Need To Know

FMCSA's Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule Is The Law

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, which went into effect on December 18, 2017, is one of the biggest changes for the commercial transportation industry in recent years.

We've prepared the information below to help you understand the rule, who it affects, the compliance deadlines, and the penalties for drivers and carriers found to be non-compliant, and provided useful resources to help answer your questions regarding the ELD mandate.


To help your company operate in the electronic logging environment, we've assembled a list of Best Practices for you to consider.


The FAQs document published by the FMCSA (found on provides a good amount of details on the ELD mandate. Excerpts of general pertinence are reflected below. For more information, please refer to the list of additional resources at the end of this document.

Key Requirements:

Who must comply?

The ELD rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain RODS per Part 395, 49 CFR 395.8(a). The rule applies to commercial buses as well as trucks, and to Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers.

Who is exempt?

Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required to keep RODS and are not be required to use ELDs. Additionally, the drivers listed below are not required to use ELDs, but are still bound by the RODS requirements in 49 CFR 395 and must prepare logs on paper, using an AOBRD or with a logging software program when required:

What about rented or leased commercial motor vehicles?

Motor carriers or drivers that operate rented or leased commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are required to record hours of service with an ELD, unless the driver or commercial motor vehicle is exempt from the requirements of the ELD rule.

What is a "grandfathered" automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD)?

A "grandfathered" AOBRD is a device that a motor carrier installed and required its drivers to use before the electronic logging device (ELD) rule compliance date of December 18, 2017. The device must meet the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15. A motor carrier may continue to use grandfathered AOBRDs only until December 16, 2019. After that, the AOBRDs must either be updated to the ELD technical specifications or removed from service and a new device installed that meets the ELD specifications. See Section 395.15 (a) of the ELD final rule.

Other AOBRD issues worth noting:

  • If your operation uses AOBRDs before December 18, 2017, you can transfer an AOBRD to a CMV as long as that vehicle replaces another (see FMCSA FAQs section).
  • If your operation adds a vehicle to its fleet without retiring one equipped with an AOBRD, you must install a device that meets ELD technical specifications.
  • An owner operator that operates with a grandfathered AORBD and is hired by a motor carrier after December 18, 2017 may continue to operate with its grandfathered AOBRD while employed by the motor carrier.
  • If a grandfathered AOBRD subsequently becomes inoperable, then that AOBRD must be replaced by an ELD.
  • You may not purchase and install a new AOBRD in a vehicle after December 18, 2017.

What is the penalty for drivers and motor carriers who are not in compliance?

Drivers/motor carriers operating a CMV without a required registered ELD or a grandfathered AOBRD are subject to the penalties specified by the Commerical Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on April 1, 2018.

ELD Vendor Options

With over 50 different ELD solutions currently in the marketplace, selecting a vendor can be a challenging process. This is complicated by the fact that the FMCSA does not certify which products will meet all the technical requirements of the ELD mandate. This is, in reality, a "self-certification" process. The FMCSA also does not have mechanisms in place for manufacturers to test to ensure that the data capture and output of these devices will be compliant with specifications. To help carriers with their selection, the FMCSA has posted a list of Registered ELDs and has made available a checklist of functions that an ELD solution must provide at a minimum (see

The following ELD vendors have proactively reached out to Lancer, offering to assist our policyholders*:




For further assistance regarding the ELD mandate, please contact us today!

*Reference in this site to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of our policyholders, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Lancer Insurance Company.