FAQs and Guidance Electronic Logging Devices and Commercial Driver's Licenses

February 14, 2018

The Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) recognizes the implementation of the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule has created some confusion and concern. The FMCSA has relayed that they are reviewing all states concerns at the national level and will be providing additional guidance. The WHP will continue to prioritize education and training over enforcement to members of the public that we serve. 

The new ELD Rules have also brought to light some concerns regarding state enforcement of requirements for Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs). The new ELD Rule simply replaces the paper log book system for recording Hours of Service of drivers and company officials. Hours of Service requirements did not change with the implementation of the new ELD Rule. CDL requirements have not changed, but the implementation of the new ELD rule has highlighted attention on enforcement of CDL requirements in states. Listed below are some of the most common
questions the WHP has received regarding this matter. Most of these questions and many more are addressed on the FMCSA website as well (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov).

1.    Who must comply with the new ELD rule?
The new ELD Rule applies to commercial drivers who have been required to maintain log books or Records of Duty Status (RODS) per Part 395, 49 CFR 395.B(a), of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The new ELD Rule applies to commercial buses as well as trucks and to Canada and Mexico domiciled drivers.

Exceptions to the ELD Rules include:

  • Commercial drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required
  • to keep RODS and will not be required to use ELDs.
  • Commercial drivers who normally operate under the shorthaul exceptions are allowed to use paper RODS for up to 8 days in a 30-day period.
  • Commercial drivers who conduct drive-away/tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Commercial drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

2.    Is there an exemption for persons who occasionally transport horses or vehicles to shows or competitions, including events where prize money is offered?
Yes and see the next question for Wyoming specific information.

Providing: The activities are not undertaken for profit, i.e., prize money is not declared as ordinary income for tax purposes; the cost of the activities is not deducted as a business expense for tax purposes; and corporate sponsorship is not involved. See question three for Wyoming specific information. 

Note: This did not change with the implementation of the new ELD Rule and previously enacted rules and exemptions regarding agricultural operations did not change with the implementation of the new ELD Rule, including Wyoming statutes. 

Exemption Examples: 

(A)    High school or college students on a rodeo team hauling their animals to a school supported event. (No log book required.)
(B)    A weekend racer hauling their unsponsored race car to a track for competition where prize money is paid but the driver does not claim it as income. (No log book required.)
(C)    Rancher hauling their own cattle to the livestock market in the state. (No log book required.)

3. Do I need a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)?
Note: No changes occurred to CDL requirements in Wyoming due to the new ELD Rule. 

  • If you operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles which is rated at, or weighs 26,001 lbs. or greater, you are operating for profit and you do not meet the exemption requirements listed above, you would be required to have a Class "A" CDL. EXAMPLE: Truck GVWR = 12,000 lbs. and Trailer GVWR = 14,500 lbs. hauling for compensation. This would also require a DOT medical card to operate.
  • When in commerce and transporting property across state lines, a DOT# and DOT Medical card are required when the weight rating for the vehicle(s) is over 10,001 lbs. This would include an ELD if not otherwise exempted.

4.    Will my truck shut off or go into "idle mode" if equipped with an ELD and I have reached the maximum allowed hours of service for driving/on duty?

  • No

The specifications for ELDs do not include requirements to control the vehicle. An ELD is a recording device that records vehicle parameters through its synchronization to the vehicle's engine, and allows for entries related to a driver's Records of Duty Status. 

5. When do the commercial vehicle regulations apply to me?

Note: Please keep in mind that defined exemptions are specific to Wyoming and may be different in another state that you are traveling to. 

(A)    Do you declare prize money as ordinary income for tax purposes?
(B)    Are the costs for the activities deducted as a business expense for tax purposes?
(C)    Do you accept products and/or money for advertising from a sponsor?
(D)    Is the transport vehicle being used as a commercial for hire operation?
(E)    Are you being paid to transport property?

If you answered "YES" to ANY of the above questions, continue to the next question. 
If you answered "NO" to ALL questions above, you are not a commercial operation. 

(F)    Is the "gross vehicle weight" of the single vehicle or combination (truck and trailer) greater than 10,001 lbs., AND you are crossing a state line?
(G)    Is the "gross vehicle weight" of the single vehicle or combination (truck and trailer) greater than 26,001 lbs., AND you are operating solely within Wyoming?

lf you answered "YES" to ANY of the above questions, you are subject to commercial regulations for the state you travel within. 
If you answered "NO," you are not subject to the commercial vehicle regulations. 

6.    What happens if I go to a rodeo in another state?

  • If you meet any of the exemptions in the law ( also mentioned above), you will not need a log book, ELD, and you will not need a CDL. If you do not meet the exemptions in the law, you may be subject to one or more of the requirements, dependent upon your particular situation. (This is not new, but with the implementation of the new ELD law, it has recently highlighted this requirement).

7.    What happens if I travel to another state to sell my livestock?

  • If you are operating a "covered farm vehicle" and are within 150 "air miles" of your farm/ranch, you will not need a log book or ELD, and you will not be required to have a CDL. You will, however, need an Interstate DOT number. (This is not new, but with the implementation of the new ELD law, it has recently highlighted this requirement).
  • If you are not operating a "covered farm vehicle" or are operating a "covered farm vehicle" outside 150 "air miles" from your farm/ranch, you will be considered a commercial entity, and will be subject to all applicable federal regulations and state law.

Note: A "covered farm vehicle" is defined as a vehicle owned and operated by a farm/ranch employee, and hauling that 
farm/ranch's commodity, and there must be a state-issued designator, such as verbiage on the registration or a decal on the license plate, which would indicate it is a farm/ranch vehicle. 

As the WHP continues to receive guidance from the FMCSA, updated information will be shared with our partners. 
For more information or if you have questions please contact:

  • Captain Scot Montgomery: 307-777-4312
  • Lieutenant Dan Wyrick: 307 -777-4872
  • Federal Motor Carrier Administration: 307 -772-2305
  • Wyoming Trucking Association: 307-234-1579

The Wyoming Highway Patrol will continue to update this information as necessary, as well as continue our practice of assisting citizens through training and education of all matters regarding public safety.