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Gen2 FAQ

The new Gen 2 Tacho incorporates a digital short-range communication system (DSRC) for use by the authorities at the roadside. However, enforcement officers CANNOT download any information on the driver or vehicle from the roadside. Enforcement officers can “remotely interrogate” or scan a vehicle using the DSRC against 18 key points to determine if they want to stop a vehicle or not.

1. Vehicle registration plate
2. Speeding Event
3. Driving Without Valid Card
4. Valid Driver Card
5. Card Insertion while Driving
6. Motion Data Error
7. Vehicle Motion Conflict
8. 2nd Driver Card
9. Current Activity
10. Last Session Closed
11. Power Supply Interruption
12. Sensor Fault
13. Time Adjustment
14. Security Breach Attempt
15. Last Calibration
16. Previous Calibration
17. Current Speed
18. Timestamp

This scanned information cannot be used to issues penalties or as evidence of prosecution – however, it can be used to decide whether or that vehicle should be subject to a roadside enforcement check.

The DVSA currently have no plans to implement the hardware needed to capture this remote data; the deadline for implementation across the EU is 2032 but it is currently unclear what effect Brexit may have on this date.

No, current Gen 1 Driver Cards will work in a Gen 2 Tacho, so there is no requirement to purchase a new one. Equally, if you are due to renew or need to replace your Gen 1 Driver Card, you will be automatically sent a ‘Gen 2’ Driver Card, but this will also work in a Gen 1 Tacho.

In theory, no, but some issues surrounding Company Cards have emerged since the Gen 2 tacho was introduced. These issues relate to the way the new tachograph reads the ID number on both Gen 1 and Gen 2 company cards. If you have multiple company cards, you will notice that the second-from-last number counts up sequentially. If you use the card with the highest number to lock a vehicle in, you may not be able to download that vehicle using cards with numbers lower in the sequence. The DVLA are aware of the issue and have provided a solution – for more details click here.

Up to a point. The tacho uses a form of GPS called GNSS (global navigation satellite system) which will take a reading of a vehicle’s position at the start and end of duty to an accuracy of 200 metres, and again after every three hours of accumulated driving. If the satellite is obscured e.g. the vehicle is in a tunnel, then this will also be recorded by the tachograph. The vehicle’s position will be compared with KMs travelled so will highlight discrepancies between mileage and the vehicle’s position.

Desktop cardreaders – there is no need to replace these; they will read both Gen1 and Gen2 cards.


It may not be immediately obvious what type of tachograph you have. If the vehicle has been registered after June 15th 2019, the chances are it will be a Gen 2.
You may also be able to spot the DSRC transmitter fitted to the windscreen but these can sometimes be hidden. T
The easiest way to identify whether it’s a Gen 2 head is to take a vehicle or driver card printout from the vehicle unit and look out for “GEN 2” printed near the top in the section containing the tachograph’s serial number.


Although all remote downloading hardware has been updated to be compatible with Generation 2 tachographs, we would always advise asking us to carry out a compatibility check before attempting to install any form of remote downloading equipment, regardless of which Generation of tachograph you are using.

Upon initial insertion of a driver card into a Gen 2 tachograph it will behave the same as a Gen 1 unit until you confirm your start place at which point you will then be asked the following questions:

  • “Publish ITS data” yes/no,
  • “Publish VDO data “yes/no.


If you respond “no” it means that live data cannot be transferred to your telematics provider. However, saying no does not alter the way in which authenticated driver card and VU downloads are carried out.
Each time you insert your card for the first time into a new vehicle with a Gen 2 card you will be asked the same question. The information will be stored on the VU, not the driver card.

General FAQ

Legally, the card must be downloaded once every 28 days. However, we would recommend downloading more often, perhaps once a week. This way, you are more able to keep on top of any infringements that may occur.

No, only the VU records speed information. Speed data can be accessed by carrying out a full VU download. However, depending on the type and age of the tachograph, you may only be able to access the last 24 driving hours of speed information.

Legally, the VU must be downloaded once every 90 days. However, we would recommend downloading more often, perhaps once a month. This way, you are more able to keep on top of issues such as unaccounted mileage, driving with no card inserted etc.

Across Europe, all digital tachograph records are recorded in UTC time. UTC is the same as Greenwich Mean Time. You can change settings on the VU so it displays the correct local time, but all records in the background will continue to be recorded in UTC. In summer, this can lead to some confusion when looking at printouts as it would appear that the VU is an hour behind.

On digital tachographs, it is necessary to make a manual entry directly onto the card to record any work carried out away from the vehicle e.g. driving a non-tacho vehicle, working in the warehouse, admin etc. It is different to a hand-written entry as these are recorded on the reverse of a piece of printer paper, typically in the event of an emergency, VU malfunction or to record any supporting information.


It is possible to eject the card in the middle of a shift so long as the vehicle is stationary. Ideally, the card should stay in the tachograph as long as that vehicle is in use, but there may be circumstances where it is necessary to eject the card e.g. to download it, DVSA road-side inspections, vehicle changes etc.
If the driver does eject the card, they are required to make a manual entry upon re-insertion to ensure there are no gaps in the tachograph trace.

When travelling on a ferry during the course of a Daily Rest, best practice is to set the tachograph onto Ferry Boat Mode. This should be done: a) when starting a period of rest at the port before embarkation, FBT mode should be set as soon as the tacho is set to rest, b) directly after the first interruption, typically involving embarkation of the ferry, the tacho should be reset to rest and FBT mode should be selected, c) if it is necessary to complete a Daily Rest at your destination, the tacho should be set to rest directly after disembarking and FBT mode should again be selected.

Most operators will either send a driver home to pick up their card in the event that the driver has forgotten it! Failing that, the driver may be given non-driving duties to carry out as it is illegal to be sent out on any type of tachograph vehicle without a driver card, even if it is fitted with an analogue instrument. If the DVSA stop you, they will want to see your driver card if one has been issued!

If the driver card is lost, is stolen, or begins to malfunction, it will be necessary to obtain a replacement from the DVLA using form D777B. The replacement must be ordered within 7 days of loss, theft or malfunction but our recommendation is that you do this on the same day if possible. The reason for this is that, under these circumstances, a driver can drive a tachograph vehicle for up to 15 days without a driver card, so long as the driver produces a printout from the VU at the start and end of every journey. If a driver leaves it until day7 to order a replacement card, they are only leaving themselves 8 days for that replacement card to be processed.

A driver can not drive using a Company Card. The Company Card does not record data, but acts a bit like a key, allowing access to the VU in order to download the data from the tachograph. Without a valid Company Card, you will be unable to download any data from the VU. You must also use the Company Card to “lock in” your tachographs whenever you purchase or hire a new vehicle. This means that no one can access your data unless they have a Company Card registered to your operation.

The driver card will record information including time spent working, odometer readings, vehicle registration numbers and anything that has been entered onto the card by way of a tachograph manual entry (manual entries are not recorded on the VU).

The VU will record some information that does not get recorded by the driver card e.g. speed information, instances of the vehicle being used without a driver card, unaccounted mileage and events and faults. The DVSA will look at VU data alongside card data and may look at all of these elements so it is best to employ an analysis solution that will provide a thorough breakdown of your VU files.

The DVSA will ask to see the current day and the previous 28 calendar days’ worth of information. If you are driving a digital tachograph, this may typically include information stored on your driver card plus any printouts you may have made in that period. If you are driving vehicles with both analogue and digital tachographs, then you will need to have your card, plus printouts, plus any analogue records you may have for that period.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to produce a printout from your digital tachograph: when you are driving for up to 15 days whilst awaiting a replacement driver card; if you driver card malfunctions when you are out on the road; to record details relating to unforeseen events or emergencies; upon the request of an enforcement officer.

When you are multi-manning, it is necessary to swap cards slots when you change drivers over. Both drivers must follow the log-off procedure for both of their cards, reinsert their cards into the opposite slot and then follow the usual log-on procedure for each card. This can take some time!

If you exceed either driving time or total shift time due to an unforeseen event such being caught in a tailback following a motorway closure, don’t panic. Just carry on to the first safe stopping place such as a motorway service station (not the hard shoulder!). On arrival at this stopping place, the first thing you must do is take a printout from the VU and then write the relevant details on the reverse such as: location of event; approximate time; location of stopping place etc. The more details the better! Never leave it until the end of the shift to record these details!

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