The Best DOT Compliance Software in 2021

DOT compliance

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 16 February 2021

A jargon-busting roundup of the best DOT compliance software on the US fleet management market


Whether you’re a fleet manager or an independent trucker, you’ll know that most commercial vehicles are tied up in red tape from the moment they leave the lot. 

Yes, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) places a heavy regulatory burden on motor carriers, and the costs of non-compliance can be high. A downgraded CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) score is the first step towards frequent inspections, heavy fines, high insurance rates, and even lawsuits or shutdown orders.

Fortunately, the right DOT compliance software can help you to avoid these issues by providing the tools you need to adhere to the DOT’s regulations, and automating many of the tedious admin processes that traditionally come with compliance. From ELDs to IFTA reporting, these software solutions are a godsend but which one is worth your money? Let’s find out.


The Best DOT Compliance Software

We’ve conducted extensive research into the market in search of the best DOT compliance software options out there. Having analyzed a variety of systems and solutions, those that come out on top are:

  • Verizon Connect: Best for large fleets
  • Samsara: Best for medium to large fleets
  • GPS Insight: Best for small to medium fleets
  • J.J. Keller: Best standalone DOT compliance software

Three of our picks Verizon Connect, Samsara, and GPS Insight are full fleet management systems that also provide DOT compliance tools, making for excellent all-round solutions that effectively kill two birds with one stone (a DOT compliant fleet that’s also comprehensively tracked and optimized for commercial success? Check!).

While we believe installing a fleet management system that can also provide everything needed for DOT compliance is the easiest way to manage your fleet’s regulatory obligations, we’ve also reviewed a fantastic option J.J. Keller for those who already have fleet management in place, but need more specialized help to achieve DOT compliance.

So, without further ado, let’s explore the best DOT compliance software systems available to US fleets.

DOT compliance software
The best DOT compliance software helps your fleet stay road legal

Verizon Connect

Best for Large Fleets

Verizon Connect’s DOT compliance software suite has been designed to help large fleets manage their myriad reporting and regulatory requirements. Using a mobile app, drivers can update their records of duty status (RODS) and carry out simple but thorough eDVIRs (electronic driver vehicle inspection reports) with a few taps of their fingers. Meanwhile, this data is rapidly synced to your dashboard, empowering you to keep on top of driving hours and schedule necessary maintenance in good time. Verizon Connect’s ELD system also makes life easier for your drivers, with an app that they can use to automatically track their hours and avoid penalties at roadside inspections.

Star rating: Verizon Connect fleet management review

Pros:

  • Create bespoke dashboards for personalized reporting
  • Individual driver performance scores encourage safe driving
  • Awesome customizable alerting system helps track compliance in real-time
  • Scored an impressive 9.4/10 for its tracking capabilities in our analysis

X Cons:

  • Only the more expensive subscriptions support fleet maintenance information
  • Favors a lengthy initial contract period of two to three years

Verizon Connect: Key Features for Compliance and Safety

FMCSA-certified ELDs (electronic logging devices)
HOS (hours of service) reporting
eDVIRs
IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) reporting
Vehicle maintenance scheduling (only with its more expensive subscriptions)
Driver performance reporting
Dash cam system available
Live weather updates

Is Verizon Connect Right for my Business?

As a fleet management and DOT compliance system, Verizon Connect is about as comprehensive as you can get. The sheer volume of sophisticated data it can collect and report on makes it our top pick for larger fleets with solid data handling capabilities. If you’re ready to translate detailed insights into tangible improvements, Verizon Connect could be for you.

Verizon Connect’s focus on vehicle monitoring and safety, along with its customizable alert setup, make it a particularly awesome solution for fleets in the trucking or construction sectors – but we’d happily recommend it to large fleets in every industry.

Verizon Connect Pricing

Verizon provides bespoke pricing plans that are tailored to your business' exact needs, making it impossible for us to say exactly how much it’ll cost your business. However, we do estimate that Verizon Connect charges somewhere between $50 and $250 per vehicle, per month.

We know that DOT compliance is complicated – and that’s only made worse when you have no idea how much you’ll need to pay for it. That’s why we want to help you cut through the noise and find out exactly how much fleet management and compliance will cost you. 

Simply tell us what your fleet needs help with, and we’ll matchmake you with the best fleet management and DOT compliance software for you. These suppliers will then be in touch with no-obligation quotes tailored to your exact needs. It’s the easiest, fastest way to compare the right options – oh, and it’s free!


Did You Know?

The ELD Mandate came into full effect on December 16, 2019 – but not every fleet is compliant yet. If you still need to get there, we can help you sort it out, fast. Simply tell us what you need, and you’ll receive tailored ELD quotes from excellent fleet management suppliers to compare. It’s super easy, and totally free!

If you’d like to learn more about the ELD Mandate, check out our guide to US vehicle tracking laws.


Samsara

Best for Medium to Large Fleets

Samsara is known for innovation in the field of fleet management, and we can certainly see this in its DOT compliance features. The IFTA, for example, is a notoriously confusing web of rules specifying the interstate division of taxation on your fleet’s fuel usage – Samsara makes this much easier to navigate, combining real-time vehicle location data with fuel tank monitoring tech to calculate how much tax you owe in each jurisdiction. Easy! Add a driver app for eDVIRs, HOS logs, and dispatching (included with every subscription), and ELDs with built-in wifi hotspots that still work in areas without cellular reception, and you’ve got yourself a DOT compliance software system that uses automation to make your life easier.

Star rating: Samsara fleet management review

Pros:

  • Samsara’s fuel usage reporting is the best on the market
  • Excellent automated route optimization makes Samsara a fantastic option for transportation industries
  • Offers live tracking at its best, with data refreshing every 30 to 60 seconds

X Cons:

  • New additions to your software will need to be self-coded, requiring some technical know-how
  • Favors longer contract periods, typically three to five years

Samsara: Key Features for Compliance and Safety

FMCSA-certified ELDs
HOS reporting
eDVIRs
IFTA reporting
Vehicle maintenance scheduling
Driver performance reporting
Dash cam system available
Live weather updates

Is Samsara Right for my Business?

While Samsara’s price point may put it beyond the reach of smaller, more budget-conscious businesses, it is a truly excellent option for everyone else. Its range of incredibly clever fleet management and compliance features means you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.

In particular, its clever route optimization functions can help transportation industry fleets to boost their efficiency massively – but that’s not to say that it wouldn’t also bring benefits to fleets across all industries.

Samsara Pricing

Samsara’s most popular packages range from $27 to $33 per vehicle, per month. Depending on the GPS tracking hardware you choose and the length of contract that you go for, Samsara’s vehicle tracking hardware costs between $99 and $148 per unit.


Compare prices from leading DOT compliance software providers
Are you already compliant with the DOT?

GPS Insight

Best for Small to Medium Fleets

Here at Expert Market, GPS Insight is known as one of the most intuitive, easily navigable fleet management systems out there. It more than lives up to this reputation when it comes to DOT compliance, providing everything you need to meet your regulatory obligations in an easy-to-use package. When it comes to ELDs, this supplier provides two options: ELD Mobile – an app that drivers can use to keep track of their HOS – and ELD Connect, a dashboard-mounted tablet that poses as an electronic logbook and GPS tracker. A second app, DVIR Mobile, enables drivers to complete vehicle inspections quickly and easily, while GPS Insight’s State Mileage report helps you keep on top of fuel tax.

Star rating: GPS Insight fleet management review

Pros:

  • The easiest system to learn and use
  • Has the most affordable starting price we found on the US market
  • Its excellent customer support scored an impressive 9/10 in our analysis
  • Offers tampering and towing alerts, which can be helpful in detecting theft

X Cons:

  • ELD compliance is only available with particular plans
  • Data refreshes every two to five minutes, which is quite slow compared to some other systems
  • Charges for installation, while most other suppliers don’t

GPS Insight: Key Features for Compliance and Safety

FMCSA-certified ELDs(only with its Standard and Enterprise plans)
HOS reporting
eDVIRs
IFTA reporting
Vehicle maintenance scheduling
Driver performance reporting
Dash cam system available
Live weather updates

Is GPS Insight Right for my Business?

With a starting price of $14.95 per month – the most affordable that we found on the US market – along with an intuitively simple dashboard, GPS Insight is a fantastic option for small to medium businesses.

Owing to its simple interface and ease of use – vehicle data, landmark configuration, maintenance management, reports, alerts, and driver messaging are all actionable from the initial dashboard – GPS Insight is particularly fantastic for fleets that require speedy communication and routing, such as home services and taxicab fleets. That said, it’s still a great option for small to medium fleets across any industry.

GPS Insight Pricing

GPS Insight’s monthly license ranges from $14.95 to $28.95 per vehicle, across four price plans: Basic, Standard, Pro, and Enterprise. As you’d expect, Basic is the cheapest, while Enterprise is the most expensive.

As for hardware, GPS Insight’s GPS vehicle tracking devices cost between $199 and $450 each, depending on the device you choose – as a guide, its most popular GPS unit costs up to $255. Alternatively, you can rent your devices from GPS Insight for $5 to $10 per unit, per month.


Did You Know?

In order to comply with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate, you must keep a record of duty status (RODS) data for all your drivers, and store a backup of that data on a separate device, for six months. You also need to make sure that these records are stored securely to protect driver privacy.

That said, some fleets and drivers are exempt from complying with the ELD Mandate. Find out whether you need to get ELDs or not with our guide to the six exemptions to the ELD Mandate.


J.J. Keller

Best Standalone DOT Compliance Software

J.J. Keller is an industry leader in the field of fleet compliance, offering everything from easy plug-and-play ELDs to training in construction vehicle safety. J.J. Keller’s app enables your drivers to update their duty status, check and certify their HOS, perform vehicle inspections, browse vehicle records and engine data, and view their GPS coordinates on the go. Meanwhile, using its back-office portal – Encompass Fleet Management – you’ll be able to check in on data including driver qualification and performance, fuel tax reporting, accident recording, and more.

Star rating: J.J. Keller ELD system review

Pros:

  • Specializes in DOT compliance
  • Its plug-and-play ELD system makes for a speedy setup with no downtime
  • No contract, pay-as-you-go billing
  • Excellent customer support

X Cons:

  • Limited fleet management functionality (besides compliance features)
  • Some customers report connectivity issues

J.J. Keller: Key Features for Compliance and Safety

FMCSA-certified ELDs
HOS reporting
eDVIRs
IFTA reporting
Vehicle maintenance scheduling
Driver performance reporting
Dash cam system available(but accident reporting is included)
Live weather updates

Is J.J. Keller Right for my Business?

While J.J. Keller is an incredible software solution if you’re looking for total DOT compliance, its laser focus on compliance means it is a little weak in the wider fleet management department – that isn’t its speciality, after all.

We’d recommend it to those who already have solid fleet management in place, but need something extra to get their compliance up to scratch.

J.J. Keller Pricing

J.J. Keller offers its DOT compliance services on a pay-as-you-go basis – in other words, it only charges you for as long as you want to use it, and doesn’t tie you into a contract. That's a win in our book.

However, we can’t tell you how much that monthly fee will come to, as J.J. Keller doesn’t openly share its pricing model. Instead, it asks that businesses get in touch directly for bespoke quotes.

That said, some online sources have taken a stab at calculating J.J. Keller’s figures. These sources estimate that the company charges $199 upfront for ELDs, and $25.50 per vehicle, per month for a subscription to its compliance services. J.J. Keller also provides ‘Compliance Tablets’ – tablets with its driver app loaded on, and restrictions in place to avoid unauthorized app use – which sources say cost $349 upfront or $59 per month when bundled with the subscription fee. 


Compare prices from leading DOT compliance software providers Get free quotes

Expert Verdict

Achieving DOT compliance may seem like a minefield, but with DOT compliance software to streamline your compliance tasks and automate that pesky admin, you’ll find yourself meeting those regulatory obligations with vigor and pride – rather than the usual dread and fatigue.

If you manage a large fleet, we recommend Verizon Connect. If your fleet is medium to large, we think that Samsara is a fantastic option. If you manage a small to medium fleet, GPS Insight is the way to go. Alternatively, if you already have a fleet management system in place but need something additional to help you reach compliance, J.J. Keller is worth investigating.

If you’d like even more personalized recommendations, we can still help. Simply answer a few questions about your fleet and what you need help with, and we’ll match you up with the perfect DOT compliance software systems and solutions for your fleet. Those suppliers will then be in touch directly with no-obligation quotes that are tailored to your needs, so that you can compare the numbers from the suppliers that are best for you. It’s a super easy way to narrow down your options, and it’s free.


FAQs

What is DOT Compliance?

Put simply, you are DOT compliant when you successfully adhere to every one of the US Department of Transportation’s regulations. These regulations are in place to ensure the safe and lawful operation of commercial motor vehicles. In other words, they’re not just there to make your life difficult – they’re there to improve driver safety and prevent road accidents.

Enacted through the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), the DOT is a federal agency, and violating its regulations can lead to hefty fines, shutdown orders, and even lawsuits that can end with you behind bars. We reiterate: DOT compliance is seriously important.

But don’t let that scare you – once you understand what’s required, full DOT compliance is certainly possible, especially with the help of DOT compliance software.

But what does a DOT compliant business actually look like? Essentially, a compliant business is a business that: 

  • Has registered each vehicle with the DOT
  • Displays each vehicle’s USDOT number on the vehicle
  • Only hires drivers who have obtained a commercial driver’s license (CDL) through the DOT
  • Has installed an ELD in every eligible vehicle
  • Accurately tracks drivers’ RODS and HOS, and enforces restrictions on driving time
  • Has its drivers carry out DVIRs at the start and end of every day
  • Files any necessary IFTA tax returns on time
  • Keeps records of any maintenance services and repairs, and of any road accidents that have happened
  • Keeps a copy of each driver’s license and accident history on file
  • Keeps chain of custody records to uphold the security of company documents
  • Keeps copies of current DOT regulations in the office and with each driver

Want more information about the laws and regulations surrounding fleet management in the US? Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

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