Hours of Service

What is the Short-Haul Exemption?

The short-haul exemption is a limited exemption from the Record of Duty Status and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) requirements and the 30-minute rest break requirements for certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. To qualify for the exemption, drivers must work within certain conditions. 

This post explains the short-haul exemption, its purpose, and how CMV drivers and companies qualify for it.

How does the short-haul exemption work?

Drivers using the short-haul exemption are exempt from using an ELD. Specifically, drivers who use this exemption are exempt from the electronic Driver’s Record of Duty Status and Supporting Documents requirements found in Section 395.8 and 395.11 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).

Drivers using the short-haul exemption are also exempt from having to take a 30-minute rest break during their work shifts. (See Section 395.3 of the FMCSRs).

What is the purpose of the short-haul exemption?

The purpose of the short-haul exemption is to provide CMV drivers who operate locally with regulatory relief relating to documenting their driving and working time throughout their day. Short-haul drivers usually have regular work schedules and typically do not drive for lengthy or extended periods of time.

Who can use the short-haul exemption?

Motor carriers and drivers can only take advantage of the short-haul exemption if:

  • The driver operates within a 150* air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location;
  • The driver does not exceed, and is released from work within 14 consecutive hours; 
  • The driver begins and ends the workday at the same location; 
  • The driver has at least ten consecutive hours off-duty between each work shift; and
  • The company keeps time records for all of its short-haul drivers for a minimum of six months that show start time, end time, and total work time for each work shift.

Note: By rule, one air-mile is equal to 1.15 statute (or road) mile. Therefore, the 150 air-mile radius is 172.6 miles from the terminal.