What You Should Know About ELD Exemptions & Compliance Deadline 

With the December 18th ELD Mandate compliance deadline less than a month away, many drivers still have questions about the rules and exemptions. Who exactly has to start using an ELD, and when do they have to comply? The exemptions only apply to very specific types of drivers. So if you drive a truck or manage a fleet, chances are you’ll have to purchase an ELD before the deadline to avoid heavy fines. According to the FMCSA, there are four major exemptions to the ELD mandate. Make sure you know each one — and if they apply to you or your fleet — before making your decision.

Drivers whose trucks were manufactured before the year 2000

If your truck was built before the year 2000, you will not be required to use an ELD. Trucks manufactured before the model year 2000 were not required to have electronic control modules (ECM’s) which is what the ELD connects to.

Drivers who use paper RODS only 8 days per month

If you are only required to use paper records of duty status (RODS) no more than 8 days per every 30 days, then you may be exempt from the rule. The FMCSA expands on the 30 day period saying, “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.”

Drivers who conduct a drive-away-tow-away operation

The FMCSA defines this as an operation “where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered…” If the vehicle itself is the commodity (i.e. the truck is being transported from the dealership to the purchaser) and has one or more set of wheels on the road, then it is exempt. This also includes mobile homes.

Drivers who operate under the short haul exemption

There are several boxes you must check in order for you to be exempt under the short haul exemption:

  • You must start and return to the same location within 12 hours of duty time.
  • Travel no further than 100 miles from your starting location.
  • Maintain your time clock.
  • Be off duty for 10 consecutive hours between shifts.
  • Drive no more than 11 hours.

If you can maintain these requirements, then you may also be exempt from the ELD mandate.

If these do not apply to you or your fleet, and you are required to maintain records of duty status (RODS), then it is very likely that you will need to comply with the ELD mandate. If you have any concerns about your inclusion, visit FMCSA.dot.gov and read more about the mandate.