Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Electronic Logbook Ruling as of July 10, 2014

Entertainment. Delivered.

FMCSA Update regarding hours-of-service logs
kept on computers, tablets and smartphones

This ruling does not cover EOBR (electronic on-board recording) devices. Only manually updated logbook applications.


Published July 14, 2014

FMCSA offers guidance on use of electronic logs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revised its regulatory guidance concerning records of duty status (RODS) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

These logging software programs are used by certain drivers to help them prepare RODS, but the computers, tablets, and smartphones with such software do not meet FMCSA's requirements for automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs).

The revision of the guidance clarifies the relationship between the Agency's policy concerning the use of logging software programs and the Agency's January 4, 2011, regulatory guidance concerning electronic signatures by removing the requirement that drivers print and sign paper copies of RODS generated through such logging software, provided the driver is able to sign the RODS electronically at the end of each work day and display the electronic record at the roadside.

This guidance provides the motor carrier industry, and federal, state, and local motor carrier enforcement officials with uniform information regarding computer software and devices used by drivers to assist them with hours-of-service (HOS) recordkeeping.

Guidance for 49 CFR 395.8, Driver's Record of Duty Status

Interpretative guidance to �395.8, Question 28, was rewritten to reflect the Agency�s current policy. The following regulatory guidance is effective July 10, 2014:

"Question 28: May a driver use a computer, tablet, or smartphone (that is not an Automatic On-Board Recording Device) to create, electronically sign, and store the record of duty status (RODS)?

"Guidance: Yes. A driver may make manual duty-status entries to a computer, tablet, or smartphone program that is used to generate the graph grid and entries for the record of duty status (RODS) or log book, provided the electronically-generated display (if any) and output includes the minimum information required by Sec. 395.8 and is formatted in accordance with that section. The driver must sign the RODS (manually or electronically) at the end of each 24-hour period to certify that all required entries are true and correct.

"(A) If electronic signatures are not used:

  • The driver must print and sign the RODS daily.

  • The driver must have in his or her possession the printed and signed RODS for the prior seven consecutive days (if required on those days).

  • The driver should be given an opportunity to print and manually sign the current days RODS at the time of the inspection."

"(B) If RODS have been electronically signed:

  • At the time of an inspection of records by an enforcement official, the driver may display the current and prior seven days RODS to the official on the device's screen.

  • If the enforcement official requests printed copies of the RODS, the driver must be given an opportunity to print the current and prior seven days RODS (if required on those days) at the time of inspection."

Click here for printable PDF copy of this ruling.

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