The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has issued a new inspection bulletin outlining driver and officer responsibilities during hours-of-service inspections when a driver is using an electronic logging device (ELD). The bulletin can be viewed here.

Fresh and updated bulletins are part of the outcome of a CVSA board of directors meeting in Alexandria, Virginia on December 7 last year. In the meeting, the board voted to add the bulletins to the list of resources for roadside officers, drivers, and carriers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is a nonprofit association of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety officials and industry representatives. It has over 4,000 members throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The alliance focuses on improving driver and vehicle safety by providing guidance to organizations that enforce CMV inspections and certify inspectors.

The bulletin is for inspectors as well as drivers

While the bulletin is intended primarily for roadside inspectors, it also defines driver responsibilities when it comes to transferring data from an ELD to roadside software for analysis, depending on the method used within the ELD and at the roadside.

Roadside inspection checklist

The bulletin states that federal, state and local officials performing roadside inspections must check the following when an ELD is used:

  1. Verify that the device is integrally synchronized with the CMV.
  2. Make sure that the device can display the record of duty status (RODS) for the last seven days, plus the current day.
  3. Each CMV with an ELD must have on board an information packet containing an instruction sheet detailing how data may be stored and retrieved from the recording system.
  4. The onboard information may be any electronic device (including the ELD) or hard copies.
  5. Each CMV must also have a sufficient supply of blank driver’s RODS graph-grids to record the driver’s duty status and other related information for a minimum of eight days.
  6. The driver can demonstrate the use of the device.
  7. The ELD can display or print a copy of the driver’s RODS during the inspection.

ELD inspection guidance

ELDs must produce, upon the demand of an inspector, a driver’s hours of service records through electronic data transfer (telematics or local), the ELD’s display screen, or an ELD printout showing the time and sequence of duty status changes, including the driver’s starting time at the start of each day.

A device that could not print a copy of the driver’s RODS will not be flagged with a violation if the same device can show an HOS chart or electronic display of each duty status change for the current and the past seven days.


The bulletin also identified drivers who are exempt from the ELD mandate.

A driver who is not required to keep RODS , this could be short-haul or a mechanic, is exempt from the ELD requirement, and the exempt status must be indicated in the header file.

Other drivers who are exempt are:

  1. Drivers requiring completion of a RODS for no more than eight days within any 30-day period.
  2. Drivers in a driveaway-towaway operation in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered.
  3. Drivers in a driveaway-towaway operation in which the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or a recreational vehicle (RV) trailer.
  4. Drivers who operate vehicles with pre-2000 engines.

An exempt driver is not required to carry any documentation for the days they operated while being exempt, the bulletin added.

Updated bulletin for inspectors of trucks using old AOBRDs

The CVSA said the new bulletin on roadside ELD inspection procedures was issued along with updates to the bulletin for inspectors of truckers using previous-generation Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs).

As defined in 49 CFR 395.2, an AOBRD is an electric, electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical device capable of recording a driver’s duty status information accurately and automatically as required by 395.15.

The device must be integrally synchronized with the specific operations of the CMV where it is installed. At a minimum, the device must record engine use, road speed, miles driven, and the date and time of day.

AOBRDs are grandfathered for legal use to record drivers’ HOS until December 16, 2019, as long as they were in place before the implementation of the ELD mandate.

ELD malfunctions

In cases an ELD malfunctions, the driver must provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours.

A driver needs to keep graph-grid paper log sheets and reconstruct the record of duty status for the current day and the previous seven days that comply with 395.8 unless the records can be retrieved from the ELD or the driver already has the records in another form.

What’s next?

The new inspection bulletin by the CVSA is expected to provide more clarity to commercial drivers and safety inspectors regarding the implementation and enforcement of the ELD mandate.

According to the ELD mandate which took effect on December 18, 2017, non-exempt drivers require FMCSA-registered electronic logging devices. After April 1, 2018, ELD violations would negatively affect a carrier’s CSA scores. Additionally, ELD violations would also result in out-of-service criteria enforcement.

If you are still looking for a reliable and compliant ELD solution, try Motive.

The Motive ELD is FMCSA-registered and has numerous fleet management features for fleets of all sizes.