September 15, 2023


The Canadian ELD Mandate is fast approaching, and carriers understandably have many questions on everything from how to purchase a certified ELD to what the mandate entails.

To answer some of the most pressing questions on the mandate, which is slated to go into effect on June 12, 2021, I hosted a webinar alongside Omnitracs Director of Sales Steve Atnikov. Read on for the most pertinent takeaways shared in the webinar, so you can know how to remain ahead of the compliance game.

Who the mandate affects

The first question many carriers ask is, ‘Does this mandate affect me?’ If you’re a federally-regulated carrier — meaning you provide extra-provincial transportation — operating in Canada, the answer is most likely, ‘Yes.’

U.S.- and Mexico-based carriers must also comply with the mandate if they’re in Canada and meet the requirements. Provinces and territories in Canada are currently deciding how the ELD requirements will impact intra-provincial carriers.

Vehicles are exempt from ELDs if they:

  1. Are under a short-term rental agreement for 30 days with no renewal or extension
  2. Fall under an administratively-issued Hours of Service (HOS) permit
  3. Were manufactured before the year 2000
  4. Are operating under Canadian statutory exemptions

No Record of Duty Status (RODS) logs are required if a driver is operating a commercial vehicle within 160 km from the home terminal.

The regulatory basics

Transport Canada and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) worked with jurisdictions in Canada to amend HOS regulations. As such, it is important to understand their reasoning for the mandate is to best ensure compliance with HOS, and nothing is expected to change outside of that. HOS regulations are not changing as a result of the mandate — they will simply be monitored electronically.

ELDs for use in Canada require certification by an accredited third party to ensure devices are compliant with the CCMTA’s Technical Standard for ELDs. This differs from U.S. regulations, which allow ELD providers to self-certify ELDs. As such, a certified device in the U.S. does not equate to a certified device in Canada.

As of December 4, 2020, there are currently no certified Canadian ELD-compliant devices. At the end of October, Transport Canada announced the first — and so far only — accredited certifying body.

How Canada differs from the U.S.

While many similarities exist between the Canadian and US ELD mandates, there are also notable differences. In addition to the third-party certification requirement, Canadian regulations include, and are not limited to, the following differences:

  • Unlike the U.S. ELD Mandate, Transport Canada determined there is no need for their regulations to include a grandfather clause.
  • Drivers must confirm if they want to continue on a ‘Yard Move’ status after the engine goes through a power cycle.
  • The ELD must monitor the ‘Personal Conveyance’ limit of 75 km and must automatically switch to a ‘Drive’ status when reached. ‘Personal Conveyance’ will not include location recording.
  • Driver RODS files must be transferred via email with a non-editable PDF and a data output file containing ELD-compliant RODS for the current 24-hour period and the previous 14 days. Bluetooth and USB transfer capabilities are optional.
  • Like everyone else, we are waiting on guidance on where these emails will be sent.
  • If an ELD malfunction persists, the motor carrier must repair or replace the ELD within 14 days of becoming aware of the technical issue.

A general overview of the ELD experience for new users

With the emergence of the Canadian ELD Mandate, many carriers who solely operate in Canada are aiming to familiarize themselves with what equipping their vehicles with an ELD entails. Here are just a few specific rules ELD users in Canada should be aware of:

  1. All vehicle movement is automatically recorded once the vehicle reaches 8 km/hour unless the driver first selects ‘Yard Move’ or ‘Personal Conveyance’.  Automatically recorded drive time cannot be edited or shortened and, with very limited exception, it cannot be reassigned.
  2. If a driver must move the vehicle while in ‘Sleeper Berth’ status, there is no way to move the vehicle without breaking the sleeper berth. The driver must annotate the reason for breaking the status, and a roadside inspector will need to review the annotation.  The driver should re-enter the ‘Sleeper Berth’ status and complete the full rest period.
  3. Drivers must certify their RODS immediately after completing the last entry of the day.
  4. Driver must be prepared to produce at roadside; 1) the ELD user manual 2) instruction sheets detailing reporting requirements for malfunctions and the process for the electronic transfer of RODS, and 3) at least 14 days of blank driver logs.  All of these items may be kept electronically, but drivers must know how to access them.

You can tune in to the full webinar here. Additionally, visit our Everything ELD webpage for all the latest FAQs, resources, and information on the Canadian ELD Mandate.