Daren Hansen - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
September 19 , 2019
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The exemptions listed below in this article originally published in 2017 has been reviewed and updated as of September 12, 2019.
As a transportation safety expert, I answer over 200 regulation questions every month on topics ranging from driver qualification to cargo securement. If there was one question I received more often than any other, it was this: “Am I required to use an ELD?”
Even now drivers, supervisors, safety directors, and others are still asking that same basic question, and for good reason. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state enforcement agencies continue to move the goalposts, granting new exemptions, clarifying what the rules mean, and changing how enforcement is handled.
This means the answer to that simple question isn’t an easy one.
With that in mind, let’s review the many variables and exceptions that can affect whether an individual driver needs to use an ELD. Note that I said “driver” and not “vehicle,” because the mandate rules, in general, are driver-focused and not vehicle-focused. Any driver who needs to use an ELD must use one in every commercial vehicle he/she operates, with some limited exceptions.
The following are based on federal (interstate) standards; your state’s requirements may vary if you only operate in intrastate commerce.
Be aware that numerous organizations have requested additional exemptions, so the situation is fluid and may change at any time.
The Encompass® ELD app makes compliance with hours of service easier for your drivers, mechanics, and other employees with exempt driving rulesets and quick ELog annotation entry to document exceptions that impact their record of duty status. Talk with a compliance specialist today about the Encompass® ELD app. Learn more.
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