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ELD Violations- How To Avoid Them?

If you are from the transport or fleet industry, you must know about ELD Rule and related regulations. In February 2016, FMCSA introduced the ELD mandate on the roads of the USA. Since then, every fleet owner has implemented ELDs to log the working hours of their drivers. 

ELD Rule has eligibility and exemption criteria for drivers and fleets. You must have an ELD in your vehicle and adhere to all the rules to avoid violations if you are eligible. Otherwise, you and your business may have to face fines, unnecessary liabilities, and loss of business due to a bad CSA score.

In this article, you will find a detailed guide about ELD rules. And ways to prevent ELD violations. 

ELD Rule – An Introduction

In 2012, Congress enacted a bill called – “Moving ahead for progress in the 21st century.” It is commonly known as Map- 21. It suggested making the use of ELD compulsory. 

Due to differences in opinions, the bill could only see the hope of light in 2014. Finally, in 2015 the final rule was drafted and ready to implement. But it was not possible to enact the law suddenly. 

So the implementation was conducted in three different phases:- 

  • The first phase (February 2016-December 2017): In this phase, owners and fleet operators were encouraged to adopt ELD voluntarily.
  • The second phase(December 2017-December 2019): The drivers switched to ELD or AOBRD. 
  • Finally, all non-exempt drivers and fleet operators were obliged to use ELD. 

Since its introduction, the ELD rule has affected millions of drivers across North America. The ELD rule implies that every CMV (commercial motor vehicle) operator should switch from traditional logging systems to modern ELDs

The purpose of the law is:

  • Curb the rate of road accidents
  • Improve working conditions of drivers
  • Enforce the HoS rule.

 “[FMCSA] announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.”

Why Was The ELD Rule Needed? 

Before the ELD rule, drivers recorded driving hours manually on paper logs. This method was unreliable and tedious. Most drivers still prefer getting paid an hourly rate. Paper logs also made it difficult to authenticate their actual driving time and give accurate payments. Drivers could work overtime to increase their earnings, violating the HoS rules. Several studies found that a high percentage of road accidents involving trucks were caused due to driver fatigue. 

To avoid such scenarios, FMCSA and DoT decided to implement ELD rules. ELD records the working hours of the drivers accurately. Moreover, no one can forge data without authorization. 

According to FMCSA, the ELD rule helped to avoid 1,844 crashes and 562 injuries every year. 

What Is An Electronic Logging Device (ELD)?

An ELD or an electronic logging device connects to the engine and derives data directly from the truck. It is a reliable method of authentic data collection and helps stay compliant with the HoS rule. It provides an easy way for drivers to change duty status and share the data with the inspection team. 

Data Captured By The ELD

ELDs are directly plugged into the diagnostic port of the engine and hence derive data. 

Here are some data that it derives:


  • Identification of the vehicle
  • Motor carrier identification
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Distance covered
  • Engine start and shutdown
  • Engine diagnostics and fault codes


  • Driver used identification
  • Driver logon and logoff 
  • HoS
  • Duty status change
  • Unauthorized use

Who Need To Follow ELD Rule?

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles fall under the scope of the ELD rule. A commercial motor vehicle is used for business purposes and travels beyond a state.

Here are the following criteria you need to follow:

  • Vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds.
  • Have a gross vehicle weight rating above 10,000 pounds.
  • Vehicles manufactured after 2000.
  • Registered with DoT
  • Transport hazardous materials
  • Transport 16+ non-paying passenger
  • Transport 9+ paying passenger

Exemptions To The ELD Rule

There are some exemptions to this rule too:

  • Vehicles manufactured before 2000
  • Drivers who are not complaint to maintain RODS
  • Or maintain RODS for eight or fewer days.
  • The vehicle used for agricultural purposes
  • Drivers in certain driveaway-towaway operations

Common ELD Violations To Avoid

Here are some common ELD violations you should know to avoid unnecessary fines or obligations: 

  • Not Using An FMCSA-Compliant ELD 

One of the most common types of ELD violations is not using FMCSA-registered ELD. You can find several ELDs in the market. But not all of them are certified by the FMCSA. So if you choose any random device, you will have to face the consequences. 

  • Unable To Share Details With The Inspection Team

If a truck driver cannot share the data from the device to the authorized enforcement officer in time, they will fall under the charge of no record of duty status. 

  • Failure To Detect Malfunction Of The Device

Drivers can face charges under section 395.34A1 if they are unable To detect the malfunction in the device and switch to paper logs at times. 

Additionally, they should provide a written statement to the owners regarding it. The enforcement officials can ask them to produce a copy of the documents. 

Lastly, the owners should replace any malfunctioning device within eight days. 

  • Failure To Log In Or Out

Every truck driver has to log their information into the hold before starting their journey. And log out after completing their work. If they cannot do so, they will have to face charges for no record of duty under section 398.8A. 

  • The Display Screen Is Not Visible

If the display screen of the ELD is not visible from the outside, the officials can charge you under section 395.20B for the wrong log. 

  • Failure To Manage Unassigned Driving Time

A truck driver will face charges under section 395.32B if they do not decline or assume unassigned driving time in their ELD. 

  • Fail To Add Shipping Document Number

The driver will have to face an ELD violation if they do not mention any documents related to the movement of the cargo. For instance, invoices, trip reports, order numbers, bills of lading, etc.  

  • Fail To Certify The Accuracy Of The Information

The driver must certify the accuracy of the information by providing their signature. 

Complete List Of ELD Violations

Here is a list of new ELD violations and their severity level

CitationDescriptionSeverity value
395.8A-ELDELD – No record of duty status (ELD Required)5
395.8A-NON-ELDNo record of duty status when one is required (ELD Not Required)5
395.8A1Not using the appropriate method to record hours of service5
395.11GFailing to provide supporting documents in the driver’s possession upon request7
395.20BThe ELD’s display screen cannot be viewed outside of the commercial motor vehicle5
395.22AOperating with a device that is not registered with FMCSA5
395.22GPortable ELD not mounted in a fixed position and visible to driver1
395.22H1Driver failing to maintain ELD user’s manual1
395.22H2Driver failing to maintain ELD instruction sheet1
395.22H3Driver failed to maintain instruction sheet for ELD malfunction reporting requirements1
395.22H4Driver failed to maintain supply of blank driver’s records of duty status graph-grids1
395.24C1IDriver failed to make annotations when applicable1
395.24C1IIDriver failed to manually add location description1
395.24C1IIIDriver failed to add file comment per safety officer’s request1
395.24C2IDriver failed to manually add CMV power unit number1
395.24C2IIDriver failed to manually add the trailer number1
395.24C2IIIDriver failed to manually add shipping document number1
395.28Driver failed to select/deselect or annotate a special driving category or exempt status1
395.30B1Driver failed to certify the accuracy of the information gathered by the ELD1
395.30CFailing to follow the prompts from the ELD when editing/adding missing information1
395.32BDriver failed to assume or decline unassigned driving time5
395.34A1Failing to note malfunction that requires use of paper log5

Consequences Of ELD Violations

The main motive of the ELD rule is to ensure the safety of people on the road. So if someone is violating it, they have to face the consequences.

Here is a brief glimpse of the consequences of ELD violations: 

  • ELD violations fines can range between $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the severity of the violations. 
  • The driver can be placed out-of-service for at least ten hours if the loss is around $300. 
  • If a driver falsifies logs or records, they can be suspended. On top of that, they will have to pay fines and penalties.
  • Continuous violations can result in different roadside instructions, fines, and penalties. 
  • Another consequence of ELD violations is lower CSA scores. Let us see how these violations affect the CSA score in the next section. 

ELD Violations That Impact CSA Scores 

ELD violations can lead to lower CSA scores. And low scores can disturb your fleet management. In fact, in the worst cases, the government can seize your business. 

Below are the scores with each ELD violation:

Incomplete or Wrong Log Violations

  • No record of duty status- 5 points
  • No record of duty status when one is required- 5 points
  • Not using the appropriate method to record HoS- 5 point 
  • One cannot view the ELD display screen from outside- 5 point
  • Using that is not registered with FMCSA- 5 point 
  • Failing to note ELD malfunction- 5 points

False Log Violations

  • Failing to provide supporting documents- 7 points

EOBR Related violations 

  • Portable ELD not mounted- 1 point
  • Drive fails to maintain ELD user manual- 1 point
  • Drive fails to maintain ELD instruction sheet- 1 point
  • Drive fails to show a supply of blank driver record- 1 point
  • Drive fails to display a supply ELD instruction sheet- 1 point

Other Log/Form & Manner Violations

  • Fails to make annotations- 1 point
  • Fails to add location description- 1 point
  • Fails to add file comment as per safety officers request- 1 point
  • Fails to add CMV power unit number- 1 point
  • Fails to add the trailer number- 1 point
  • Fails to add shipping document number- 1 point
  • Fails to select or deselect a unique driving category- 1 point
  • Face to certify the accuracy of information- 1 point
  • Fails to follow the prompts from the ELD when information is missing or edit- 1 point

How To Avoid ELD Violations And Related Consequences?

As you can see from the above explanation, you need to avoid ELD violations at all costs. Otherwise, you cannot keep away from associated fines and penalties.

Here are some practical tips to avoid ELD violations:

  • Choose The Correct ELD Solution

You can find a variety of ELDs in the market. But only some of them are FMCSA registered. Before choosing any ELD solution, you should look into the details and ensure if it is certified by FMCSA or not. 

Even if the company itself claims that it is fully registered, you should read customer reviews. It will provide you with first-hand experience details, and you can make good decisions.

  • Hire Your Drivers Using PSPs

Before employing any driver, make sure to dig their quick insights with PSP reports. PSP stands for the pre-employment screening program. It records a brief history of the driver. It may not tell you the whole story but will help you make informed decisions. Choosing drivers with good ELD or HoS history means saving yourself from unnecessary liabilities. 

  • Offer Driver Training Program

As you can see from the explanations above, most violations occur as the drivers are not aware of the ELD. Therefore, make sure to hold regular training programs to teach your employees how to use the device and stay in compliance with the rule. 

The training session will provide their information to use the device, upload supporting documents, share details with the official, and handle device malfunctions. 

  • Audit Drivers Log Entries Regularly

Thorough driver log audits will help you detect any error or violation in your fleet. After identifying the concerned driver, contact them and conduct a proper training session. You can even arrange individual consultations to avoid any misunderstanding. 

  • Conduct Compliance Check During Maintenance

The vehicle needs regular maintenance. So during the checkup, ensure that the truck has the necessary documents. Also, check if the device is working well. If not, instantly switch to paper logs and remove the error within eight days. 

  • Important Documents To Carry

Drivers have to carry the following documents to stay in compliance with the ELD rule:

  • Data transfer manual with proper instructions for drivers to transfer data 
  • ELD malfunction sheet
  • User guide
  • Blank graph-grid paper logs
  • Other related documents

How Can Matrack Help You To Avoid ELD Violations? 

As you can see from the above discussion, fleet owners should try their best to avoid ELD violations. And how can you do so? By selecting a reliable ELD solution. 

Matrack offers an affordable and advanced ELD solution. So whether you are an owner or operator of a small fleet or a big one, you can stay in compliance with the ELD rule with the Matrack ELD. 

Are you wondering how much you will have to spend to own an ELD? Well, if you choose Matrack, then absolutely nothing. How? 

Matrack offers free devices, and hence, you only have to pay for the subscription. On top of that, we guarantee the lowest monthly subscription available in the market, which is $14.95 only. You can avoid violations with real-time alerts and make sure your drivers stay in compliance with the HoS rules. 


  • Free Device
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Low Subscription
  • No Contract
  • 30 Days Return

You can install the ELD by following three steps:-

  • ELD registration
  • Device installation
  • App installation

Things You Need To Stay In Compliance

To stay in compliance with the ELD rule, you will require three things:

  • Logging Device

Plug the device into the vehicle diagnostic port, and it will automatically start recording the driving hours. 

  • Logbook App

Download the logbook app and connect it to the device via Bluetooth. 

  • Tablet/Smartphone

The driver can change their duty status with their smartphones. 

Features Of Matrack ELD

  • Automatic HoS

The ELD automatically calculates HoS reports. It automatically records driving times, miles covered, and location to draft the report. 

  • DoT Inspection Mode

You can easily store your logs through your smartphone or tablet. And hence avoid unnecessary chaos. 

  • IFTA Report

Forget the day when you have to manually collect bills and then spend hours calculating the IFTA report. With the Matrack ELD, you can draft IFTA reports in minutes. 

  • Electronic DVIR

With the Matrack ELD, you can create vehicle inspection reports in minutes. 

  • Voice-based ELD status changes

One of the notable features of the Matrack ELD is the voice-based status change feature. We understand that it is not feasible for all drivers to edit their status. With the help of our ELD logbook app, the driver can make status changes with their voice. 

  • Effective Accident Reports

You cannot avoid unfortunate events. Even after different measures, sometimes accidents happen. But you can prevent unnecessary liabilities with the help of Matrack ELD. 

With the help of Matrack, you can create effective accident reports, reduce compensation, and avoid false liability.  

  • Bluetooth Integration

You can remain 100% compliant with the ELD rule with the Bluetooth-integrated ELD system. 

  • Driver Display

Get all information about your driver in one place including, HoS, driver logs, violations, details. 

  • Real-time GPS tracking

With the help of our Matrack ELD, you can stay updated about the location of different vehicles. You can even create geofence over the yard area to get real-time alerts when a truck enters or leaves. 

Customer Review

See what our customers have to say about us!

D. Wayne Patterson

“Converted to Matrack after years with another company based in NY that, for whatever reason, just became almost unresponsive and I’m happy now that I did. Matrack seems to be on the ball and customer service is very responsive.”

Rick R.

“We could do business with any GPS tracking platform we choose and have done business with most of the major players. None come close to the quality, value, and service offered by Matrack.”

Charles D.

“The software is extremely user-friendly and the entire format of Matrack is easier than any other ELD system I’ve ever used.”

By adhering to the above suggestions, you can avoid ELD violations and save yourself from unnecessary fines and penalties from low CSA scores.

On top of that, if your fleet has low CSA scores, the government could impose charges and suspend your fleet altogether. To avoid it, you can consider getting Matrack ELD. It is an affordable yet powerful solution that you have to try. 

For more details visit our website and talk to our experts.