Finding an FMCSA Approved ELD

By December 18, 2017, a majority of commercial truck drivers will be required to install FMCSA-compliant electronic logging devices (ELDs). However, finding these devices might prove a challenge for some, with many options available to choose from that may or may not be entirely compliant according to FMCSA standards.

Compliance with the Final Rule

All drivers and carriers need to acknowledge and adhere to the FMCSA’s final rule, regardless of the devices they use. The rule includes the following requirements:

  • Drivers and carriers currently using Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) or Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) must switch to ELDs by December 16, 2019
  • Carriers and drivers not currently using AOBRDs or EOBRs will require ELDs by December 18, 2017
  • Drivers must be able to log in to and select on-duty, off-duty, or on-duty but not driving options
  • The driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) needs to be clearly visible and readable at a glance
  • Tablets and smartphones are usable in ELD systems if they meet FMCSA compliance standards

Information That ELDs Need to Record

To be compliant with the FMCSA’s final rule, ELDs are required to record certain sets of information to maintain accuracy throughout the trucking process.

Date and Time

One of the most important pieces of information that ELDs are required to record is the date and time when a vehicle is set in motion or stops completely.

Location Details

ELDs must also record the specific location of the vehicle at certain intervals throughout the shipping process, resulting in a clear picture of where the CMV has been and at what time. While exact street addresses are still impossible for ELDs to determine, they can use latitude/longitude coordinates and convert them into geo-location information, down to the name of a city, village, town, and state abbreviation.


ELDs are also required to record mileage based on the vehicle’s overall travel distance, corresponding to other metrics. ELDs only gather this data when the vehicle is in motion and traveling faster than five miles per hour.

Driver, Authenticated User, Motor Carrier, and Vehicle Identification

To make sure only authorized individuals can access the information on ELDs, these devices also record all identification information regarding the driver, carrier, authenticated user, and vehicle.

Other Recorded Information

In addition to the information collected above, ELDs also record other details to help ensure FMCSA compliance. This data includes all entered duty statuses, hourly location data, personal use of CMVs, and driver entries that occur when they’re not currently operating them. Collectively, this data helps make sure that all drivers are consistently compliant with the final rule.

Research ELD Providers

To make sure you adhere to the FMCSA final rule using contemporary ELD devices, make sure you get devices and services from a provider that advertises FMCSA and IFTA compliance. You should also be able to see the features included in their products, and be able to make a checklist of all of the data they can record to remain FMCSA compliant.

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