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Who must comply, who is exempt, and Canadian requirements

['Electronic logging device (ELD)']
Who must comply, who is exempt, and Canadian requirements
  • Drivers who meet certain criteria do not have to comply with the ELD mandate, which became law for most interstate CMV drivers as of December 18, 2017.
  • Carriers in Canada must adhere to that nation’s own ELD regulations, which took effect June 12, 2021, though specific exemptions are in place.

Under federal rules, electronic logging devices (ELDs) became mandatory for most interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who are required to complete records of duty status (RODS or “logs”) as of December 18, 2017.

Who is exempt

The following drivers are exempt from the ELD mandate:

  • Drivers who are exempt from needing logs. This includes, for example, drivers for a non-business, private motor carrier of passengers, drivers of certain utility service vehicles, and certain agricultural operations.
  • Drivers who are required to use a standard paper log for no more than eight days within any 30-consecutive-day period. These drivers may continue to use paper logs when necessary in place of ELDs. This includes “intermittent” or “occasional” drivers and drivers eligible for a short-haul exception in 49 CFR Part 395.1(e) who do not need logs more than eight days out of 30. Once such a driver needs to use a regular log on nine or more days within any 30-day period, the driver must switch to an ELD.
  • Drivers operating in a driveaway-towaway operation in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered or is a motorhome or a recreational vehicle trailer.
  • Drivers of commercial motor vehicles rented for a contractual period of eight days or less, provided that the driver has, in the truck, a copy rental agreement and a copy of the Federal Register notice pertaining to the exemption.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year (MY) 2000 — when electronic control modules (ECMs) were not required — are exempt from ELDs while operating such vehicles. The MY is identified by the 10th position in the vehicle identification number (VIN) as shown on the vehicle registration. Motor carriers are allowed but not required to equip these older vehicles with ELDs.
    • If the MY of the vehicle per the VIN on the registration is 2000 or newer but the engine MY is 1999 or older, the driver is not required to use an ELD. The carrier must maintain paperwork supporting the engine MY at the main office if the driver is operating under this exception to the ELD requirement.

Using exceptions intermittently — Drivers who are eligible for an exception from the hours-of-service rules while operating a vehicle equipped with an ELD, such as the exceptions found in 390.3(f), 390.23, or 395.1, can use the exception. The driver would need to add a note to the ELD record to explain when the exception is being used.

ELD requirements in Canada

Canada’s ELD mandate took effect June 12, 2021, for all federally regulated carriers.

The hours-of-service regulation adopts by reference the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices Version 2.1, October 27, 2020, which includes technical operational standards and requirements for ELDs used in Canada.

A progressive enforcement period for ELDs started June 12, 2021, and runs through January 1, 2023.


Exemptions from using ELDs in Canada apply to:

  • Drivers who are driving under a permit or statutory exemption,
  • Drivers of vehicles subject to rental agreements for a term of 30 days or less, and
  • Commercial vehicles manufactured before the year 2000.
  • Drivers operating within the 160-kilometre radius of the home terminal are not required to use an ELD as long as:
    • The driver returns to the home terminal each day to begin at least eight consecutive hours of off-duty time,
    • The carrier maintains accurate and legible records showing for each day the driver’s cycle and on-duty times, and
    • The carrier keeps those records and supporting documents for at least six months. If a driver no longer qualifies for this allowance, an ELD is required.

See Canada’s hours-of-service subject for more details on Canada’s ELD mandate and the hours-of-service requirements.