ELD Mandate: Do you qualify for exemption

While compliance with the FMCSA's ELD Mandate is compulsory for most drivers of commercial motor vehicles, for-hire and private motor carriers, it's not required for others.

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate applies to all commercial motor vehicle drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status Ð an estimated 3.5 million drivers, according to the FMCSA.

So who is exempt from compliance?

1. Drivers who are not required to keep records of duty status

Drivers of commercial vehicles such as those who cover short-haul routes only and who aren't currently keeping these records won't need to install an ELD.

2. Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000

Commercial motor vehicles from 1999 and earlier do not need ELDS as long as their dates of manufacture can be verified. This is because very few of these older vehicles manufactured have electronic control modules, which are essential in providing the required data on engine performance, fuel efficiency and emissions to electronic logging devices. The ELD Mandate applies to model year, not the year of the engine (refer to the last four digits of the VIN).

3. Empty vehicles being delivered for sale or repair

Drivers for commercial towing operations will not need ELDs for the commercial motor vehicle they're delivering for sale, lease or repair.

4. Drivers that don't exceed the prescribed minimum hours of service.

Drivers that log less than eight days of service during any rolling period of 30 days don't need to run an ELD. This mostly covers short-haul drivers who only occasionally drive outside of the specified exemption radius.

* Important note

Even those drivers who are exempt from the ELD Mandate still have to comply with the FMCSA's rules governing Hours of Service. It's also important to note that even if you are exempt from running an ELD, this doesn't prohibit you from installing one Ð in fact many exempt fleets are installing electronic logging devices for the cost- and time-saving benefits they offer.