Smart Tachographs 2019

From 15 June 2019, smart tachographs are to be made mandatory for new vehicles. The new Annex 1C compliant tacho aims to reduce administrative processes and digital tachograph tampering.


These 'smart tachos' will use a GPS to record the start and end location of the drivers' work and record every three hours of driving time.

For operators to use the 1C tachographs, they will need to update their download tools and analysis software. Also, stopping vehicles to check the tachograph will no longer be necessary.

Enforcement officers will be able to use digital devices to check tachos from up to 190m away.

Information recorded by the tachograph will be transmitted. Drivers' hours and break times will also be sent, to determine if the driver has exceeded daily driving limits.

Digital Tachograph Cards

Digital tachograph card owner responsibilities

All drivers must comply with the following requirements when using their digital tachograph system.

  • Ensure that the recording equipment and driver card are fully functional
  • Only hold one card at a time; apart from during the month before your card’s expiry date
  • Allow your employer to download data from your card
  • Apply for a replacement to lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning cards within 7 days, and take printouts at the start and end of each driving day before your replacement card arrives
  • Do not use a card which doesn’t have your personal details
  • Do not use or possess an altered or forged card, and do not forge or alter statements to obtain a card
  • Do not record any false data on the recording equipment or on your digital data card
  • Do not withhold or destroy any digital data recorded on your card or recording equipment
  • Always carry your card when working and have it to hand for DVSA officer or police inspection, even if it hasn’t been used

As an operator or employer, you must also comply with the following.

  • Ensure that your drivers follow the list of responsibilities above
  • Own a company card in order to download the recorded digital data from the digital tachograph head
  • Download all data from each driver’s card at least once every 28 days
  • Download all data from each driver’s recording equipment at least once every 56 days
  • Examine the data from digital driver cards and recording equipment to check for infringements or drivers’ working hours
  • Make sure that the recording equipment is all fully functional and is being used correctly
  • Make sure that the recording equipment is calibrated once every 2 years
  • Make sure any defective recording equipment in the digital tachograph is repaired as soon as possible

About the Author Tony