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Top ELD exemptions

Although all non-exempt drivers are required to install FMCSA-registered ELD solutions, there are some circumstances in which drivers are exempt from the ELD mandate, and may not need a compliant ELD solution. In these situations, drivers can use other methods to record their Hours of Service (HOS) data but should keep proper documentation outlining their exclusion from the ELD rule.

Recapping the ELD mandate and compliance

The ELD mandate is a U.S. Federal Regulation that requires most commercial motor vehicle drivers to install FMCSA-registered ELDs to record their Hours of Service (HOS) and other pertinent information. 

The main purpose of the ELD mandate is to reduce road accidents with strict enforcement of HOS rules and minimize driver fatigue. 

In order for drivers to be considered ELD compliant, the system must adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) ELD mandate.

However, some drivers can be considered exempt from the ELD mandate, and may not require a compliant ELD solution.

Top ELD exemptions

There are limited exceptions to the ELD rule, which include:

  • Drivers who are operating under short-haul operations are exempt for CDL and non-CDL vehicles and aren’t required to keep records of duty status (RODS). Time cards can be used in place of ELD. 
  • Certain driveaway-towaway operations in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered or in which the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or a recreational vehicle trailer. 
  • Drivers who maintain RODS for eight days or fewer in 30-day rolling periods and short-haul drivers who occasionally take longer trips. But if you exceed the short-haul exemption more than eight times within 30 days, you’ll need an ELD for the rest of the cycle. 
  • Drivers of motor vehicles manufactured before the year 2000.