What are DOT Log Book Form & Manner Violations?










Learning the nuances of logging (running under a DOT log book — also known as the Record of Duty Status or RODS) is something that sometimes falls through the cracks in the course of many driver’s development. Instructions and the example found on the back of the logbook may have been the only training many drivers have ever had. On occasions, a DOT officer will sit down with the driver and explain the facts of life about logging.

“My school, nor my company ever got into this specific rule . . .”  Driver

Electronic logging is not a solution, if the driver does not know what he is doing. (See: 395.15(c) Onboard recording device improper form and manner.)

Form and manner violations are log inaccuracies (usually unintentional), sometimes caused by carelessness or even bad habits in filling out the log sheet, and are considered minor violations. (Major violations would be: missing logs, false logs, 70 Hour Rule violations carrying over for more than one day, 11 or 14 Hour Rule violations not created by grid errors, dropped trips.) But small things can start to snowball, and even a form and manner violation will result in one CSA severity point (multiplied by a Time Weight (TiW) of 3 points = 3 points).

One definition of form is the manner or conduct as tested by a prescribed or accepted standard. Manner is defined as a way in which a thing is done or happens.

So a form and manner log violation has to do with the way a log book is done, according to the standard. The standard would be the requirements of 49 CFR Sec. 395.8.

Section d. lists the following:

(1) Date;
(2) Total miles driving today;
(3) Truck or tractor and trailer number;
(4) Name of carrier;
(5) Driver’s signature/certification;
(6) 24-hour period starting time (e.g. midnight, 9:00 a.m., noon, 3:00 p.m.);
(7) Main office address;
(8) Remarks;
(9) Name of co-driver;
(10) Total hours (far right edge of grid);
(11) Shipping document number(s), or name of shipper and commodity;

required information on a DOT log book

Missing information in any of the above requirements would result in a citation for improper form and manner. Trouble comes in the form of abbreviations in the remarks area (as putting down SLC instead of writing out Salt Lake City, UT). But that’s not all.

Sloppiness Counts As Well

clean corners






Drivers should show clean corners on a paper log book. Use the edge of a ruler to guide the line.

extension line






Here the extension line should be extended to the remarks section for precision.

center lines






In this example the status line is not centered between the grid lines.


This line has been drawn too light by a fine pen and may not copy well in a fax or copy machine. This is an example of a scripting error. Use a medium point pen for logging.

writing on the grid

Writing on the grid is another error.

Form and manner violations include:

Log Sheet Missing: Drivers shall submit a log for each day, except that two or more consecutive off duty days may be on one sheet Note: regulations require that driver separates off duty days that fall between months by submitting a minimum of two logs;

Date Missing/Duplicate Logs: Each log must be dated and there must be only one log submitted for each day;

Miles Driven Missing: Total actual miles driven in the 24- hour period must be entered;

Vehicle/Trailer Number(s) Missing: Unit numbers of all company vehicles operated in the 24-hour period must be entered;

Driver‘s Signature Missing in Error: The driver must sign his or her full legal name on each daily log sheet;

Co-Driver Name Missing: The driver must enter first name, initial and complete last name of his/her co-driver if operating as a team;

Missing Shipment Identification Error: The driver must show a Trip Number(s) for each trip in the 24-hour period;

Pre-Trip Inspection/Post-Trip Inspection Improperly Noted: Drivers shall identify locations, by full city name and state abbreviation, when performing vehicles inspections;

Change In Duty Status/improper Remarks: Driver’s shall identify locations when changing duty status, by full city name and state abbreviation.

Different Log For Same Day: Each log graph can carry only one set of information;

Hours Missing Error: Drivers must record total hours used at the end of each line of the graph. The hours added together must equal 24;

Graph Incomplete Error: A driver must account for all time on the graph. Drivers must show a complete continuous line for each 24-hour period.

Each year tens of thousands of form and manner violations are cited by the DOT. Work to educate your drivers on the importance of precision logging.

This information was condensed from our Log Audit Guide.

As always, thank you for reading this.


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