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Hours of Service Requirements

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) were developed to address commercial motor vehicle (CMV) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for cross-border transportation.  They are a collaborative effort between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Transport Canada, and Mexico’s Federal Motor Carrier Administration (DGAF).  

FMCSA has published a significant number of HOS FAQs for all motor carriers operating a commercial motor vehicle in the United States, therefore please refer to the FMCSA website for additional HOS FAQs. 

What are the Differences between the Canadian and U.S. Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations?

Q1: When operating in the United States, should a Canadian driver continue to operate under the Canadian hours of service (HOS) regulations?

A1:  No. A Canadian commercial driver must comply with the U.S. HOS regulations when operating in the United States. However, drivers must also ensure that they comply with the Canadian HOS rules when they return to Canada.

Q2:  When operating in Canada, should a U.S. driver continue to operate under the U.S. hours of service (HOS) regulations?

A2:  No. A U.S. commercial driver must comply with the Canadian HOS regulations when operating in Canada. However, drivers must also ensure that they comply with the U.S. HOS rules when they return to the U.S.

Q3:  What is the maximum driving time a CMV driver of property can drive in the United States?

A3:  11 hours after having 10-consecutive hours off duty

Q4:  What is the maximum driving time a CMV driver can drive in Canada?

A4:  13 hours after having taken 8-consecutive hours off duty

Q5:  What is the maximum driving time a CMV driver of passengers can drive in the United States?

A5:  8 hours after having taken 10-consecutive hours off duty

Q6:  For drivers transporting property, what are the differences between Canadian and U.S. HOS regulations for driving after on-duty time?

A6: 

  • When operating in the United States, no driving can be done after 14-consecutive hours from the first on-duty activity after having taken 10-consecutive hours of off-duty.
  • When operating in Canada, no driving can be done after 14-hours of on-duty in a day or in a work-shift, after having taken 8 hours-off duty.

Q7:  What are the differences between the “on-duty” regulations in the United States and Canada for drivers of passengers?

A7: 

  • When operating in the United States, no driving can be done after 15 hours of on-duty after having taken 8 hours off duty.
  • When operating in Canada, no driving can be done after 14-consecutive hours of on-duty in a day or in a work-shift after having taken 8-consecutive hours of off duty.

Q8:  Are there differences in the “length of a workday” in Canada and the United States?

A8: 

  • Yes. In Canada, no driving can be done after 16 hours have elapsed between the conclusion of one 8 or more consecutive hour rest period and the beginning of another.  
  • However, in the United States, no driving can be done after 14-consecutive hours beginning with the first on-duty activity of the day.

Q9:  What are the differences in the “daily log retention” regulations in the CMV when driving in Canada or the United States?

A9: 

  • A driver operating in United States must retain their daily logs for the current day and the previous 7-days. 
  • A driver operating in Canada must retain their daily logs for the current day and the previous 14-days.

Q10:  What are the differences between the “duty cycle” regulations in the United States and Canada?

A10:

  • When operating in the United States, no driving can be done after accumulating 60 on-duty hours in 7 days or 70 on-duty hours in 8 days.
  • When operating in Canada, no driving can be done after accumulating 70 on-duty hours in 7 days (Cycle 1) or 120 on-duty hours in 14 days (Cycle 2).
  • Drivers operating in Canada under Cycle 2 must first take 24-consecutive hour of off-duty after accumulating 70 hours of on-duty, before they are permitted to drive again.
  • When operating in Canada, all drivers must take at least 24-consecutive hours of off-duty time in any 14-day period.

Q11:  Will a Canadian driver be able to split their off-duty time in the sleeper berth time when operating a CMV in the United States?

A11:  Yes. However, the U.S. rules require one period in the sleeper of at least 8 consecutive hours.  The other period of the split must be at least 2 hours of either sleeper or off-duty time.

Q12:  Are there Hours of Service “reset” regulations in the United States and Canada?

A12:

  • In the United States, drivers can restart their 7 or 8-day duty period if they take 34 or more consecutive hours of off-duty.
  • In Canada, a driver’s duty hours can be reset to zero if: they take 36-consecutive hours of off-duty if he/she is operating under Cycle 1; or if they take 72-consecutive hours of off-duty if they are operating under Cycle 2.

Q13:  In the Canadian HOS regulations, it refers to deferral of daily off-duty time, what is it and how does it work?

A13:

  • The Canadian HOS regulations allow a driver, who is not splitting their off-duty time in the sleeper berth, to defer having to take up to 2 hours of their daily off-duty time from one day to the following day.
  • The deferral provision allows the driver to temporarily convert the (up to 2) off-duty time to an equivalent amount of driving and on-duty time, provided that the time is “paid back” the following day.
  • To be able to use the provision, the “other 2 hours” of off-duty time cannot form part of their 8-consecutive hours of off-duty time and the time cannot already have been taken that day.
  • Drivers are still required to take 8-consecutive hours of off-duty after having accumulated 13 driving hours or 14 hours of on-duty or 16 hours of elapsed time, but after having done so, they can immediately begin a new work shift within the same day.
  • Drivers using this provision must only record in the “Remarks” section of their daily log, whether they are driving under day on or day two of that time.

Q14:  Both the United States and Canada have hours-of-service exemptions associated to air and road miles.  What is the difference in road miles between 160-kilometer, 100-air miles and 150-air miles?

A14:

  • 160-kilometers equals 99.4194 road miles
  • 100-air miles equals 115.08 road miles
  • 150-air miles equals 172.6 road miles

What are the Differences between the Mexican and U.S. Hours of Service Regulations?

Q1:  Must a driver from Mexico have a record of duty status available for inspection when operating in the United States?

A1:  Yes, a driver from Mexico is subject to the same record of duty status requirements as any other driver operating in the United States.

Q2:  Do I have to comply with both countries HOS rules if I operate in cross border transportation?

A2:  Yes, a commercial driver must comply with the hours of service requirements for the country in which they are operating.

Q3:  What is the maximum driving time a CMV driver can drive in Mexico?

A3:

  • 8 hours for daytime work shift
  • 7 hours for nighttime work shift
  • 7.5 hours for mixed work shift
  • A driver can add 3 additional driving hours during 3 non-consecutive days per week on all shifts

Q4:  What are the differences between the “On-Duty” requirements in the United States and Mexico?

A4: 

  • When operating in the United States, no driving can be done after 14 consecutive hours after 10 hours off-duty.
  • When operating in Mexico, the driver must not resume his/her work until the beginning of the following work shift.

Q5:  Are there differences in the “length of a workday” in Mexico and the United States?

A5:  Yes. In Mexico, no driving can be done until the next days’ work shift.  However, in the United States, no driving can be done after 14 consecutive hours from the first on-duty activity of the day.

Q6:  What are the difference in the “Log Retention” requirements in Mexico and the United States?

A6:

  • A driver operating in United States must retain their previous 7-days along with the current day. 
  • A driver operating in Mexico must retain their previous 7-days along with the current day.

Q7:  What are the differences between the “Duty Cycle” requirements in the United States and Mexico?

A7: 

  • When operating in the United States, no driving can be done after working 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.
  • When operating in Mexico, no driving can be done after:
    • 54 hours in 7 days for daytime work shift;
    • 48 hours in 7 days for nighttime work shift;
    • 51 hours in 7 days for mixed work shift;
    • In all shift cycles the driver must rest 24 hours before beginning the next cycle; and
    • In all shift cycles the driver must be given a 30-minute break each working day.

Q8:  Are there Hours of Service “reset” regulations in the United States and Mexico?

A8:

  • In the United States, drivers can restart their 7 or 8-day duty period if they take 34 or more consecutive hours of off-duty.
  • In Mexico, there are currently not any HOS reset regulations.

Q9:  The United States has hours-of-service exemptions associated to road miles.  Does Mexico have a similar exemption?

A9:  No, Mexico does not have HOS exemptions based on road miles.

Updated: Friday, March 2, 2018
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