FAQ Get answers to ELD-related questions
FMCSA provides answers to frequently asked questions about ELDs. Consult these FAQs when you have an ELD-related question, as the answer may already be at your fingertips.
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FMCSA will not retain any ELD data unless there is a violation.
According to the ELD rule technical specifications, an ELD must support one of two options for electronic data transfer:
- The first option is a "telematics" transfer type ELD. At a minimum, it must electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official on demand via wireless Web services and email.
- The second option is a "local" transfer type ELD. At a minimum, it must electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official on demand via USB2.0 and Bluetooth®.
Authorized safety officials who conduct roadside enforcement activities (i.e., traffic enforcement and inspections) or compliance safety investigations will have the option of choosing a minimum of one electronic data transfer method (wireless Web services or email) and one "local" electronic data transfer method (USB2.0 or Bluetooth) for the electronic transfer of ELD data, depending on the type of ELD.
If a driver is using a "local" ELD with USB 2.0 capabilities, an authorized safety official will provide a secure USB device to allow the driver to electronically transfer data from the ELD to the official. The driver will return the USB device to the safety official, who will transfer the data to a computing device.
If the driver is using a "telematics" ELD with email capabilities, the authorized safety official will request that the electronic data transfer file be sent as an attachment to an e-mail. This e-mail address is preprogramed in the ELD by the vendor. The safety official will provide the driver with a routing code to reference in the email.
While the local Bluetooth requires the use of web services, local Bluetooth data transfer only requires the safety official to have internet connectivity and not the ELD. The driver's/motor carrier's ELD will use the safety official's internet connection to transfer data. The internet connection between the ELD and the safety official will be limited and can only be used for the purpose of transferring the ELD data via the web service. During Bluetooth data transfer, the driver/motor carrier must make the ELD discoverable. Once the ELD detects the safety official's laptop, the safety official will provide the driver/motor carrier with a Bluetooth code to enter into the ELD and confirm Bluetooth connectivity between the safety official's laptop and the ELD. Once the connection between the safety official's laptop and the ELD has been confirmed, the safety official will provide the driver/motor carrier with the safety official's unique code, and the driver/motor carrier will transfer the ELD data to web services for the safety official to retrieve.
If the driver is using a "telematics" ELD with wireless Web services capabilities, the authorized safety official will give the driver a routing code to assist the official in locating the data once transmitted, and the driver will initiate a web transfer to an FMCSA server to be retrieved by the safety official's software.
No. If the electronic means for transferring data is unavailable or fails, the driver can still be compliant by showing either a printout or the actual ELD display of their RODS.
If there are cellular network limitations that prevent the ELD from transferring data to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's web services, the safety official will use the ELD's display screen or printout to verify compliance with the U.S. HOS regulations.
Yes. An ELD must monitor its compliance with the ELD technical requirements and detect malfunctions and data inconsistencies related to power, data synchronization, missing data, timing, positioning, data recording, data transfer, and unidentified driver records requirements. The ELD output will identify these data diagnostic and malfunction events and their status as either "detected" or "cleared." Typically, a driver can follow the ELD provider's and the motor carrier's recommendations to resolve the data inconsistencies that generate an ELD data diagnostic event, while a motor carrier must correct a malfunction.