Digital tachograph explanation

TachoByte is happy to help you with everything you encounter in the field of digital tachographs! The digital tachograph should contribute within Europe to:

  • Increased safety on the road; 
  • Fair competition between European carriers;
  • Healthy working conditions.

The associated legislation applies to all Member States of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (EEA).

The digital tachograph makes it more difficult to manipulate the recorded data. The device provides insight into driving times and rest periods.

Driver cards and records 

It is a legal requirement for a digital tachograph-equipped vehicle driven in scope of EU rules that the driver must use a driver’s smart card. Transport undertakings must download the data from the driver’s smart card every 28 days and analyse the information to ensure that the rules have been complied with. The TachoByte system archives the driver cards daily downloading remotely from the tachograph.

The driver’s smart card must be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You can get application forms and assistance from the DVLA by calling 0300 790 6109. More information can be found here. When driving a vehicle that is equipped with a digital tachograph, drivers should be:

  • Using a digital driver card to record all work and driving
  • Making sure the card and tachograph is working correctly
  • Only holding one card (unless within one month of expiry, when two cards can be held)
  • Allowing employers to download driver data from card
  • Applying for a replacement card if lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning within 7 days.
  • Whilst waiting for the new card to arrive, taking print-outs at the start and end of each working day
  • Not using anyone else’s card or be in possession of forged or altered card
  • Not recording false data or destroying any data on the card
  • Carrying the card at all times when working
  • Producing the card for DVSA officers or the police when requested

Company cards

Company cards are issued by DVLA in the company name. Company cards do not primarily hold data but act as an electronic key to protect and access data from the digital tachograph. Company cards are needed to download data from the VU – they can be placed in either driver card slot. Company cards are not needed in order to access information from a driver card where it is being downloaded separately from the VU. Companies are obliged to download data from the tachograph at least every 90 calendar days. The TachoByte system does this automatically once a week by remotely reading the digital tachograph. Check out our efficient and economical tachograph solution! Operators can apply for company cards by calling the DVLA at 0300 790 6109 to obtain an application form (form ST2A).

In Northern Ireland, application forms are available from DVA by:

  • Calling the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Enquiry Section on 0845 402 4000
  • Emailing
  • Visiting

Voor het aanvragen van deze kaart is een inschrijving bij de Kamer van Koophandel verplicht. Nadat u de bedrijfskaart ontvangen heeft is het belangrijk eerst uw bedrijfsgegevens in te voeren in de tachograaf. Dit doet u door de bedrijfskaart in de tachograaf te steken en verder de instructies te volgen.

Out of scope

There are various exemptions to the use of tachographs and adherence to the hours they prescribe.  One of the most commonly used is Not for Commercial Gain.  If a journey is not intended to generate a profit it is “Out of Scope” and no tacho is required.  Race car operators often use this exemption as their hobby requires an HGV to take cars to tracks, but there is no money being made, quite the opposite in fact.

The non-profit generating exemption to tachograph rules could also be interpreted such that any journey undertaken empty is not generating a profit and therefore exempt.  Positioning a truck for a future load, or returning empty is a net cost; a loss-making journey! Therefore, any truck returning home empty could theoretically continue after the maximum hours have been done, with the card removed, as a private journey.

TachoByte B.V.

Since 2007, TachoByte has been passionately developing and implementing the best tachograph solutions. We are convinced of the contribution we can make to the efficiency of your business and its bottom line.;


TachoByte B.V.
Marssteden 72
7547 TD Enschede, The Netherlands
 +31 53 434 11 21
  +31 53 434 56 63

Trip registration with certification mark

Trip registration with certification mark, certified by the Dutch Tax & Customs Administration.

Object monitoring

GPS tracker, with security module and time measurement.