Can anyone claim that their ELD is certified by the FMCSA?



There’s a lot of chatter out there right now about whose ELDs are certified and whose are not. But the fact is that as of today, no one can truly know whether an ELD will pass FMCSA certification and here’s why:

The rule requires that ELDs must be able to transfer data to the enforcement officer’s system either through wireless communication (wireless web services or e-mail) or local transfer (USB or Bluetooth).

For all four of these data transfer methods, key elements have not yet been specified by the FMCSA. As of today, the FMCSA has not specified which file system is to be used, what the client / server role definitions will be, what the data exchange protocol layers will be, or what the process to exchange the encryption keys needed to electronically sign the data will be.

So for now, it’s impossible to certify that an ELD complies with all Rule requirements, because of those missing technical specifications in the Rule.

But wait! Isn’t there a list of self-certified ELDs published by FMCSA? Yes, but it’s nothing more than a list of suppliers who claim that their products are compliant with the ELD rule. Being on the list does not guarantee that a product is or will be compliant when the data transfer specs are published.

When it comes to knowing whether an ELD available today will meet the Rule’s specs tomorrow, it’s vital for fleets to evaluate potential suppliers. Does the supplier have a history in the area of Electronic Logging? Will they be here to help maintain your investment and keep your ELD in spec a year from now? Two years? Five?

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