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FMCSA OKs Digital Signatures on Logging Software

WASHINGTON, DC— The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now accepts digital driver signatures on its hours of service logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Although FMCSA already allowed drivers to use this type of logging software, the previous (January 2011) regulatory guidance required drivers to print and sign the record of duty status that these devices generated.

The new guidance went into effect July 10 and requires the driver to sign the record of duty status electronically at the end of each work day and be able to display the electronic record at the roadside. This guidance is not the same as the new electronic logging devices mandate, for which a final rule has not yet been issued.

"This guidance will allow all of us to move off paper logs and adopt new low cost technology producing error-free electronic 'paperwork,'” said David Owen, president of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies. “Crucially, it also makes verification easier for roadside enforcement officials, who are now permitted to accept the electronic logs as presented on a tablet or smartphone."

Drivers will be required to have the prior seven days of electronically signed logs available to be viewed on the device’s screen during an inspection. Law enforcement can request printed copies or the logs, and the driver must be given an opportunity to print the current and prior seven days.

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