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FMCSA now allowing laptops, handheld devices for electronic driver logs

July 10, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised its regulatory guidance concerning driver records of duty status (RODS) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. This technology will be allowed as of July 10 as long as it provides a means of capturing an electronic signature.

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 previous requirements for automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs). The new guidance was published in the July 10 edition of the Federal Register.

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. The new guidance removes 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 during a roadside inspection.

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 truck drivers to assist them with hours-of-service (HOS) recordkeeping. All prior Agency interpretations and regulatory guidance, including memoranda and letters, are rescinded to the extent they are inconsistent with this guidance.