Canadian ELD Mandate Exemptions

The Canadian ELD is fast approaching. It’s important to fully understand the Canada ELD mandate and prepare for it ahead of the June 12, 2021, deadline, especially for those who travel cross-border and must adhere to both the US and the Canadian rules.

Visit our dedicated article on the Canadian ELD rule to learn about the full Mandate.


It’s important to note that Canada has decided on a progressive enforcement period, here is the statement by the Minister of Transport:

“As such, with the support of provinces and territories, and in consultation with industry, we will work together on the successful and effective implementation of a progressive enforcement period. This will give sufficient time for industry to obtain and install certified electronic logging devices without penalty as of June 12, 2021. Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness.”.

Read the full statement here.

What are the Canada-ELD Mandate Exemptions?

According to the Canada Gazette Part 2, there are four main exemptions from ELDs:

Commercial motor vehicles will be exempt if:

  • They are operating under a permit from a provincial or territorial HOS director;
  • Have a statutory exemption;
  • They are subject to a rental agreement with terms being under 30 days;
  • They are operating a vehicle manufactured before 2000.
  • In addition, there are exemptions that apply to truckers themselves. Truckers will be exempt from using ELDs in Canada if they fall under the short haul exemption and don’t drive outside of a 160-kilometer radius of their home terminal.
Since Canadian operators can also drive in the U.S., what are the U.S. ELD mandate exemptions?

In the U.S., the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently allows the following ELD mandate exemptions:

  • Short haul drivers
  • Drivers who operate within a 100-air-mile radius, who may continue to use timecards
  • Non-CDL (commercial driver license) freight drivers who operate within a 150-air-mile radius
  • “Drive-away, tow-away” operators
  • Vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.
  • Livestock and ag haulers 
Does the Canadian ELD mandate change the hours of service rule?

The Canadian ELD mandate does not change the Hours of Service rules already in place; it will monitor most drivers’ and carriers’ compliance with the rules by requiring the use of a certified Electronic Logging Device.

What are the differences between the ELD mandate rules in the U.S. and Canada?

There are some slight differences between the Canadian and U.S. regulations on ELDs as well as the work shift rule

  • Unlike the U.S. ELD mandate, the Canadian version does not have a grandfather provision for ERDs (like AOBRDs).
  • There is no driveaway-towaway exemption in the Canadian ELD mandate.
  • Canada limits personal conveyance to 75 km or 46.6 miles per day. At the 76th kilometer, the ELD switches to drive status, and then drivers will have to do a full reset before they can utilize personal conveyance again.
  • Canada has a work shift rule, and you have a day rule, and there are multiple requirements within those even in splitting sleeper berth time. There are differences between team drivers and single drivers. There are differences in the “cycles (70 hours in 7 days and 120 hours in 14 days). Perhaps the biggest change coming our way is that the Canadian regulations say the driver has control over many of those things.
  • Canadian ELDs must also meet the Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices published by the The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) which outlines the minimum requirements.
  • Canadian drivers will not transfer logs electronically to a federal system like eRODS in the U.S. Drivers will be required to email a specially created transfer file to officers, and officers may have software to convert the file into a readable format. The industry awaits more details on this process.
Main difference between the US and Canadian ELD

One key difference is that Canadian ELDs must be third-party certified, not self-certified. In the U.S., ELD devices are self-certified by the manufacturer that they meet requirements, and then registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The Canadian Trucking Alliance has strongly supported this measure, stating that it will help strengthen overall compliance and discourage device tampering.

What are the similarities to the US ELD mandate?

The Canadian ELD regulations are similar in many respects to the current U.S. regulations on electronic logging, which went into effect in December 2017. Below are the similarities:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are not changing.
  • Data retention: ELDs will have to put together and transfer an output file, and motor carriers will be required to keep drivers’ Records of Duty Status for six months.
  • Synchronize with the engine
  • Provide GPS tracking
  • Capture drive time automatically
  • Use an on-screen display to show inspectors at roadside
  • The ELD lets drivers use special driving statuses; Yard Move (YM) and Personal Conveyance (PC)
  • The ELD has a mechanism to verify logs and agree to edits
Who created the final ELD mandate rule for Canada, and who is responsible for certifying ELDs?

The final ELD mandate rule was handed down by Transport Canada, a federal institution responsible for transport policies and programs.

As part of that rule, Transport Canada requires that ELDs be approved by a third party before they can be sold or installed. At this time , there is only third-party body to certify ELDs in Canada and that is FPInnovations.

Where can I find additional resources about the Canadian ELD mandate?

Find out how our fleet management solution gives you the visibility you are looking for with integrations for asset tracking, dash cams, ELD, temperature monitoring and much more! 

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