New avenue for requesting more time to replace a malfunctioning ELD

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration earlier this week announced the creation of an email address that can be utilized by carriers who need to request an extension of the eight-day period allowed in the regulations for carriers to repair or replace an electronic logging device that malfunctions.

Have you experienced an ELD malfunction? You’re not alone. | Photo courtesy of owner-operators Nick and Kim HolleyHave you experienced an ELD malfunction? You’re not alone. | Photo courtesy of owner-operators Nick and Kim Holley

In such an event, the ELD mandate rule specified, the affected driver can utilize paper logs for up to eight days, after which the carrier would need to request an extension if more time was needed. To date, carriers have been instructed to send requests for extensions directly through one of the many FMCSA division offices, whichever one covered the area in which the carrier is domiciled. (49 Code of Federal Regulations 395.34 outlines copious driver and carrier responsibilities during an ELD malfunction; access the reg in full via this link.)

Now, when requesting an extension, carriers can utilize the ELD-Extension@dot.gov address. FMCSA spokesman Duane DeBruyne says that email requests received will still be routed to the appropriate state division offices, and the “FMCSA state-based Division Administrator will make the determination” whether to grant the extension and “provide notification.”

DeBruyne also notes that, while the established route toward contacting the state division offices directly is still an option to carriers, the centralized email should also have the effect of allowing FMCSA headquarters to keep tabs on the “malfunctions occurring across the country.”

DeBruyne adds that prompt relay of incoming messages can be expected. “These are taken very seriously, and are dealt with as expeditiously as possible.”

With the announcement of the new central email address, FMCSA also advised carriers that it had added answers within its ELD FAQs related to questions about similar processes for malfunctioning Automatic Onboard Recording Devices, accessible via the ELD FAQs at this link, click “Automatic Onboard Recording Devices.”

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