during each implementation phase, and which regulatory guidance applies to each.

ELD Manufacturers must conform to ELD technical specifications, certify their ELDs, and register them with FMCSA. 

Need to Know

 ELDs vs. AOBRDs

An electronic logging device (ELD) is not the same as an automatic onboard recording device. The technical specifications are different.

Manufacturers will be able to notify owners of existing AOBRDs if their devices are capable of being updated to meet ELD requirement through software updates.

The ELD Rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS).  The rule applies to commercial buses as well as trucks. Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers are included, unless they qualify for one of the exceptions to the ELD rule.

ELD Rule Exceptions

The following are not required to use ELDs (but carriers may choose to use ELDs even if they are not required):

  • Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
  • Driveaway-towaway drivers (transporting an empty vehicle for sale, lease, or repair).
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.

Need to Do

 Carriers must evaluate and select ELDs, and ensure they are installed and drivers and administrative staff are trained to use them by the deadline that applies (December 16, 2019 for carriers using AOBRDs or December 18, 2017) for those using paper logs or logging software. 

The Compliance Checklist for Carriers includes additional information. Drivers must understand and be able to use ELDs by the required deadline, including how to annotate and edit RODS, certify RODS, and collect required supporting documents.

You will also need to know how to display and transfer data to safety officials when requested. The Compliance Checklist for Drivers and the Using ELDs section will provide you with accurate compliance in depth details.

  

FAST Act: Veterans as Drivers

  • FMCSA’s commitment to serving our veterans and assisting efforts to attract and retain skilled commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers is bolstered by several FAST Act provisions.
  • An FMCSA rule will provide military personnel with a time extension to apply for a skills test waiver and also permit active duty military personnel to apply and be tested for their commercial learner’s permits and commercial driver’s license in the State where they are stationed.
  • FMCSA will establish a process that allows veteran operators to obtain their DOT medical certification exams from their Department of Veterans Affairs physician.
  • The CMV Operator Safety Training grant program will provide grant funds to commercial driver training schools that train veterans to transition into civilian motor carrier careers.
  • The FAST Act military pilot program will allow select military personnel between 18-21 years of age to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.