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ELD Data Transfer Options for Geotab Drive

ELD Data Transfer Options for Geotab Drive

Carriers and owner-operators who have already adopted electronic logging will need to know how to digitally transfer their Hours of Service (HOS) data to an officer at an inspection site. This blog post describes how ELD data transfer works with Geotab Cloud ELD.  

ELD Data Transfer Methods for Geotab

Currently, there are three options provided by Geotab:

  1. Report Display — The officer has to be able to access the phone/tablet and view a compliant report of the HOS logs. This method is the fallback if there are any internet connectivity issues when transferring data using other methods.
  2. Email — An encrypted message is sent to the FMCSA directly and is then routed back to an officer.
  3. Web Services — Using encrypted HTTPS, the data is transferred over the internet to the FMCSA servers and then downloaded by the officer on their eRODs device.

comment field for Geotab Drive eld data transfer

The optional comment is to be filled in by the officer. This is so they are able to pick up transfered data via email/web services on their eROD device.

When using email, the FMCSA will respond to the party that sent the message with an “Okay” or error message.

If the driver’s username is an email address, Geotab will mark the driver as the person the FMCSA will reply to. This lets drivers find out on their own email system the result of the data transfer. The driver’s logs are not returned in the message, just the confirmation receipt.

Example responses from the FMCSA web services include:

  • Warnings: Invalid VIN
  • Information: Missing Required Field
  • Errors: Invalid Field Length
  • If Geotab is running, but the FMCSA servers have connection issues, you will get a message saying “Timeout communicating with FMCSA web service”. In this case, your best plan of action is to try Email or Report Display options.
  • The “Broadcast” message is provided by the FMCSA to all drivers, and Geotab outputs the broadcast on all web service responses

warning message in Geotab Drive eld data transfer
Sample ELD data transfer error message

At the outset of ELD enforcement, the FMCSA may not have fully rolled out their eRODs system, so drivers may be responsible for handing their phone/tablet to the officer to display the generated Compliance Report.

Advantages of Telematics Transfer by Web

The ELD regulations also allow local data transfer options (USB or Bluetooth®), but those are prone to spotty connections or cumbersome USB wires.

IOT is taking the world by storm, so Geotab embraces the future-based transfer methods that are simple for both drivers and officers. Web services are more responsive and will return confirmation or errors back to the driver immediately from the FMCSA servers.

We recommend web services as the first approach, but you must check with the officer/state as to their chosen methods. Each state has its own choice over what system to use, and it is likely that they will focus on web services.

Both email and web services data are fully encrypted between Geotab and the FMCSA to protect drivers’ data from theft or man-in-the-middle attacks.

Get Up and Running with ELDs

Now, you understand how to deal with getting your electronic data quickly and easily to the FMCSA with the Geotab Drive Transfer logs feature. If you still need to get you or your drivers up and running before the ELD phase begins, please go to our Geotab Cloud ELD page to learn more.


ELD FAQs: Unassigned Driving Time
driver updating unassigned driving time on smartphone eld

How Geotab Cloud ELD Works
how geotab cloud eld works

How to Get More From Your Electronic Logs
extra benefits of electronic logging


  • Posted January 29, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    ELD records from XCLI:GEOTAB received with Error

    I received an email with this heading…. exactly what do I need to do to find out what the error was?

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      For assistance, please contact Geotab Support +1.877.436.8221 so we can help you troubleshoot this issue. Thank you for contacting us.

  • Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I see the message where it says that email transfer is not yet supported by FMCSA. When trying Web Services, it shows a broadcast message that seems to indicate that Geotab is not yet supported. Any idea of when these problems will be corrected?

    • Posted December 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      That is a standard FMCSA broadcast message. Geotab 100% supports Web Service transfer and will also support email when the FMCSA can accept that option.

  • Posted December 3, 2017 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Hello. I see where the compliance report is generated, but where or how do I get to the option to transfer the data via the web services and where can I find the user guide for drivers / roadside enforcement that must be carried in the vehicle. The only user guide I have located on the website does not include the how to transfer options.

    Thank you!
    James Hamrick
    JNJ Express

    • Posted December 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Our November release of MyGeotab is currently rolling out to all servers. This release contains the “Transfer” feature. You should see this within the Geotab Drive app in the next week. Please reach out to our Support team if you do not see this button next week. Here is a link to a 1 pager for your drivers that explains how to use the Transfer function: https://goo.gl/tjAe8b. Please make sure your drivers have this available in the cab of their vehicles as it is a requirement of the ELD mandate.

  • Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    we have Pro Fleet plan and we do not see the option to Email or Web Services transfer an HOS log… why not? We are using Android devices.

    • Posted December 6, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your question. Please see the response above with details about the November release and link to the driver instruction sheet on the transfer function.

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