The ultimate cheatsheet for ELD mandate exemptions

For US and non-US truck drivers — here are 10 easy questions to check if you really need the ELD or not:

Are you sure you’re exempt from  ELD (Electronic Logging Device)  mandates? Check. Check again. Because who knows, a bad assumption could lead to a  really hefty fine.

Are you sure you’re exempt from ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandates? Check. Check again. Because who knows, a bad assumption could lead to a really hefty fine.

While the battle over ELDs rages on though, some are being exempted from the regulation. According to ATA President Chris Spear, those segments of the industry are in danger of “crossing the line on safety.”

Am I exempt from the ELD rule, if I have a vehicle manufactured before 2000?


What if I have a new truck, but fitted with a pre-2000 engine?


Am I exempt if I conduct drive-away/tow-away operations?


And what if I’m transporting modular/mobile homes?

Sorry pal, you’re not exempt.

Am I exempt if I use paper RODS (records of duty service) for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period?


What if I’m not required to keep RODS for more than 8 days within any 30-day period?

You, sir/madam, are pronounced ELD exempt!

If you’re a carrier based out of Canada or Mexico, here’s how the exemptions would play out:

Should I use an ELD when driving in the US?

Read the above questions to check if you’re eligible for the exemptions. If not, then yes, you’re required to use an ELD in US.

If my vehicle is brand new, but the engine plate or documentation indicates that the engine is older 2000, am I exempt from the ELD rule?


How does the “8 days within a 30-day period” ELD Exemption apply to motor carrier’s drivers domiciled in Canada/Mexico .. when they’re operating in the United States?

Well, if you’re operating in the US for more than 8 days, you’re not exempt. 
Otherwise, not to worry. The same exemptions that apply to American drivers, also applies to you.

Are Canadian Armed Forces exempt from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), including the ELD requirements, if they have proper documentation when operating in the United States?

Yes! But this comes with a couple of IFs and BUTs:

You are exempted if,

  • you possesses an appropriate military personal identity card issued by Canada,
  • you possesses an individual or collective movement order,
  • your vehicle carries a registration number, and
  • your vehicle contains the distinctive nationality mark of Canada.

Remember: The above exemption applies only to Canadian Armed Forces and not to contractor drivers or vehicles used by the Canadian Armed Forces.

Am I exempt if I conduct drive-away/tow-away operations in the U.S. and the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered?


Am I exempt if I’m within a 100 air-mile radius during a cross-border operation?

Yes. If the U.S. destination is within a 100 air-mile radius of your normal work reporting location, and if you complete your work within 12 hours and return to that location you’re not required to keep a paper log or use an automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD)/ELD during the U.S. portion of the trip.

If you want to dwell into the fine print, do give this a read.

That’s more or less the sum total of ELD mandate exemptions.

And if you go back and read carefully, you’d know that there were 11 easy questions, not 10, to test your eligibility for exemptions.

Why’s that, you ask?

We believe it is better to be safe than sorry with ELD violation fines, since they’re known to go as high as $13,680 in certain cases.

To ensure that your drivers are aware of the exemptions, are up to date on the latest regulations, and of course, are ELD compliant: use Noticeboard.

Over 30,000 workers across industries use our platform to train on processes, mark attendance, complete checklists and more, on a daily basis.

By spending less than 15 minutes on the platform everyday, the management ensures that the workforce moves like a well-oiled machine — ensuring maximum returns with minimum effort.