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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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Yes. The user's manual, instruction sheet, malfunction instruction sheet, and supply of blank driver's records of duty status (RODS) graph grid can be in electronic form. A logging software app would meet the requirement for supply of blank RODS. This is in accordance with the FMCSA rule titled Electronic Document and Signatures published April 16, 2018 (83 FR 16210). For more information, see 49 CFR 390.32(b).

Last Updated : March 10, 2022

A driver operating in the U.S must have evidence of the hours worked for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 days.

A driver operating in the U.S. who is subject to the ELD rule must record all time operating in the U.S. on the ELD.

A driver operating in the U.S. may record time operating in Canada/Mexico using one of the following methods:

  • Records of duty status (RODS), on paper or an electronic form, for time operating in Canada/ Mexico during the current day, and during the previous 7 days,
  • An AOBRD display or printout of RODS status, or
  • ELD data transfer that displays the driver's RODS for any operations both inside and outside the US.
Last Updated : March 10, 2022

The inspector will cite the driver for failing to have a required electronic record of duty status (RODS), and will place the driver out of service (OOS) for 10 hours (8 hours for a passenger carrier), in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) North American Standard Out-of-Service (OOS) Criteria. At the end of the OOS period, the driver is allowed to complete the current trip to his or her final destination using paper logs. If the driver is stopped again prior to the final destination, the driver will be asked to provide the safety official a copy of the inspection report and evidence (e.g., bill of lading) proving he/she is continuing the original trip. After reaching the final destination, if the driver is dispatched without obtaining a compliant ELD, he/she will again be subject to the OOS procedures. However, a driver may return with an empty commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to his/her principal place of business or home terminal, as indicated on the roadside inspection report.

Last Updated : March 10, 2022

A driver using an ELD must have an ELD information packet onboard the CMV containing the following items:

  1. A user's manual for the driver describing how to operate the ELD;
  2. An instruction sheet describing the data transfer mechanisms supported by the ELD and step-by-step instructions to produce and transfer the driver's hours-of-service records to an authorized safety official;
  3. An instruction sheet for the driver describing ELD malfunction reporting requirements and recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions; and
  4. A supply of blank driver's record of duty status (RODS) graph-grids sufficient to record the driver's duty status and other related information for a minimum of 8 days.
Last Updated : March 10, 2022

A motor carrier must retain ELD RODS data and supporting documents for six months. For more information, see 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1). Additionally, a back-up copy of ELD records must be maintained on a device separate from that where original data was stored for six months. Additionally, a motor carrier must retain a driver's ELD records in a manner that protects driver privacy. For more information, see § 395.22(i).

Last Updated : March 10, 2022

While not required, if the motor carrier configured the driver user account to authorize a special driving category, then the graph-grid will overlay periods using a different style line (such as dashed, dotted line, or shading) in accordance with section of 49 CFR part 395, subpart B, Appendix A. The appropriate abbreviation must also be indicated on the graph-grid.

If the motor carrier does not configure the driver user account to authorize special driving categories, then the driver must annotate the beginning and end of the applicable special driving category.

Last Updated : March 10, 2022

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.

Last Updated : March 10, 2022

Section 395.8(j)(2) provides that "Motor carriers, when using a driver for the first time or intermittently, shall obtain from the driver a signed statement giving the total time on duty during the immediately preceding 7 days and the time at which the driver was last relieved from duty prior to beginning work for the motor carriers." In the alternative, the driver may present copies of the previous 7 days' RODS status or a print-out of the preceding 7 days from the previous carrier's ELD system.

Last Updated : March 10, 2022