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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- The driver must inform their carrier of the malfunction within 24 hours.
- The motor carrier has 8 days to repair, service, or replace the ELD. If the malfunction precludes the device from accurately recording hours of service (HOS) data and presenting that HOS data to a safety official, the driver must user paper logs or another system for recording their HOS during this time.
- Under 49 CFR 395.34, a motor carrier seeking to extend the time permitted for repair, replacement, or service of one or more ELDs may request an extension. ELD malfunction extensions can be requested by email to ELD-Extension@dot.gov. You may also contact the field office directly. For more information, see https://eld.fmcsa.dot.gov/support.
Are Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) when they are operating in the United States (U.S)?
Yes, unless they meet one of the regulatory exceptions.
Yes. If the United States (U.S.) destination is within a 150 air-mile radius of a Canada/Mexico-domiciled motor carrier’s driver’s normal work reporting location and the driver returns to that location and is released from work within 12 hours, then the driver is not required to keep a paper log or use an electronic logging device (ELD) during the U.S. portion of the trip.
If the vehicle registration for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) reflects a model year of 2000 or newer, but the vehicle was manufactured without an electronic control module (ECM), is the carrier required to comply with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule?
Yes, a motor carrier operating a vehicle with a manufactured model year of 2000 or newer and without an ECM is subject to the ELD rule, as established by 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(iii). If the currently installed engine does not support an ECM and is unable to obtain or estimate the required vehicle parameters, then the operator must use an ELD that does not rely on ECM connectivity, but nevertheless meets the accuracy requirements of the ELD rule. See sections 4.2 and 4.3.1 of 49 CFR part 395, subpart B, Appendix A for accuracy requirements.
The 30-day period is not restricted to a single month, but applies to any 30-day period. For example, June 15 to July 14 is considered a 30-day period.
How does the “8 days within a 30-day period” electronic logging device (ELD) exemption apply to Canada/Mexico-domiciled motor carriers’ drivers when they are operating in the United States (U.S.)?
If a driver operates in the U.S. and is required to use a record of duty status (RODS) for more than 8 days out of any 30-day period, the driver is subject to the ELD rule unless another ELD exception applies.
Are motor carriers that meet the agricultural exemption defined in 49 CFR 395.1(k) or the covered farm vehicle § 395.1(s) subject to the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule?
The ELD rule does not change any of the current hours of service exemptions. Therefore, motor carriers that meet the exemptions defined in § 395.1 are not subject to part 395, including the ELD rule while they are operating under the terms of the exemption. The duty status of the driver may be noted as either off-duty (with appropriate annotation), or "exempt." Learn more about the agriculture exemption.
How should an electronic logging device (ELD) record a driver’s hours of service when operating in another country such as Canada?
The ELD provider may tailor the device to its customers’ needs/operations to assist them in accurately monitoring drivers’ hours of service compliance in accordance with the hours of service standards of the country operated in, such as cross-border operations.
When a vehicle is registered, the model year should follow the criteria established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Generally, the model year is determined by reviewing the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the vehicle registration. If the model year is pre-2000 based on the VIN, an ELD is not required.
However, there may be instances when the model year reflected on the vehicle registration is not the same as the engine model year, most commonly when a vehicle is rebuilt using a "glider kit" or when an engine is swapped from one vehicle to another. Vehicles with engines predating model year 2000 are also accepted and are not required to have an ELD, even if the VIN reported on the registration indicates that the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is a later model year. While the driver is not required to possess documentation that confirms the vehicle engine model year, 49 CFR part 379 Appendix A requires motor carriers to maintain all documentation on motor and engine changes at the principal place of business.
If a motor carrier’s operation is exempt from the requirements of 49 CFR part 395.8, is the motor carrier also exempt from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule?
Yes. Motor carriers with operations that are exempt from the requirements of § 395.8 are exempt from the ELD rule.
Can a driver use an electronic logging device (ELD) on a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a model year older than 2000?
Yes. However, the ELD must comply with the ELD rule's technical specifications. The ELD may use alternative sources to obtain or estimate the required vehicle parameters, in accordance with the accuracy requirements in sections 4.3.1 of 49 CFR part 395, subpart B, Appendix A.
Are transporters of mobile or modular homes considered drive-away/tow-away operations under Section 395.8 (a)(1)(iii)(A)(2) or (3) and therefore exempt from the ELD rule?
No. The transportation of mobile or modular homes does not qualify for an exception under § 395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(2) because the vehicle driven in transporting the mobile or modular home is not part of the shipment, nor does the transport qualify under § 395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(3) because the shipment is neither a motorhome or recreational vehicle trailer.
How will the United States (U.S.) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule apply to a Canada/Mexico domiciled company operating a commercial rental truck in the U.S?
- A motor carrier driver operating a rental truck with a rental agreement that exceeds 8 days must comply with the ELD rule unless another ELD exemption applies.
- If a property-carrying truck is rented for 8 days or less, as indicated in the rental agreement, drivers are not required to use an ELD. To meet this exemption, the driver and motor carrier must maintain the following:
- A copy of Federal Register Notice (FRN) 82 FR 47306, "Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemptions; Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA)" dated Oct. 11, 2017 or an equivalent signed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) exemption document. This document must be provided to safety officials on request.
- A copy of the rental agreement. The rental agreement must clearly identify the parties to the agreement, the vehicle, and the dates of the rental period.
- Copies of the driver's record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the prior 7 days, if RODS are required on those days.
If a Canada/Mexico-domiciled company with a terminal in the United States dispatches a driver from one of its Canada/Mexico locations to move a vehicle to its U.S. terminal for use in the U.S., is the vehicle move considered a drive-away/tow-away operation?
No, because the movement does not meet does not the definition of "drive-away/tow-away operation" in 49 CFR 390.5T.
Is a Canada/Mexico-domiciled motor carrier’s driver, who is exempt under the 100 air-mile radius exception, still exempt from using an ELD when entering the United States (U.S.) more than 8 times in a 30-day period?
- Drivers qualify for the 100 air-mile radius (short-haul) exception regardless of the number of times they enter the U.S., provided they meet all requirements of the short-haul exception under 49 CFR 395.1(e).
- If a driver operates in the U.S. for more than 8 days during a 30-day period and does not qualify for the short haul exception after the 8th day, the driver is subject to the ELD rule unless another exemption applies.
Are Canadian Armed Forces exempt from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), including the electronic logging device (ELD) requirements, if they have proper documentation when operating in the United States (U.S)?
Yes, vehicles operated by the Canadian Armed Forces in the U.S. are not subject to the FMCSRs.
U.S. Federal, State and local enforcement personnel should not conduct driver/vehicle inspections on vehicles operated by Canadian Armed Forces provided:
- The driver possesses an appropriate military personal identity card issued by Canada,
- The driver possesses an individual or collective movement order,
- The vehicle carries a registration number, and
- The vehicle contains the distinctive nationality mark of Canada.
Note that the exemption described above applies only to Canadian Armed Forces and not to contractor drivers or vehicles used by the Canadian Armed Forces.
Can a Canada/Mexico domiciled motor carrier qualify for the hours of service exemption for agricultural operations in 49 CFR 395.1(k) while delivering an agricultural commodity in the United States (U.S.) if the motor carrier picks up the commodity from a source in the interior of Canada or Mexico that is more than a 150 air-mile radius from the U.S. border?
No. The hours of service exemption for agricultural operations does not apply once the driver is beyond a 150 air-mile radius from the source of the agricultural commodity.
Can a Canada/Mexico domiciled motor carrier qualify for the hours of service exemption for agricultural operations in 49 CFR 395.1(k) while delivering an agricultural commodity in the United States (U.S.) if the motor carrier picks up the commodity from a source in the interior of Canada or Mexico that is within a 50 air-mile radius from the U.S. border?
Yes. In this case, the 150 air-mile radius from the source of the agricultural commodity in Canada/Mexico would extend up to 100 air-miles within the U.S. The driver would therefore qualify for the hours of service exemption for agricultural operations while remaining within the U.S. portion of that 150 air-mile radius, provided the trip occurs during the planting and harvesting periods, as determined by the U.S. State or States.
Are Canada/Mexico domiciled motor carriers that operate in the United States (U.S.) eligible to use the exemptions for “covered farm vehicles” under 49 CFR 395.1(s), as defined in § 390.5, including the exemption from the hours of service rules and thus from the rule on electronic logging devices (ELDs)?
No. The definition of "covered farm vehicle" in § 390.5 includes, among other things, the requirement that the vehicle be "Registered in a State with a license plate or other designation issued by the State of registration that allows law enforcement officials to identify it as a farm vehicle." Because the term "State" means one of the 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, motor carriers domiciled in Canada/Mexico are not eligible for the covered farm vehicle exemption, including the hours of service and ELD elements of that exemption.
Is a driver required to maintain their records of duty status (RODS) on an electronic logging device (ELD) while operating a rental vehicle?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a limited exemption to motor carriers that operate with a rented commercial motor vehicle for 8 days or less. This limited exemption provides that all drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles rented for 8 days or less, regardless of reason, are not required to use an ELD in the vehicle. To meet this exemption, the driver and the motor carrier must maintain the following:
- A copy of federal register notice (FRN) 82 FR 47306 Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) or equivalent signed FMCSA exemption document. This document must be provided to the safety official upon request;
- A copy of rental agreement with parties to the agreement clearly identified, the vehicle, and the dates of the rental period; and
- A copy of the driver's RODSRODS for the current day and the prior 7 days if required on those days.
For additional information see FRN 82 FR 47306 Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), published on October 11, 2017.
Can drivers operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs) if they are not required to use them due to an exception?
Yes. Drivers can drive CMVs equipped with ELDs and still use their exception. A motor carrier may configure an ELD to show the exception for drivers exempt from using the ELD, or use the ELD annotation to record the status.
What information may be requested to support the exemption for drivers not required to use records of duty status (RODS) more than 8 days in any 30-day period?
Authorized safety officials may inspect and copy motor carrier records and request any records needed to perform their duties.