What to Know About California ELD Mandate Effective January 1, 2024

22 Jan 2024

The California Electronic Device (ELD) Mandate took effect on January 1st, 2024. This new mandate affects all drivers in California.

Prior to the mandate, only interstate drivers were required by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) to use ELDs to record their hours of service (rather than pen and paper), and California intrastate drivers weren’t required to do so. With the implementation of this new mandate, intrastate drivers will no longer be exempt and are required to record a driver’s record of duty status (RODS).

Details of the Mandate

This new mandate is aimed at California intrastate drivers and intrastate commerce and therefore doesn’t affect interstate operations. Intrastate commerce refers to vehicles and drivers who operate solely in the state of California. It means it’s completely California-based. Not only do drivers not cross state lines, but the cargo isn’t from or going to other states or countries.

The California ELD Mandate includes training to show drivers how to properly use ELDs to record their hours of service. Training also includes understanding the technology and installation of ELDs. This ELD training aims to ensure compliance, efficient use, and avoid penalties.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) also includes a list of approved ELDs that fleet vehicles should comply with.

Mandate Exemptions

  • Short-haul exemption: Drivers conducting intrastate commerce in California aren’t required to keep a logbook if the driver stays within a 100-mile radius and is released from duty within 12 hours of coming on duty. This is a more narrow definition of the short-haul exemption than the FMCSA which defines a 150-mile radius and 14-hour time frame.
  • Logbook exemption: Aligning with the federal mandate, California intrastate drivers who aren’t required to keep a logbook for more than 8 days within a 30-day period aren’t required to use ELDs.

This exemption also applies to drivers operating in a driveaway-towaway operation and those a commercial motor vehicle model manufactured before 2000 (or with engine replacements from before 2000).

Benefits of ELDs

The ELD mandate aims to replace paper logbooks with digital ones to record drivers’ hours of service and improve the accuracy of logs with the purpose of forcing them to comply with regulations that aim at avoiding driver fatigue.

The benefits of ELDs include:

  • Safety and compliance: ELDs track dangerous driving behaviors like harsh braking, tailgating, and speeding. They also support safe driving practices while preventing hours-of-service violations to reduce driver fatigue.
  • Integrated mapping allows for geofencing, vehicle tracking, and efficient trip planning.
  • Monitor fuel usage.

  • Inspection reports.

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