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Electronic Logging Device Exemptions

Q1. Who is exempt from the ELD rule?

. Drivers who use the timecard exception are not required to keep records of duty status (RODS) or use ELDs. Additionally, the following drivers are not required to use ELDs; however, they are still bound by the RODS requirements in 49 CFR 395 and must prepare logs on paper, using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD), or with a logging software program when required:

  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.
  • Drivers who are required to keep RODS not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000. (As reflected on the vehicle registration)

Q2. What time periods can be used to determine the 8 days in any 30-day period?

A2. The 30-day period is not restricted to a single month, but applies to any 30-day period. For example, June 15 to July 15 is considered a 30-day period.
Q3. 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?

A3. Authorized safety officials may inspect and copy motor carrier records and request any records needed to perform their duties.

Q4. If the vehicle registration for a commercial motor vehicle reflect a model year of 2000 or newer, but the engine plate or documentation from the manufacturer indicates that the engine is older than model year 2000, is the vehicle exempt from the ELD rule?

Yes. While an ELD may voluntarily be used in vehicles that are model year 1999 or older, use of an ELD is not required in these vehicles; likewise, vehicles with engines predating model year 2000 are to be treated as exempt, even if the VIN number reported on the registration indicates that the CMV is a later model year. When a vehicle is registered, the model year should follow the criteria established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There may be instances where 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.” In this circumstance, an inspector/investigator should use the model year on the engine to determine if the driver is exempt from the ELD requirements. If the engine model year is older than 2000, the driver is not subject to the ELD rule. 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 principle place of business. If a determination cannot be made at the roadside, safety official should refer the case for further investigation.

Q5. 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 ELD rule?

Yes. Motor carriers with operations that are exempt from the requirements of 395.8 are exempt from the ELD rule.

Q6. Are Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) when they are operating in the United States?

Yes. Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers must comply with the Federal hours of service rules while operating in the United States. This includes using ELDs complaint with 49 CFR Part 395, unless they qualify for one of the exceptions. A driver operating in multiple jurisdictions will be able to annotate the driver’s record of duty status on the ELD with information on periods of operation outside the United States.

Q7. How should an 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.

Q8. 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.

Q9. Are motor carriers that meet the agricultural exemption defined in 395.1(k) or the covered farm vehicle 395.1(s) subject to the 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.” Click here for additional information on the agriculture exemption.
Q10. Can a driver use an ELD on a commercial motor vehicle 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 Section 4.3.1 of the ELD rule.

Q11. Are transporters of mobile or modular homes considered Driveaway/Towaway 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 motor home or recreational vehicle trailer.

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