The Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers (the Regulation) requires that heavy vehicle drivers document their on-duty time, hours of driving and off-duty time in a daily log. To do so, drivers can fill out a daily log (paper or electronic) or use an electronic logging device (ELD).
Using an ELD has many advantages. As hours are logged automatically, the device makes it easier to follow the requirements of the Regulation and thereby helps prevent fatigue at the wheel. In addition, drivers save time as they are not required to manually record their hours.
In June 2019, Transport Canada published the Regulation Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations. This new regulation, which comes into effect on June 12, 2021, will make it mandatory for certain heavy vehicle drivers to use ELDs to document their driving and off-duty hours. To ensure fluidity in transport operations, the Government of Québec has committed to harmonizing its legislation with that of the federal government.
To do so, amendments will have to be made to the Highway Safety Code and the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers.
Read below to find out more about ELDs and the work in progress.
To ease the transition, the SAAQ allows drivers to use both a paper log and an ELD for a maximum of three weeks. This accommodation is allowed as long as all information regarding driving and off-duty hours are kept in the driver’s file. The driver must also have on hand a signed letter from his or her employer indicating:
The letter must also be kept in the driver’s file.
Once the new Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers comes into effect, the heavy vehicles in question will have to be equipped with a device that meets Canada’s technical specifications regarding ELDs.
See the list of certified ELDs.
In Québec, the requirements set out in the federal regulation will be incorporated into the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers during the coming months. The goal is to make ELDs mandatory in Québec by June 2022 at the latest. In the meantime, drivers may continue to use paper daily logs. This applies to all vehicles travelling in Québec, whether they are registered in Québec or elsewhere.
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This will be the case only after the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers has been amended to make ELDs mandatory and to incorporate the requirements set out in the federal regulation. In the meantime, drivers of extra-provincial commercial motor vehicles that travel in Québec may continue to use paper or electronic daily logs until the new Regulation comes into effect.
It is your responsibility to verify the requirements regarding ELDs in each province in which you plan to travel. In March 2021, Transport Canada reissued a statement indicating that ELDs would become mandatory, as planned, in June 2021. In other provinces, the enforcement of the federal regulation and the obligation to use ELDs may be gradual and begin with an outreach period to increase awareness.
Visit the website of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
See the page Driving and Off-Duty Time.
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To reach the dedicated line for heavy vehicle owners, operators and drivers, call 1 800 554-4814.
Last update: July 21, 2021