Phase 2 is Upon Us – How to Avoid the Chaos of the ELD Rule Aftermath.

6 Steps to Ensure ELD Compliance

So, by now, we’re all aware of the recently implemented Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate and hopefully familiar with the various transition requirements now in place.

Let’s recap.

In December of 2015, the final draft of the ELD Rule was published, which marked the first of 3 phases included in the mandate. Motor carriers and drivers who maintain records of duty status (RODS) per Part 395, 49 CFR 395.8(a) were able to plan for, and start the transition to, Electronic Logging Devices.

Phase 2 (Phased-In Compliance) began in late December of this past year. From now until December 16, 2019, carriers and drivers may use AOBRDS installed prior to December 18, 2017 as well as Self-Certified and registered ELDs with FMCSA.

Beginning on December 16, 2019, the Full Compliance Phase will require all drivers and carriers subject to the rule to use FMCSA registered ELDs.

Implemented by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the ELD mandate is largely an attempt to reduce the number of traffic accidents and improve overall road safety throughout the U.S.

So, now that you’re up to speed, what happens next?

Here are 6 steps you can take to ensure you’re meeting ELD standards:

Make sure your device is registered

Have you checked the list of registered and revoked ELDs? To ensure a smooth transition to the new logging device system, it’s important to review the standards and determine which devices are acceptable. It’s up to you to make sure your device is among those registered, so make it a point to check the list frequently.

Sign Up for ELD Updates

In some instances, an ELD could be removed from the registration list, so it’s extremely important to keep up to date with the status of your ELD. Normally, the FMCSA will publicize this information, however it wouldn’t hurt to sign up for updates, so you never miss a notification.

Be Aware of Exemptions to the Rule

Take note of any relevant exceptions to the ELD mandate. Depending on the engine model year of your vehicle and/or the type of commodity you’re delivering, there may be several exceptions applicable to you. Become familiar with the following exceptions to maintain compliance.

Retain Supporting Documentation

Did you know motor carriers must maintain up to eight supporting documents for each 24-hour on duty period?  Supporting documentation must include several elements such as driver name or carrier-assigned ID number, date, time, and location of driver. Visit the supporting documents FAQs for more details on this crucial component.

Comply with ELD Record Editing Rules

ELDs were originally implemented to combat the common malpractice of overwriting or changing off duty time stamps. Because the most common cause of road accidents is driver fatigue, RODS standards have been streamlined and any ELD record edits now require an accompanying annotation to describe the change. Both driver and carrier share responsibility for record integrity, so make sure you’re each on the same page.

Take Preventative Action Against Harassment

ELDs are designed with specific measures in place, which prevent against driver harassment. Technical provisions such as a mute function during off duty hours, as well as limited allowance for ELD record edits, limits carriers’ abilities to abuse ELD functionality. Everyone knows an electronic footprint lasts forever. Specifically, an electronic footprint of ELD records easily points back to any alleged attempt by a carrier to force drivers to violate hours of service (HOS) rules. Know your rights when it comes to reporting or filing a harassment complaint.


By following these six steps, you will be on your way to ensuring maximum compliance with ELD Software in relation to new RODS standards and various other functionalities. To avoid the chaos of this huge transition, the best approach is to stay up to date with regulations and ELD registration standards. For more information on ELD functionality, data transfer, malfunctions, or registration and certification, visit the in-depth FAQ reference sheet from the Department of Transportation here.

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