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J. J. Keller Support Center

Suggested ELD Annotations

Regulations governing electronic logging devices (ELDs) require drivers and other motor carrier personnel to enter certain annotations into the ELD record. Annotations - comments added to a driver's ELD record - are used to explain any special exemptions that apply, any edits that were made, or any other special circumstances that exist.

The trouble is, the hours-of-service regulations offer no guidance on what the annotations should say, and annotations are restricted to just 60 characters. This can make it difficult to decide how to write one.


What was going on?

Written properly, annotations help roadside enforcement personnel and auditors understand what was going on during a driver's day. Perhaps a driver hit heavy traffic and used the "adverse conditions" exception, or forgot to switch to "personal use" when driving to a local restaurant for lunch.


Annotations can be used to explain each of these. Absent an annotation, an inspector may assume there was a violation of the hours-of-service rules. This can make a properly written annotation vital to compliance.


The following are suggested annotations that may be used to explain various exemptions that may apply, as well as edits that ELD administrators may need to make. Keep in mind that annotations should be clear, concise, and refer to a regulation whenever possible.

Exemptions (PDF Copy)

Note to drivers: Your ELD may automatically account for the use of some of these exemptions and may make manual annotations unnecessary. Check with your safety office for details. When applicable, and as space allows, enter a document number for any documentation (e.g., shipment number, BOL number, work order number, etc.) that can support your claim of an exemption.




Suggested Annotation

School bus operation (home to school, school to home) School bus operation 390.3(f)(1)
Non-commercial transportation of personal property Non-commercial, personal property 390.3(f)(3)
Transporting deceased/sick/injured persons Transporting corpse/sick person/injured person 390.3(f)(4)
Fire truck or rescue vehicle engaged in emergency operations Engaged in emergency rescue/fire operations 390.3(f)(5)
9- to 15-passenger CMV, not used for direct compensation <16 passenger vehicle, no direct compensation 390.3(f)(6)
Propane winter-heating fuel delivery in response to an emergency condition Emergency propane heating-fuel delivery 390.3(f)(7)
Pipline emergency response Pipeline emergency response 390.3(f)(7)


Emergency conditions Emergency 395.1(b)(2):________ [enter explanation of the emergency]
Agricultural exemption Ag commodities/Farm supplies, 150-air-mile, 395.1(k)
Utility service vehicle exemption Utility service vehicle; HOS exempt 395.1(n)
Covered farm vehicle exemption Covered farm vehicle; HOS exempt 395.1(s)


Adverse driving conditions

Adverse conditions 395.1(b):________ [enter reason for unexpected delay, and location, such as:

  • Snow, sleet, fog, or other adverse weather or road conditions
  • Unusual traffic, such as caused by a crash]
Driver-salesperson Driver-salesperson 395.1(c)
Oilfield equipment 24- hour restart Oilfield equipment, 24-hr restart 395.1(d)(1)
Oilfield waiting time for specialized equipment Oilfield waiting time 395.1(d)(2)
150-air-mile exception 150 air mile time record 395.1(e)(1)
150-air-mile exception for non-CDL drivers 150 air mile time record 395.1(e)(2)
Local retail store delivers during Christmas season (Dec. 10-25) Retail store deliveries, 100 air mile radius 395.1(f)
Split sleeper-berth option Split sleeper berth 395.1(g)
Split rest break using sleeping accommodation at a natural gas or oil well site Split break, slept at oil/gas well location 395.1(g)(3)
Split break for passenger-carrying vehicle with sleeper berth Split rest in bus sleeper berth, 395.1(g)(3)
Alaska - property-carrying vehicle Alaska HOS 395.1(h)(1)
Alaska - passenger-carrying vehicle Alaska HOS 395.1(h)(2)
Groundwater well drilling 24-hour restart Groundwater well drilling rig 24-hr restart 395.1(l)
Transportation of construction materials and equipment in a 75-air-mile radius, 24-hour restart Construction materials/equipment 24-hr restart 395.1(m)
Short-haul 16-hour exception allowed once per week Short-haul 16-hour limit 395.1(o)
TV/movie production exception TV/movie HOS 395.1(p)
30-minute break exemption for bee transportation Transporting bees; exempt from 30-min break 395.1(u)
30-minute break exemption for livestock transportation Transporting livestock; exempt from 30-min break 395.1(v)
Hi-rail exception for transportation to/from duty assignment Hi-rail CMV; to/from duty assignment 395.1(w)
Personal Conveyance (if "personal use" driving category is not selected in the ELD Personal use: _________ [enter a brief explanation of the personal use, to justify its use]


ELD exempt: driver not required to log more than 8 days in 30 consecutive days ELD exempt: <8 days in 30 - 395.8(a)(1)(iii)
ELD exempt: driven vehicle is being delivered via driveaway/towaway operation ELD exempt: driven unit being delivered 395.8(a)(1)(iii)
ELD exempt: motor home or RV trailer being delivered via driveaway/towaway operation ELD exempt: motor home/RV being delivered 295.8(a)(1)(iii)


Edits (PDF Copy)

Note: An administrator may use the following suggested annotations to explain why an ELD record was edited.


Edit Reason

Suggested Annotation

Log out error Forgot to log out at proper time
Log in error Forgot to log in at proper time
Missed duty status change

Forgot to log off duty for break

Forgot to switch to SB [sleeper berth]

Forgot to switch to on duty

Duty status changes took place while the driver was away from the logging device Duty status changed when away from ELD
Driving time cannot be assigned to a specific ELD driver account

Drive time unassignable; _______ [explain]


"At shop for repair, driven by 3rd party" [other details should be added as available, such as shop name, work order number, etc.]


"Driven by exempt driver; _______ [explain why driver is not assigned an ELD account; identify the driver if possible]

Yard move logged as driving Forgot to switch to yard move
Driving logged as yard move Forgot to switch to normal driving


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