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Tachographs in road transport

Tachographs in road transport



Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 — rules on tachographs used in road transport


It sets out the requirements on the construction, installation, use, testing and control of tachographs* used in road transport in the European Union (EU).


Tachographs must be installed in all vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes transporting goods by road, and in vehicles that can carry more than 9 people (including the driver), with certain exceptions.

Digital tachographs record the following data:

  • distance travelled, and speed;
  • time measurement;
  • starting point, end point and position every 3 hours (if connected to a satellite navigation system);
  • driver identity;
  • driver activity;
  • control, calibration and tachograph repair data;
  • events* and faults*.

Analogue tachographs must record at least distance, speed, time and driver activity.

Access to tachograph data may be granted at all times to the control authority and the transport operator concerned.

The following information is displayed:

  • time;
  • mode of operation;
  • driver activity;
  • current continuous driving time and/or current cumulative break time;
  • warning data;
  • menu access.

Digital tachographs warn drivers about exceeding the maximum allowed continuous driving time, in order to help them comply with legislation.

Processing of personal data must be solely to verify compliance with this and other relevant regulations.

Smart tachographs

Tachographs in vehicles registered for the first time as from 15 June 2019 must be connected to a satellite navigation system, and be equipped with remote communication technology in order to facilitate targeted roadside checks. EU countries have 15 years from 15 June 2019 to equip their control authorities to handle such communication. The data may only be stored for the duration of a roadside check, and must be deleted within 3 hours, unless there has been tachograph misuse.

Type approval

Tachograph equipment is subject to type approval which is granted by bodies designated by EU countries on the basis of functionality, interoperability, compliance and security.


Tachograph equipment can only be installed by fitters or companies approved by the relevant authorities of each EU country, and components and any vulnerable connections must be sealed as appropriate to the type approval certificate. The tachograph must be inspected at least every 2 years.

Driver cards

  • Drivers must be in possession of a driver card issued by the relevant authority of the EU country, valid for no more than 5 years, mutually recognised by all EU countries.
  • Transport operators and drivers are responsible for the proper use of digital tachographs and driver cards. It is forbidden to falsify, conceal, suppress or destroy data recorded on the record sheet or stored in the tachograph or on the driver card, or print-outs from the tachograph.
  • Transport operators are responsible for ensuring that drivers are properly trained in the correct functioning of tachographs and must not give their drivers any incentives that could encourage their misuse.
  • In the event of a faulty tachograph, a transport operator must have it repaired by an approved fitter as soon as possible, and the driver must keep a manual record of activities in the meantime.


  • Control officers equipped with the necessary tools and appropriate legal powers are appointed by EU countries to ensure compliance with the regulation. EU countries must also assist each other in ensuring compliance, and lay down rules on effective, proportionate, dissuasive and non-discriminatory penalties.
  • A Tachograph Forum is to be set up for dialogue on technical matters among experts in EU countries.


It has applied since 2 March 2016.


For more information, see:


Tachograph: equipment installed in road vehicles to display, record, print, store and output details of the movement, including the speed, of such vehicles, as well as certain periods of activity of their drivers.

Event: an abnormal operation detected by the digital tachograph which may result from a fraud attempt.

Fault: an abnormal operation detected by the digital tachograph which may result from an equipment malfunction or failure.


Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport (OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, pp. 1-33)


Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/799 of 18 March 2016 implementing Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the requirements for the construction, testing, installation, operation and repair of tachographs and their components (OJ L 139, 26.5.2016, pp. 1-506)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/68 of 21 January 2016 on common procedures and specifications necessary for the interconnection of electronic registers of driver cards (OJ L 15, 22.1.2016, pp. 51-68)

last update 27.09.2016