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In many different areas, commercial transporters are exempt from certain regulations. The information below outlines different area of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) of which drivers/carriers may be exempt.

eld mandate Exemptions

If the ELD Mandate was not already difficult enough to understand, select groups have been given permanent exemptions to the Mandate. Drivers are exempt from the ELD Mandate if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Vehicles with engine models prior to the year 2000

  • Drive-away tow-away operations

  • Drivers who are not required to maintain logbooks

  • Drivers who maintain a logbook for no more than 8 days in ANY 30-day period

Below are a few points and links to further describe some common misconceptions about ELD exemptions:

hos exemptions

  • Short-haul HOS Exemptions

    Short-haul drivers are not required to maintain a logbook — except for days when they drive beyond the short-haul limitations set by the FMCSA. These drivers are considered local drivers. They are exempt for as long as they do not breach the short-haul limitation more than 8 days in a 30-day period. Local driver limitations are the following:

    • The 100 air mile exemption is for CDL drivers who:

      • Operate within 100 air miles

      • Go off duty within 12 hours

      • Report back to the same work location every day

      • Have at least 10 consecutive hours off before starting their next on-duty period

    • The 150 air mile exemption is for non-CDL drivers who:

      • Operate within 150 air miles

      • Do not drive through any state that requires a CDL for the type of vehicle being driven

      • Report back to the same work location every day

      • Do not drive after the 14th hour of coming on duty in a period of seven consecutive days

      • Do not drive after the 16th hour of coming on duty in a period of two consecutive days

    • Drivers who qualify for these exemptions must maintain a record of:

      • The time they go on duty

      • The total number of hours they are on duty

      • The time they go off duty

  • 150 Air Mile HOS Exemption for Transporters of Agricultural Commodities

    Transporters of agricultural commodities are exempt for HOS for the 150 air-mile radius from the source of the commodities during state defined planting and harvest periods.

    This exemption also applies to the transport of farm supplies for agricultural purposes shipped from either a wholesale or retail distribution point to the location the supplies will be used or from a wholesale distribution point to a retailer.

    The following are provisions of this exemption for users to remember:

    • The exemption is available for both private and for hire carriers

    • HOS regulations do not apply while the driver is operating inside of the 150 air mile radius

    • Work and driving hours inside the 150 air mile radius are not limited

    • If a driver is using an ELD the driver can use an “Exempt Driver” account or annotate the time as 49 CFR 395.1(k). If a driver is using paper logs the driver should log the time spent in the radius as ‘off-duty’.

    • At the time and location where the transporter goes past the 150 air-mile radius the driver must resume logging hours normally.

    • There is no limit to the number of times a driver can use the exemption in a duty day.

    It is suggested that drivers and carriers fully understand the use of this exemption prior to use. TruckerNation offers educational services to drivers and carriers regarding this exemption. If this is something you are interested in please contact us at truckernation@gmail.com. The following are resources for drivers and carriers that utilize this exemption:

apply for an exemption

Would you like to file for an exemption? In 49 CFR 381, the FMCSA outlines exactly how to request an exemption to ANY of their regulations… all you have to do is take the time, follow their format and ask. It is important to note that this is not a 30 second task and will take a little bit of time.