The long-awaited final rule calling for the adoption of electronic logging devices(ELDs) by commercial motor carriers became a reality December 16, 2015.  The objective of the rule, according to FMCSA, is to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that combat fatigue.  The rule will take full effect on December 18, 2017, two years after the date of the final rule being issued.  ELDs automatically record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information.

The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier, faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status data.  An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service recording.  The rule applies to most carriers and drivers who are required to maintain records of duty status.  All FMCSA-registered and certified ELDs will be listed on FMCSA’s website: The agency expects to have the website available by mid-February.

The ELD Rule:

  • Specifies who is covered by the rule and exceptions to it.
  • Provides for ELDS to be certified, registered, and listed on a FMCSA website.
  • Includes technical specifications to ensure ELDs are standardized and compliant.
  • Includes a phased implementation timeline to give drivers and carriers time to comply.
  • Includes provisions to help prevent data tampering and harassment of drivers.
  • Creates standard data displays and data transfer processes, making it easier to demonstrate compliance and faster to share records of duty status with safety officials.

ELD Rule Impacts

  • Carriers and Drivers who are subject to the rule must install and use ELDs by the appropriate deadline:
  • Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
  • Carriers already requiring drivers to use automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) according to the specifications in Section 395.15 may continue to use the AOBRD until December 16, 2019.