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Even though it was April Fool’s Day, no one was kidding around when it came to electronic logging device (ELD) mandate compliance. April 1, 2018, marked the hard enforcement date for the FMCSA’s ELD mandate. Find out what this means for you and how you might be impacted during your next inspection.

ELD Enforcement Timeline

DashLinkThe ELD mandate has been in effect since December 18, 2017. To be compliant with the rule, the majority of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were required to change how they record their record of duty status (RODS). Non-exempt drivers were required to transition from paper logs and electronic logbooks (eLogs) to one of the following options:


This date became known as the ‘soft enforcement’ date as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a ‘hard enforcement’ date of April 1, 2018. During the soft enforcement period, law enforcement issued ELD violations as 395.22(a) violations. Additionally, CSA points were not impacted and vehicles were not take out-of-service (OOS) for failing to comply...all that is about to change!

As of April 1, 2018, we moved into the 'hard enforcement' period. From now on, drivers operating a CMV without a grandfathered AOBRD (installed before December 18, 2017) or a compliant ELD will be placed out-of-service.

Hard Enforcement - Placed Out-of-Service
If found to be without a grandfathered AOBRD or compliant ELD during a roadside inspection, drivers will face the following out-of-service times based on their vehicle classification:

  • Passenger-carriers will be placed OOS for 8 hours
  • All other CMVs will be placed OOS for 10 hours

The violation will be recorded and the driver may be cited for non-compliance with the ELD rule including a violation ticket or a civil penalty.

Continuation of Trip
PaperLogs-Graphic (1)After being placed OOS for 8 or 10 hours, the driver may be allowed to continue driving to their final destination at the discretion of the officer. The driver will be required to document their hours-of-service (HOS) using a paper logbook for the remainder of their trip.

They will also be required to carry a copy of the inspection report and/or citation outlining the ELD violation. If stopped again, the driver must provide the officer with a copy of their inspection report and evidence (dispatch order or a bill of lading) that they are continuing with their original trip.

Driving After an ELD Violation
If a driver is cited for non-compliance with the ELD mandate, it is expect that they will get a compliant ELD in their vehicle before being re-dispatched to ensure they are compliant. If they are re-dispatched and still do not have a compliant ELD, they will face the ELD out-of-service process outlined above unless they are travelling back to their primary place of business or terminal empty to obtain an ELD.

Impact on CSA Score
If a violation is issued, it will be counted against the motor carrier’s SMS (Safety Measurement System) score which drives targeting for investigation under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The FMCSA will then determine the appropriate action against against non-compliant carriers.

How BigRoad Can Help?
Get the #1 solution for ELD mandate compliance in your vehicle today - order your DashLink ELD now! BigRoad’s DashLink ELD was named the best electronic logging device mandate compliance solution in North America by Frost and Sullivan. See our DashLink ELD in action, request your personalized demo here:

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About the Author: Alicia Bedard

Alicia Bedard

Alicia is the Director of Marketing at BigRoad. She is an avid racing fan, thrill seeker, and craft beer aficionado. She likes to spend her free time with her bulldogs.