Crossing Borders and the ELD Mandate

a truck with an ELD crossing the Canadian border

Contrary to what some people believe, and a few industry myths you might find on the internet, Canadian and Mexican drivers who cross the border into the US on their route don’t get to avoid the US ELD mandate. When driving on US highways, the drivers and fleets are subject to the rules of our roads. 

Here’s what you need to know.

ELD Mandate in the US

Drivers from Canada and Mexico who bring goods into the United States have long been required to follow US rules and regulations once they crossed the border. Even before the ELD mandate, these drivers were subject to the same inspections and enforcement as US-based fleets. Not complying with the FMCSA could take them off the road and require heavy fines to be paid.

This means that when the ELD mandate went into effect, Canadian and Mexican drivers had to make the switch from paper logs to electronic logging devices. Like US drivers, those with AOBRDs could keep them until the December 2019 deadline. They’re also subject to the same exemptions for vehicles manufactured in 1999 or older. 

Few Waivers for Mexican and Canadian Drivers

A common misconception is that drivers crossing the border don’t need an ELD as long as they go back to their home country each night. For the most part, this is inaccurate. The only real exception to the ELD mandate (beyond the age of the vehicle) are short-haul exemptions. Drivers from Mexico, Canada, or the US only qualify for this exception if they meet very specific criteria:

  • Drivers must start and return to the same location within 12 hours.
  • Drivers must spend no more than 11 hours driving.
  • They must maintain time-clock function.
  • Their route cannot exceed a 100 mile radius from their starting location, even if they cross the border.

The vast majority of Canadian and Mexican drivers don’t meet these criteria. So when their route brings them into the US, they’re required to have an ELD just like nearly every other truck driver on the road. 

ELDs in Canada and Mexico

Because there are drivers and fleets in Canada and Mexico that already comply with US ELD mandates, it should come as no surprise that the two countries are considering their own versions. The Canada ELD mandate is very similar to the US requirements and is set to be in full effect by June 2021. Mexico is still establishing hours of service (HOS) regulations and is much further from their own specific ELD mandate. It will likely happen, but not in the near future. Until then, the only Mexican drivers who need to be concerned about the US ELD mandate are those who cross the border into the US.

At Gorilla Safety, we provide ELD services for any fleet who wants to become compliant while becoming more efficient and profitable in the process. Our system is flexible and robust enough to handle nearly any need a fleet may encounter, including crossing the border. Need an ELD for your fleet? Contact us today!