Who Needs ELDs & Who is Exempt?

ELDs were a big industry item in 2017 because of the ELD mandate. It’s now making industry headlines in 2019. In this article, we’ll discuss who needs ELDs & who is exempt from ELDs in 2019.

What’s the buzz about ELDs in 2019?

ELD compliance will be on the radar again for 2019 fleet news for two reasons. Firstly, fleets with AOBRDS will need to upgrade to ELDs as the “grandfather clause” exemption expires in December 2019. Secondly, the industry is anticipating an announcement for the Canadian ELD mandate in 2019.

Who needs ELDs?

Who is exempt

Who needs ELDs in 2019? Long story short, drivers will need to use an ELD if they are required to fill Records of Duty logs and if they are operating in an ELD-mandated region. As of the beginning of 2019, ELDs are mandated in the US, Europe, and other spots around the world. There will be an ELD mandate in Canada but lawmakers have not finalized a timeline.

Who needs Records of Duties?

Who Needs RODs

A sub-question, then, is who need needs Records of Duties. The answer depends on your region. For instance, Ontario drivers must follow the MTO Rules. The MTO Rules specify that every CVOR-certified driver, every vehicle with a registered weight over 4500kg, and commercial vehicles carrying 10 or more people must keep a Record of Duty.

Because of differing rules and regions, we recommend looking on your regional transportation authority’s official website for an updated list.

Who is exempt from ELDs?

Another thing to note is there are some exemptions for ELDs. Who is exempt from ELDs in 2019? Similar to our discussion on Record of Duty, ELD exemptions vary depending on your region.

We’ll focus our discussion on the American FMCSA exemptions because experts expect similar Canadian exemptions. Three exemptions include infrequent Records of Duty, driveaway-towaway service, and pre-2000 vehicles.

Infrequent Records of Duty

Specifically, if a driver keeps Records of Duty for 8 or fewer days in a 30-day period, they are exempt from ELDs. This is most frequently applied to short-haul businesses that rarely go on jobs beyond the Record of Duty radius.


Another category is driveaway-towaway services. These services hire contract workers to drive other business’s vehicles. Due to the nature of their work, they are also exempt from ELDs.

Pre-2000 Vehicles

Lastly, pre-2000 vehicles are exempt from the ELD mandate. These trucks do not have onboard computers, and as a result, are not compatible with sharing vehicle data to ELDs.

Summary: Research is Key!

Who Needs ELDs

In summary, ELD rules can get confusing. Who needs ELDs? Who is exempt? Ultimately, answers vary based on each fleet’s jurisdiction. Companies that are required to switch over to ELDs in 2019 and beyond should prioritize research to discover their personalized answer.


FMCSA: Who is exempt from the ELD rule? https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/what-exceptions-are-allowed-electronic-logging-device-rule

MTO: Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual. Module 9 – Hours of Service. http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/commercial-vehicle-operators-safety-manual/module-9.shtml

Disclaimer: “Who Needs ELDs & Who is Exempt” references the MOT and FMCSA website. However, this information may become out of date and inaccurate and readers should not substitute this article for official legal documents.

Liked this blog? Please leave a rating or comment below! Check our other blogs on ELDs and the mandate:

5 FAQs About The Canadian ELD Mandate

4 Tips on Preparing for the Canadian ELD Mandate

What To Look for When Choosing an ELD Provider

A Complete Guide to ELDs: Prepare Yourself for ELD Mandate in Canada