Canada adopts ELD mandate

By: Heather Ness

Publication: Transportation Permit & Tax Regulatory Alert

Date Posted: 06/21/2019

ELDs will be phased-in over a 24-month period

Transport Canada adopted the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate on June 12, 2019. The requirements will become mandatory for all federally-regulated carriers over a 24-month phase-in period.

Transport Canada’s regulation adopts by reference the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrator’s (CCMTA) Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices, April 11, 2019, which includes the technical operational standards and requirements for ELDs used in Canada.

Canada adopts ELD mandate

Significant changes summary

Significant provisions in the rule include the following:

ELDs used in Canada will need to be certified by a third party. The process for certification is expected to take 12 months. Transport Canada is still finalizing the certification process and will eventually maintain a listing of ELD providers and their certified devices on its website.

Exemptions to the use of ELDs are limited. Exemptions for using ELDs apply to:

  • Drivers that are driving under a permit or statutory exemption;
  • Drivers of vehicles subject to rental agreements for a term of 30 days or less; and
  • Commercial vehicles that were manufactured before the year 2000.

Transmission to enforcement will be via email. Enforcement officers will view the hours recorded on the device but may request the driver send his or her ELD record to the officer via email. Local transfer by Bluetooth or USB is an option but is not a mandatory function of an ELD.

Comparison to the U.S. mandate

Canada’s requirements closely follow the U.S. rules and operability requirements, but there are some differences. Notable differences between Canada’s ELD mandate and the U.S. mandate regulation include:


United States

24-month implementation (June 2021), no grandfathering provisions

Mandate adopted Dec. 2015; mandate effective Dec. 2017; grandfathering for carriers using AOBRDs ends Dec. 2019

ELD 3rd party certification

ELD provider self-certification

Exemptions for drivers operating under a permit or statutory exemption; drivers operating a CMV for 30 days or less; drivers operating CMVs manufactured before the year 2000

Multiple exemptions; drivers operating a rental CMV for 8 days or less; pre-2000 exemption is the same as Canada

Drivers must carry 15 blank paper logs

Drivers must carry 8 blank paper logs

Compliance with the limits must be tracked and driver must be warned 30 minutes before reaching a limit

U.S. devices must only record, no warning required

Other “tweaks” to the rules

While the hours of service limits in Canada have not changed with the adoption of the ELD mandate, Transport Canada did take the opportunity to address technical amendments to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations. These technical amendments incorporate several of the changes made to the CCMTA’s National Safety Code Standard 9, Hours of Service, adopted in 2010. Many of these technical amendments are effective as of June 12, 2019.

The definition of on-duty time has been modified to clarify that time spent in a stationary motor vehicle can be off duty to satisfy the additional two-hour off-duty daily requirement, but not to obtain an eight-hour core rest period. Also, the definition was modified to add that fueling and performing yard movements (not on a public road) both qualify as on-duty time. Personal use allowance provisions have been moved under the definition of on-duty time, to be treated as an exception to on-duty time.

The short-haul log exemption was also modified. Carriers with drivers operating within 160 kilometers of the home terminal are now required to keep track of only the driver’s cycle, the driver’s on-duty hours, and any supporting documents related to the record. Before the rule change, carriers were required to keep a record of all duty status changes, the times spent in each duty status, and the time at which each duty status started and ended.

About the author
Heather Ness - Transportation Editor

As an Editor in Transport Operations, she provides regulatory support for a variety of products, including manuals, online services, forms, handbooks, and software. Her areas of expertise include Canada's federal and provincial transportation safety regulations and Canada's laws regarding vehicle licensing, vehicle size and weight limits, and fuel taxes.

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