Officials continue to determine the impacts on the horse industry from federal regulations regarding commercial drivers' licensing and electronic logging devices. • QHN file photo

Federal Regulators Seek To Answer ELD/CDL Questions

When do those hauling horses need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or fall under newly imposed federal electronic logging device (ELD) regulations? Officials released two documents to try to answer those questions.

The American Horse Council (AHC) recently released two documents from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) entitled “Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Rules” and “Non-Business Related Transportation of Horses”

Regulators issued the documents to explain the exception for the transportation of horses when the transportation in question is not business related (neither for compensation, nor where the driver is engaged in an underlying business related to the move).

In these cases, the ACH says that Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations do not apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered. This includes the Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations, requirements for Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and CDL regulations, unless required by the driver’s home state. Both documents contain example scenarios that may help horse owners better understand the regulations as they exist today.

Click here to view “Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Rules.”

Click here to view “Non-Business Related Transportation of Horses”

The documents include scenarios under which a person would or would not fall subject to the regulations.

The AHC, a Washington, D.C.-based horse industry advocacy group, says it will will continue to pursue clarifications until the industry is satisfied that there are no unintended consequences from current CDL or ELD regulations. The AHC will take action where clarifications are not sufficient, including the continued collaboration with the entire livestock industry to get a delay in ELD enforcement.

AHC staff are still compiling the industry’s concerns and questions to forward to DOT and invite people to share their comments.

Additionally, DOT has established a specific email address for agricultural specific questions at [email protected] . This address will be used to generate a F.A.Q. page, which AHC officials told the department would be part of a website that would provide more information on the regulations.

The AHC encourages industry participants to send questions to the DOT email. If clarifications and the F.A.Q. fail to address the concerns of AHC members, then the AHC will continue its efforts and pursue both legislative and regulatory solutions.

Additional details available at

For more news and information from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.