The 16-hour rule or the 16-hour short-haul exception allows some commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to extend their 14-hour window by 2 hours every week. As long as certain conditions are met.

In this post, we discuss the nitty-gritty details of this 16-hour rule, the conditions that need to be met, and how drivers can use the 16-hour exemption in the Motive Driver App.

Let’s start by reviewing the Hours of Service rule and how the 16-hour short-haul exception fits in.

A brief recap of Hours of Service rules

According to DOT Hours of Service rules, U.S. property-carrying CMV drivers generally have 14-hour windows to finish driving-related work. In those 14 hours, they can drive up to 11 hours. Drivers must also take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving.

What is the 16-hour rule?

The 16-hour rule is an exemption that allows certain drivers to extend their on-duty time from 14 hours to 16 hours. So drivers can have a 16-hour window instead of a 14-hour window once per cycle, provided that certain conditions are met.

The 16-hour rule is also commonly referred to as the 16-hour short-haul exception.

The 16-hour short-haul exception does not extend the 11-hour driving limit. Instead, drivers who qualify for the 16-hour exemption can remain on duty for 2 more hours (for 16 hours, instead of 14 hours). Drivers must be relieved immediately after the 16th hour.

Related: The complete guide to Canada hours of service rules

Conditions for the 16-hour short-haul exception to apply

Certain conditions must be met for a short-haul driver to qualify for the 16-hour exception.

Drivers can use the 16-hour exception if all of the following occur:

  • The driver returns to their work reporting location for that day as well as their last 5 workdays
  • The driver is released from work after coming on duty within 16 hours
  • The driver has not used the 16-hour exception in the previous 6 consecutive days (unless they have used the 34-hour break to restart their weekly cycle)

Also, drivers who qualify for non-CDL short-haul exceptions may not use the 16-hour short-haul exception.

How to use the 16-hour exception with the Motive app

The Motive Driver App makes it simple for drivers to use the 16-hour short-haul exception. Drivers can use the 16-hour rule with the Motive Driver App in four simple steps.

  1. Go to Menu > Settings > Logs.
  2. Enable the short-haul exception and save the settings.
  3. Note: The 16-hour short-haul exception is only available for “property-carrying” and “oil and gas” vehicles and for USA 70-hour/8-day and 60-hour/7-day cycles.
  4. Once the “short-haul exception” is enabled, go back to your logs, click the + icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen, and tap Take the 16-hour exception to use it.

Final words

The 16-hour short-haul exception allows drivers to extend their daily window by two hours once a week. In certain situations, it can be very beneficial for drivers to use this exception.

The Motive Driver App makes it very simple for drivers to use the 16-hour exception. You can download the Motive Driver App for free for Android and iOS devices.

Click the following limited-time offer to get free Motive ELD hardware that can help you with ELD compliance.