The Record of Duty Status (RODs) is a system that is used to track the number of hours a driver spends on the road. It is a required part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service regulations, which are designed to prevent driver fatigue and promote road safety.
The record of duty status includes information about the driver’s time on the road, including the number of hours spent driving, as well as the number of hours spent resting or performing other non-driving tasks. This information is used to ensure that drivers are not exceeding the maximum number of hours allowed by law, and to prevent them from becoming fatigued while on the road.
Question 1: How should a change of duty status for a short period of time be shown on the driver’s record of duty status?
Short periods of time (less than 15 minutes) may be identified by drawing a line from the appropriate on-duty (not driving) or driving line to the remarks section and entering the amount of time, such as “6 minutes,” and the geographic location of the duty status change.
Question 2: May a rubber stamp signature be used on a driver’s record of duty status?
No, a driver’s record of duty status must bear the signature of the driver whose time is recorded thereon.
Question 3: If a driver’s record of duty status is not signed, may enforcement action be taken on the current day’s record if it contains false information?
Enforcement action can be taken against the driver even though that record may not be signed. The regulations require the driver to keep the record of duty status current to the time of last change of duty status (whether or not the record has been signed). Also, §395.8(e) states that making false reports shall make the driver and/or the carrier liable to prosecution.
Question 4: Must drivers, alternating between interstate and intrastate commerce, record their intrastate driving time on their record of duty status?
Yes, to account for all on-duty time for the prior 7 or 8 days preceding an interstate movement.
Question 5: May a driver, being used for the first time, submit records of duty status for the preceding 7 days in lieu of a signed statement?
The carrier may accept true and accurate copies of the driver’s record of duty status for the preceding 7 days in lieu of the signed statement required by §395.8(j)(2).
Question 6: How should multiple short stops in a town or city be recorded on a record of duty status?
All stops made in any one city, town, village, or municipality may be computed as one. In such cases, the sum of all stops should be shown on a continuous line as on-duty (not driving). The aggregate driving time between such stops should be entered on the record of duty status immediately following the on-duty (not driving) entry. The name of the city, town, village, or municipality, followed by the State abbreviation where all the stops took place, must appear in the “remarks” section of the record of duty status.
Question 7: Is the Canadian bilingual or any other record of duty status form acceptable in the U.S.?
Yes, provided the grid format and specific information required are included.
Question 8: May a motor carrier return a driver’s completed record of duty status to the driver for correction of inaccurate or incomplete entries?
Yes, although the regulations do not require a driver to submit “corrected” records of duty status. A driver may submit corrected records of duty status to the motor carrier at any time. It is suggested the carrier mark the second submission “CORRECTED COPY” and staple it to the original submission for the required retention period.
Question 9: May a duplicate copy of a record of duty status be submitted if an original was seized by an enforcement official?
A driver must prepare a second original record of duty status to replace any page taken by an enforcement official. The driver should note that the first original had been taken by an enforcement official and the circumstances under which it was taken.
Question 10: What regulation, interpretation, and/or administrative ruling requires a motor carrier to retain supporting documents and what are those documents?
Section 395.8(k)(1) requires motor carriers to retain all supporting documents at their principal places of business for a period of 6 months from the date of receipt.
Supporting documents are the records of the motor carrier which are maintained in the ordinary course of business and used by the motor carrier to verify the information recorded on the driver’s record of duty status.
- Bills of lading
- Carrier pros
- Freight bills
- Dispatch records
- Electronic mobile communication/tracking records
- Gate record receipts
- Weight/scale tickets
- Fuel receipts
- Fuel billing statements
- Toll receipts
- Toll billing statements
- Port of entry receipts
- Cash advance receipts
- Delivery receipts
- Lumper receipts
- Interchange and inspection reports
- Lessor settlement sheets
- Over/short and damage reports
- Agricultural inspection reports
- Driver and vehicle examination reports
- Crash reports
- Telephone billing statements
- Credit card receipts
- Border crossing reports
- Custom declarations
- Traffic citations
- Overweight/oversize permits and traffic citations.
Supporting documents may include other documents which the motor carrier maintains and can be used to verify information on the driver’s records of duty status.
If these records are maintained at locations other than the principal place of business but are not used by the motor carrier for verification purposes, they must be forwarded to the principal place of business upon a request by an authorized representative of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or State official within 2 business days.
Question 11: Is a driver who works for a motor carrier on an occasional basis and who is regularly employed by a non-motor carrier entity required to submit either record of duty status or a signed statement regarding the hours of service for all on-duty time as “on-duty time” as defined by §395.2?
Question 12: May a driver use “white-out” liquid paper to correct a record of duty status entry?
Any method of correction would be acceptable so long as it does not negate the obligation of the driver to certify by his or her signature that all entries were made by the driver and are true and correct.
Question 13: Are drivers required to draw continuous lines between the off-duty, sleeper berth, driving, and on-duty (not driving) lines on a record of duty status when changing their duty status?
No. Under §395.8(h) the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require that continuous lines be drawn between the appropriate time markers within each duty status line, but they do not require that continuous lines be drawn between the appropriate duty status lines when drivers change their duty status.
Question 14: What documents satisfy the requirement to show a shipping document number on a record of duty status as found in §395.8(d)(11)?
The following are some of the documents acceptable to satisfy the requirement: shipping manifests, invoices/freight bills, trip reports, charter orders, special order numbers, bus bills or any other document that identifies a particular movement of passengers or cargo.
In the event of multiple shipments, a single document will satisfy the requirement. If a driver is dispatched on a trip, which is subsequently completed, and then is dispatched on another trip on that calendar day, two shipping document numbers or two shippers and commodities must be shown in the remarks section of the record of duty status.
Question 15: If a driver from a foreign country only operates in the U.S. one day a week, is he required to keep a record of duty status for every day?
A foreign driver, when in the U.S., must produce a current record of duty status, and sufficient documentation to account for his duty time for the previous 6 days.
Question 16: Are drivers required to include their total on-duty time for the previous 7 to 8 days (as applicable) on the driver’s record of duty status?
Question 17: Can military time be used on the grid portion of the driver’s record of duty status?
Yes. The references to 9:00 A.M., 3:00 P.M., etc. in §395.8(d)(6) are examples only. Military time is also acceptable.
Question 18: Section 395.8(d)(4) requires that the name of the motor carrier be shown on the driver’s record of duty status. If a company owns more than one motor carrier subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), may the company use logs listing the names of all such motor carrier employers and require the driver to identify the carrier for which he or she drives?
Yes, provided three conditions are met. First, the driver must identify his or her motor carrier employer by a method that would be visible on a photocopy of the log. A dark checkmark by the carrier’s name would be acceptable. However, a colored highlight of the name would not be acceptable, since these colors are often transparent to photocopiers.
Second, the driver may check off the name of the motor carrier employer only if he or she works for a single carrier during the 24-hour period covered by the log.
Third, if the parent company uses Multi-day Logs (Form 139 or 139A), the log for each day must list all motor carrier employers and the driver must identify his or her carrier each day.
Question 19: Regulatory guidance issued by the Office of Motor Carriers states that a driver’s record-of-duty-status (RODS) may be used as the 100 air-mile radius time record “provided the form contains the mandatory information.” Is this “mandatory information” that is required of a normal RODS under section 395.8(d) or that of the 100 air-mile radius exemption under section 395.1(e)(5)?
The “mandatory information” referred to is the time records specified by §395.1(e)(5) which must show: (1) the time the driver reports for duty each day; (2) the total number of hours the driver is on duty each day; (3) the time the driver is released from duty each day; and (4) the total time for the preceding 7 days in accordance with §395.8(j)(2) for drivers used for the first time or intermittently.
Using the RODS to comply with §395.1(e)(5) is not prohibited as long as the RODS contains driver identification, the date, the time the driver began work, the time the driver ended work, and the total hours on duty.
Question 20: When a driver fails to meet the provisions of the 100 air-mile radius exemption (section 395.1(e)), is the driver required to have copies of his/her records of duty status for the previous seven days? Must the driver prepare daily records of duty status for the next seven days?
The driver must only have in his/her possession a record of duty status for the day he/she does not qualify for the exemption. The record of duty status must cover the entire day, even if the driver has to record retroactively changes in status that occurred between the time that the driver reported for duty and the time in which he/she no longer qualified for the 100 air-mile radius exemption. This is the only way to ensure that a driver does not claim the right to drive 10 hours after leaving his/her exempt status, in addition to the hours already driven under the 100 air-mile exemption.
Question 21: What is the carrier’s liability when its drivers falsify records of duty status?
A carrier is liable both for the actions of its drivers in submitting false documents and for its own actions in accepting false documents. Motor carriers have a duty to require drivers to observe the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
Question 22: If a driver logs his/her duty status as “driving” but makes multiple shortstops (each less than 15 minutes) for on-duty or off-duty activities, marks a vertical line on the grid for each stop, and records the elapsed time for each in the remarks section of the grid, would the aggregate time spent on those non-driving activities be counted against the 10-hour driving limit?
No. On-duty not driving time or off-duty time is not counted against the 10-hour driving limit.
Question 23: When the driver’s duty status changes, do §§395.8(c) or 395.8(h)(5) require a description of on-duty not driving activities (“fueling,” “pre-trip,” “loading,” “unloading,”, etc.) in the remarks section in addition to the name of the nearest city, town or village followed by the State abbreviation?
No. Many motor carriers require drivers to identify work performed during a change of duty status. Part 395 neither requires nor prohibits this practice.
Question 24: When must a driver complete the signature/certification of the driver’s record of duty status?
In general, the driver must sign the record of duty status immediately after all required entries have been made for the 24-hour period. However, if the driver is driving at the end of the 24-hour period, he/she must sign during the next stop. A driver may also sign the record of duty status upon going off duty if he/she expects to remain off duty until the end of the 24-hour period.
Question 25: Is a driver (United States or foreign) required to maintain a record of duty status(log book)in a foreign country before entering the U.S.?
No. The Federal Highway Administration FHWA does not require drivers to prepare records of duty status while operating outside the jurisdiction of the United States. However, it may be advantageous for any driver (U.S. or foreign) to prepare records of duty status for short-term foreign trips. Upon entering the U.S., each driver must either: (a) Have in his/her possession a record of duty status current on the day of the examination showing the total hours worked for the prior seven consecutive days, including time spent outside the U.S.; or, (b) Demonstrate that he/she is operating as a “100 air-mile (161 air-kilometer) radius driver” under §395.1(e).
Question 26: Under what circumstances may a driver operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance?
A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance (i.e., for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier at that time. Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, this guidance, such as banning the use of a CMV for personal conveyance purposes, imposing a distance limitation on personal conveyance, or prohibiting personal conveyance while the CMV is laden.
(a) Examples of appropriate uses of a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance include, but are not limited to:
- Time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodging (such as a motel or truck stop) to restaurants and entertainment facilities.
- Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting distance combined with the release from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
- Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
- Moving a CMV at the request of a safety official during the driver’s off-duty time.
- Time spent traveling in a motor coach without passengers to en route lodging (such as motel or truck stop), or to restaurants and entertainment facilities and back to the lodging. In this scenario, the motor-coach driver can claim personal conveyance provided the driver is off duty. Other off-duty drivers may be on board the vehicle and are not considered passengers.
- Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.
- Authorized use of a CMV to travel home after working at an offsite location.
(b) Examples of uses of a CMV that would not qualify as personal conveyance include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The movement of a CMV in order to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, bypassing available resting locations in order to get closer to the next loading or unloading point or other scheduled motor carrier destination.
- After delivering a towed unit, and the towing unit no longer meets the definition of a CMV, the driver returns to the point of origin under the direction of the motor carrier to pick up another towed unit.
- Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce in order to fulfill a business purpose, including bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer in order to retrieve another load or repositioning a CMV (tractor or trailer) at the direction of the motor carrier.
- Time spent driving a passenger-carrying CMV while passenger(s) are on board. Off-duty drivers are not considered passengers when traveling to a common destination of their own choice within the scope of this guidance.
- Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed.
- After being placed out of service for exceeding the maximum periods permitted under part 395, time spent driving to a location to obtain required rest, unless so directed by an enforcement officer at the scene.
- Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.
- Time spent operating a motor coach when luggage is stowed, the passengers have disembarked and the driver has been directed to deliver the luggage.
Question 27: May a driver use a computer, tablet, or smartphone (that is not an Automatic On-Board Recording Device) to create, electronically sign, and store the record of duty status (RODS)?
Yes. A driver may make manual duty-status entries to a computer, tablet, or smartphone program that is used to generate the graph grid and entries for the record of duty status (RODS) or logbook, provided the electronically-generated display (if any) and output includes the minimum information required by §395.8 and is formatted in accordance with that section. The driver must sign the RODS (manually or electronically) at the end of each 24-hour period to certify that all required entries are true and correct.
- If electronic signatures are not used:
- The driver must print and manually sign the RODS daily.
- The driver must have in his or her possession the printed and signed RODS for the prior seven consecutive days (if required on those days).
- The driver should be given an opportunity to print and manually sign the current day’s RODS at the time of the inspection.
- If RODS have been electronically signed:
- At the time of an inspection of records by an enforcement official, the driver may display the current and prior seven days’ RODS to the official on the device’s screen.
- If the enforcement official requests printed copies of the RODS, the driver must be given an opportunity to print the current and prior seven days’ RODS (if required on those days) at the time of inspection.
[79 FR 39343, July 10, 2014]
Question 28: Are drivers who electronically scan a copy of their original record of duty status (RODS) for subsequent submission to the motor carrier required to prepare the RODS in duplicate?
No. Although 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1) states, “Every driver who operates a commercial motor vehicle [in interstate commerce] shall record his/her duty status, in duplicate, for each 24-hour period,” the intent of the requirement may be fulfilled through the electronic submission of a scanned image of the original handwritten RODS to the regular employing motor carrier within 13 days following the completion of the form, while the driver retains the original records for the current day and the previous 7 consecutive days. Because existing regulations concerning the preservation of records (49 CFR 390.31) allow motor carriers to store electronically a scanned image of the original handwritten RODS submitted by drivers and essentially dispose of the original paper document, there is no adverse impact on the enforcement of the HOS regulations, and subsequently no compromise on the application of the safety requirement by allowing the driver to submit a scanned image of the original signed RODS to the regular employing motor carrier within 13 days of the completion of the record. Motor carriers must maintain the scanned image of the signed RODS and all supporting documents for each driver for a period of six months from the date of receipt (49 CFR 395.8(k)).
[75 FR 32861, June 10, 2010]