FMCSA Releases Final Rule on Electronic Logging Devices

Today, December 16, 2015, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its final rule requiring the installation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on commercial motor vehicles.  FMCSA addresses requirements in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and relies on input from the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee as well as feedback during public comments following the 2011 release of a proposed rule and the 2014 release of a supplementary proposed rule.

The final rule will have a two-year phase in period, so all commercial trucks and buses must comply with the ELD rule by December 2017.  The goal of the rule is to improve compliance with federal hours-of-service regulations, and the final rule is written to allow the use of omnipresent technologies such as smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs provided they meet technical specifications and are certified by FMCSA.  Canadian and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating in the United States.

The rule as released by FMCSA contains four basic elements:

  • Provides two years for the approximately three million truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to install ELDs and maintain hours-of-service records with the devices.
  • Strictly prohibits commercial driver harassment (NOTE:  These provisions are separate from FMCSA’s rule Prohibiting Coercion of Drivers).  The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.
  • Sets technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs.
  • Establishes new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions.  In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.

TIA Government Affairs staff closely follows the federal rulemaking process to monitor issues that will have significant impact on the third-party logistics industry.  For more information on the final ELD rule, the final rule on prohibition of coercion, or for any other questions, please contact TIA at or 703-299-5700.

Link to Final Rule on ELDs
Link to Final Rule on Prohibition of Coercion