FMCSA Electronic Logging Device Rule In Force for Carriers Operating in United States

Since December 18, 2017, all motor carriers and drivers of commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds with a model year of 2000 or newer and operating in the United States are required to use an electronic logging device (“ELD”) approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(“FMCSA”). This long-awaited requirement was included in the final rule (“Rule”) published by the FMCSA in December 2015 with respect to the mandatory use of ELDs, and applies to all carriers operating in the United States.

The Rule does not apply to drivers who use paper daily logs for no more than 8 days of every 30-day period, drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or drivers exempt from keeping daily logs under short-haul exceptions.

Vehicles already equipped with an automatic on-board recording device (“AOBRD”) prior to the December 2017 deadline benefit from a temporary exemption, and may use an AOBRD until December 16, 2019, at which time an approved ELD must be installed in the vehicle.

Despite the use of ELDs, the Rule still requires drivers and carriers to retain supporting documentation (in paper or digital form) in order to confirm compliance with hours of service regulations. Drivers must submit all records of duty status (daily logs) and supporting documents to their motor carriers no later than 13 days after their receipt, and motor carriers must retain up to eight supporting documents for each 24-hour period that a driver is on duty.

Inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel are currently documenting violations on roadside inspection reports and issuing citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers and carriers operating vehicles without a compliant ELD.However, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and FMCSA have elected to delay application of the out-of-service criteria associated with the ELD mandate until April 1, 2018. From then on, non-compliant drivers will be placed out of service.

FMCSA-approved devices appear on a list of registered ELDs, updated on the FMCSA website. Among the requirements for approved ELDs are data retention, location accuracy to a one-mile radius for on-duty periods, and a graph grid showing status changes.

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