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What is personal conveyance?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Personal conveyance is a term that appears in the regulations applied to drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Also sometimes known as personal use, personal conveyance refers to a driver using the vehicle for transportation (conveyance) to a destination that is not part of the driver’s work responsibilities.

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An example is when the driver has completed work for the day and is off duty, and drives the vehicle home, to a motel or restaurant. 

Certain restrictions apply. The most basic is that a CMV driver is not automatically allowed to use an employer’s vehicle for personal conveyance; this is permitted at the discretion of the CMV owner.

In all cases – whether the driver is using his/her employer’s vehicle or is an owner-operator – the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Section 395.8 says that “A driver may not operate a laden CMV as a personal conveyance.” A laden commercial motor vehicle is one carrying cargo or passengers.  

Personal conveyance isn't always clear

 The code also defines when driving the CMV outside of on-duty hours qualifies as personal conveyance. If the driver uses the unladen CMV to drive home or elsewhere after working, this may fit the definition. But when that driver leaves home to begin a new trip, Hours of Service (HOS) rules may or may not go into effect as soon as the driver leaves that starting point.

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) describes it: “The driver who uses a motor carrier’s Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for transportation home, and is subsequently called by the employing carrier and is then dispatched from home, would be on-duty from the time the driver leaves home.”

Put more clearly, that reveals another layer of complication. A driver does not begin hours of service until starting a trip at the direction of the motor carrier. This means that driving the CMV from home to work may be considered personal conveyance if traveling from home to a dispatch terminal.  

Personal conveyance and ELDs

When drivers recorded hours of service in paper logbooks, designating some drive time as personal conveyance was largely a matter of writing it down that way – even though this wasn’t always viewed as conclusive. The introduction of electronic logging devices (ELDs) and the mandate requiring their adoption have led to renewed questions on how to record this time.

The FMCSA included personal conveyance and other off-duty periods when writing the regulations for ELDs, stating that “When the personal conveyance status is selected (as allowed and configured by the motor carrier), the CMV’s location is recorded with a lower level of precision (i.e., an approximate 10-mile radius).” The agency adopted this geographic approximation in response to industry groups that raised privacy concerns while FMCSA was drafting the ELD mandate. But as far as defining what is and what is not personal conveyance, the rules did not change.

Addressing the question of how to record personal conveyance using an ELD, the FMCSA states that “The driver must identify the driving time as personal conveyance on the device.” To do this, drivers and fleet managers can set up an ELD so that the driver selects a category generally labeled as “personal use,” to record this as off-duty driving.

Teletrac Navman telematics solutions enable drivers to produce efficient, accurate recording of hours of service, including personal conveyance. Whether implemented in a single commercial motor vehicle or an entire fleet, telematics driver and vehicle data gives drivers and managers the tools to stay compliant with regulations, improve fuel efficiency, and increase productivity and profit.  

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Part 395, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation

FAQs, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, July 12, 2017.

FAQs, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, April 3, 2017.