Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

April 1, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began enforcing out-of-service violations of Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) out-of-service criteria. For more information, visit our ELD Compliance page.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) final rule on December 16, 2015, completing a 5-year rulemaking process. According to this rule, ELDs will replace the paper logs that drivers use to keep track of their Hours of Service (HOS). These logs, or Records of Duty Status (RODS), track a commercial motor vehicle operator’s driving time as well as their on-duty time that is not spent driving or On-Duty Not Driving (ODND).

Effective Dates

  • December 16, 2017 — All drivers who keep paper RODS will be required to have implemented this rule and use a compliant ELD
  • December 16, 2017 — Drivers who use an Automatic Onboard Recorder (AOBRD) must transition to a compliant ELD
  • February 16, 2016 — Motor carriers may start using compliant ELDs instead of paper RODS

Exemptions and Exceptions

  • Drivers who use the current timecard exemption and are not required to keep RODS
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than eight days out of any 30-day period
  • Drivers who perform driveaway-towaway operations where the vehicle being driven is the delivery
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000

Technical Specifications

ELDs must support one of the two available types of electronic data transfer below. All states must have the ability to receive data through both options. ELDs must also have a printing capability or a visible screen should the electronic transfer option fail.

  • Telematics-Type ELD. This type of ELD must, at minimum, electronically transfer data wirelessly to an authorized safety official on demand via wireless web services or email
  • Transfer method-type ELD. This type of ELD must, at minimum, electronically transfer data wirelessly to an authorized safety official on demand via USB2.0 or Bluetooth
  • Data mandated to be automatically recorded by an ELD at certain intervals: date, time, location information, engine hours, vehicle miles, driver ID information, authenticated user, vehicle, motor carrier

​Supporting Documents

Supporting documents will still be required of drivers and motor carriers. They do not need to be kept on hand in the vehicle, but if they are they must be made available during a roadside inspection.

  • Motor carriers must retain up to eight supporting documents for every 24-hour period a driver who uses ELDs is on duty
  • If a driver has fewer than eight supporting documents, any documents that include the information listed below except for “time” are considered supporting documents
  • If more than eight supporting documents are submitted by the driver, the first and last documents must be kept
  • If fewer than eight supporting documents are submitted by the driver, all documents must be kept
  • Drivers must submit supporting documents to the motor carrier within 13 days of receiving said documents

Supporting documents must contain the following information:

  • Driver’s name or driver’s carrier-assigned ID number (which can be verified and traced to the driver), or a vehicle unit number that can be traced to the driver
  • Date
  • Location (including name of nearest town, city or village)
  • Time

Examples of supporting documents:

  • Bills of lading
  • Itineraries
  • Schedules
  • Other documents that indicate the origin and destination of each trip
  • Dispatch records
  • Trip records
  • Expense receipts
  • Electronic mobile communication records transmitted through fleet management systems (FMS)
  • Payroll records
  • Settlement sheets

Technical Aspects

There will be minimum standards for an ELD to be compliant; however, ELDs are not intended to track motor vehicles in real-time nor are they required to be able to communicate between the driver and the motor carrier. Complaint ELDs will be listed on FMCSA’s website.

The following data is mandated to be automatically recorded by an ELD at certain intervals:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location information
  • Engine hours
  • Vehicle miles
  • Driver ID information
  • Authenticated user
  • Vehicle
  • Motor carrier