Digital Tachograph driver card

Digital tachograph driver cards are required by law for bus and truck drivers. Find out how the card works, what data is stored, when to use it, and how to apply for one.

Did you know?  

You can now book your Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test online !

Visit our CVRT test bookings site and choose a time and place that suits you!

Apply for a digital tachograph driver card

Apply now for a digital tachograph driver card or read on to find out more about the digital tachograph driver card.

About the digital tachograph driver card

The personal digital tachograph driver card is a credit card-sized plastic card that contains a microchip. The card can store all relevant driver data required for EU Drivers’ Hours regulations including break and rest times.

Important details

Your driver card:

  • Is unique to the individual driver and valid for five years,
  • Can store information for 28 days,
  • Can only be used by its owner, ie. the driver authorised to use it,
  • May be suspended or withdrawn by an enforcement officer if the card has been falsified, if the person using the card is not the legal holder of the card, or if the card has been obtained by false declaration or forged documents,
  • Must be made available to enforcement officers on request.

How to use your digital tachograph driver card

Before a journey begins (eg, when loading/unloading or driving) you must insert your driver card into the appropriate slot in the digital tachograph unit.

Where a vehicle is double-manned, both driver and co-driver slots are used.

Similar to an analogue tachograph, a digital tachograph will record your activities such as driving, other work, breaks and rest.

When you are doing manual entry of data into the tachograph you will be asked (via the units menu) if you have driven any other vehicle that day and must select whether it was by digital or analogue-recorded method.

If you are driving a vehicle fitted with an analogue tachograph you should have a chart to record your activities.

You must also make daily printouts when changing between vehicles fitted with analogue and digital tachographs. This guarantees that there is a complete record (printouts and charts) of driving activities for the current week and the last working day of the previous week.

Downloading data

Data must be downloaded from the driver card every 21 days. A transport undertaking shall ensure that the data from their drivers’ digital tachograph card is downloaded every 21 days. A self employed driver must download the data from their digital tachograph card every 21 days. The data must be retained for inspection by enforcement officers for a period of at least 12 months.

Agency drivers

In you work for more than one company, you need to download data every 21 days from the driver card and retain it for inspection.

RSA Prosecutions

The RSA is responsible for enforcing EU and national transport legislation on tachographs, EU driver hour rules, Road transport working time directive and the licensing of road haulage and passenger operators to engage in hire and reward operations. Since 2009 the RSA have initiated prosecutions against drivers and operators in respect of breaches of this legislation details of which can be found in our prosecutions section.

Digital Tachograph card application

Digital Tachograph Driver Card Application