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Update on ELD Mandate Exemptions

Updates to ELD Mandate ExemptionThe ELD mandate is coming up fast, and people still have a lot of questions about the rules and regulations. One of the most common question people have around the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is if it applies to them or if they are exempt from the rule.

Are You Exempt?

In most cases, if you are currently required to keep a record of duty status (RODS), you will need to comply with the mandate and have a compliant ELD or AOBRD installed in your vehicle by the December 18, 2017 ELD mandate deadline. However, you may qualify for an exemption!

You don’t need an ELD If…

paper logs1. You Are Not Currently Required to Keep RODS

If you aren’t currently required to keep records of duty status (RODS), for example you are a short-haul driver that never runs outside of the short-haul classification, then you do not need to run with an ELD.

2. You Keep RODS Less Than 8 Days in a 30-Day Period

If you only need to keep records of your daily logs occasionally, less than eight times in a moving 30-day period, then you will not need an ELD. It’s important to note that this is a rolling window of 30 days, not a one month period, so you’ll want to ensure that you never need to keep logs for more than eight days in that timeframe.

3. You Are a Driveaway/Towaway Driver

empty truck

If you are driving as part of a driveaway/towaway operation and the commercial motor vehicle that you are driving is part of the freight – it’s empty and for sale, lease, or repair – then you will not need to use an ELD. This is because driveaway/towaway drivers often don’t know what vehicle they will be driving until the day of, and it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect them to carry different connectors and devices with them to ensure they have something compatible with the vehicle.

pre-model year 2000 truck4. Your Vehicle’s Engine Was Made Prior to the Year 2000

Anyone driving a CMV with an engine model year of 1999 or prior is exempt from running an ELD. This rule was recently updated to clarify that it applies to the vehicle’s engine, and not the chassis. So if your vehicle’s body was manufactured before the year 2000, but the engine is 2000 or newer, then you are still required to use an ELD. The reason for this is that the technology and connections aren’t compatible with mechanical engines, and it would be too difficult and costly for the FMCSA to expect drivers to comply.


Updates to ELD Mandate Exemptions

rental truck driver
Rental Truck Drivers

If you are a rental truck driver, driving a property-carrying CMV for eight days or less in a moving 30-day period, you do not need to use an ELD.

90-Day Agricultural Extension

Truckers who move agriculture and livestock will get an extra 90 days to comply with the ELD mandate. The reason for this exemption is the incompatibility between the FMCSA’s hours-of-service guidelines and agricultural operations.

FMCSA Leeway

For the next five years, the FMCSA is also granting some leeway in the following two areas:
1. Drivers running ELDs through Bluetooth connections on their mobile devices can change their duty status outside and away from their vehicles along with an annotation.
2. Drivers are able to do multiple yard moves without having to continuing to set their duty status to yard move.

Both of these exemptions can be revoked by the FMCSA at any time.

ELD Mandate Exemption Misconceptions

ELD mandate exemptions

There is a lot of misinformation floating around about exemptions to the ELD mandate. Two false exemptions we hear most frequently are:

  • Single-truck operations, or operations with less than 10 vehicles.
    There is no exemption based on fleet size in the ELD mandate, meaning that if you are an owner-operator, or a part of a small operation, you will still need to run an ELD unless you fall under another exemption.
  • Mobile logbook app users.
    The ELD mandate specifies that an electronic logging device must be connected to a vehicle’s engine, which an app alone is not. Some ELDs, like BigRoad’s DashLink, plug into your vehicle’s engine and then connect via Bluetooth to your mobile phone or tablet. Used together to create RODS, these solutions are compliant with the ELD mandate.


If you need to comply with the ELD mandate, BigRoad’s DashLink is the way to go! DashLink can be installed as a flexible AOBRD, giving you two more years to comply with the ELD mandate, or as a fully-compliant ELD – putting you in control of your compliance! And if you purchase a DashLink now, on a one-year term paid upfront, we’ll give you 3 additional months FREE! Hurry, this offer expires December 17, 2017 at 11:59PM ET.