Travel Frequently Asked Questions
WHERE ONLINE DO I FIND THE TRAVEL FORMS?
Please click on Travel Forms and Information on the left-hand menu.
AM I REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A PERMISSION TO TRAVEL (PTT) FORM?
In-state and out-of-state trips for conferences, conventions, associations, and meetings require approvals of the chair or next higher level of expenditure authority and Travel Office. The PTT form is required. In-state and out-of-state business trips require approval of an immediate supervisor in oral or written form (check with next higher level of authority for their policy). The PTT form is NOT required by the Travel Office for these trips.
AM I COVERED BY WORKERS COMPENSATION IF I DO NOT COMPLETE A PERMISSION TO TRAVEL?
If you are on USM payroll and your trip is in the scope of your employment conducting business for the University, you are covered by workers compensation.
CAN I USE MY PROCUREMENT CARD TO PAY FOR MY CONFERENCE REGISTRATION?
The P-card will be the preferred method for payment of Employee Conference Registration fees. When the P-card is either not accepted or not available as an option, the second option is for the employee to pay via their personal credit card and be reimbursed through Travel. When the registration fee is for a group of employees and the P-card is either not accepted or not available as an option, a Registration Check Request Form can be submitted to Travel for payment.A Pre-approved Permission to Travel (PTT) will be required prior to using the P-Card for Registration Fees. The travel form has been updated to allow for identification of the P-Card expenses. (See the Travel Website-Registration Fees for detailed instructions; see the following link).
HOW DO I UNPROTECT THE CELL ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER FORM?
You can’t unprotect the cells. You probably didn’t start on the “START PAGE.” You should return to the START PAGE and enter all your required information and it will copy it to the protected cells.
CAN SOMEONE IN YOUR OFFICE HELP ME FILL OUT THE FORM?
We are here to answer any questions that you may have. The travel forms have instruction tabs to assist you. Keep in mind that when we provide personal assistance in filling out the travel forms it prevents us from getting other travelers paid in a timely manner.
ARE MEAL RECEIPTS REQUIRED TO CLAIM PER-DIEM?
No, not at this time, but keep in mind that receipts should be retained as they may be required later for audit purposes. Employees of the State shall be reimbursed the actual cost of meals related to official travel, not to exceed the daily maximums for the specific location. The amount allowed for individual meals shall be at the discretion of the department head. The department head my require receipts for meal expenditures if so desired.
WHY DOESN’T THE MILEAGE RATE CHANGE ON MY FORM?
As mileage rates change, we update the travel form, so you should download the latest travel form. Make sure to use the right date format (mm/dd/yr).
WHAT IS THE MILEAGE RATE?
The mileage rate occasionally changes, so it is best to download a new travel voucher for each trip to ensure that you will have the most current rate.
I HAVE LOST MY RECEIPTS, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
For meals, you are allowed per diem (daily allowance). Receipts are not required for meals. For hotels, an itemized receipt is required, contact the hotel to have them fax or email you a copy. For other expenses such as registration or public carrier, provide us with credit card statements as proof of payment. For taxi/shuttles or tips you are allowed $10.00 per day without a receipt. Fuel cannot be reimbursed without a receipt.
I SUBMITTED A PERMISSION TO TRAVEL (PTT), BUT HAVE NOT RECEIVED A COPY.
Please make sure your Signature Authority sent it to box 5104. If so, call the Travel Office at x64131 for a copy.
I DIDN’T ASK FOR AN ADVANCE. IS IT TOO LATE TO GET ONE?
The Travel Advance Policy is outlined on our website. Please review the Travel Advance Policy here
CAN I CHANGE THE DATE ON MY PERMISSION TO TRAVEL?
Yes, you can change the date. Either send an email to verify the date that you would like changed so that it can be attached to your Permission to Travel (PTT), or return a copy of your signed PTT with the new dates identified.
IS MY ADVANCE READY? WHEN CAN I EXPECT IT?
If you are approved for an advance (See Advance Policy) we will call you to inform you when it is ready for pick up. We issue advances two weeks before the scheduled trip start date.
HOW LONG CAN A TRAVEL ADVANCE BE OUTSTANDING?
Travel advances outstanding in excess of 15 days after return from the trip will be payroll deducted from the employee’s paycheck. If it should become necessary to do a deduction from a payroll check the employee will not qualify for future travel advances. The payroll deduction instituted will be the amount of the outstanding travel advance, not to exceed one-half of the employee’s net pay. This payroll deduction will continue until the outstanding travel advance is settled in full.
I SENT IN MY PAPERWORK SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, BUT HAVE NOT RECEIVED MY CHECK. WHEN WILL I RECEIVE IT?
Please make sure you or your Signature Authority sent it to box 5104. Vouchers are stamped in and processed in the order received. Due to the volume of incoming travel documents, we ask that you allow us at least three weeks before you inquire about your reimbursement check.
CAN I GET REIMBURSED FOR MY AIRFARE AND REGISTRATION AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes. You will need to complete a travel voucher and attach any credit card statements or receipts that will confirm your payments made. Attach a copy of your Approved PTT. On the travel voucher make sure that you put the date of travel (same date on permission).
ARE THERE ANY RESTICTIONS ON WHERE I HAVE TO PURCHASE MY AIRLINE TICKETS?
No, but if you do not have time to search various websites you can contact the local State Contract Travel Agencies to book your ticket for you. Please see the website for their fees. http://www.usm.edu/procurement/travelagency.html
THE HOTEL DOESN’T HAVE ITEMIZED RECEIPTS SINCE I BOOKED IT ON LINE. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
Your electronic confirmation from the internet site used should have the hotel information on the confirmation receipt. It must show payment in full for the dates booked, hotel location, check-in, and check-out dates and credit card payment.
I CAN’T GET THE CONFERENCE LITERATURE. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
You should look online for the conference literature where it shows accommodations or contact the organization and request that they fax it to you. It must show the hotel room rates if blocked rooms were arranged.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT VEHICLE STATE CONTRACT PROVIDER WHEN I TOOK THE TRIP?
If your rental car rate exceeds the Vehicle State Contract Provider rate you will have to attach a waiver to your voucher. Please see more information at the following website http://www.usm.edu/procurement/travelvehicles.html .
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET FOREIGN TRAVEL APPROVED?
We require a completed International Permission to Travel and International Travel Justification Form 90 days in advance of the trip.
WHAT IS THE FOREIGN MEAL ALLOWANCE?
Please check the travel website for the link under “Foreign Meal Allowance by Country (Per diem)” that will take you to the U.S. Department of State website. There you will select the country and then city. Remember to only use the “M & IE” rate. http://www.usm.edu/procurement/foreign_travelmeals.html
WHAT IF I WOULD LIKE TO STAY EXTRA DAYS FOR PERSONAL TIME?
Though you are allowed to stay as long as you would like, the university will not reimburse you for expenses outside the conference dates, i.e., for personal vacation time.
I MADE A MISTAKE ON MY PAPERWORK. HOW DO I CORRECT IT?
Depending on the mistake, call the Travel Office at x64131. If it is minor, you can fax or email the change if the travel has not been posted. If it is more complex you will need to re-do your paperwork. If you voucher has already been processed and payment made, your department must correct the error.
CAN I WALK MY VOUCHER OVER AND GET PAID RIGHT AWAY?
You can drop off your voucher; it will be stamped in and processed in the order received. It’s only fair to others who are waiting for their payment. You will have to allow up to three weeks for the voucher to be processed and paid, though it normally takes less than that.
DOES TRAVEL REIMBURSE GROUPS OF STUDENTS?
Yes. Please see the website http://www.usm.edu/procurement/travelprocedures.html You should find guidance as you scroll down to the Group travel section.
I HAVE PAID FOR MY CO-WORKERS AIRFARE. DO I CLAIM IT ON MY TRAVEL VOUCHER OR HIS?
The individual that paid is the person that needs to be reimbursed. Attach the PTT of the person(s) who is traveling to the Travel Voucher of the individual who paid (even if they are not traveling).
WHAT ARE THE CHARGES ON MY MONTHLY DETAIL REPORT (MDR) FOR? THEY DON’T APPEAR TO BE OUR PEOPLE?
Please call the Travel Office at x64131 if you have a voucher number. You can fax a copy of the MDR to x65182; include a cover sheet detailing what information you need and a call-back number and we’ll assist you in finding out.
WHY WAS THE AMOUNT OF MY REIMBURSEMENT CHECK NOT THE AMOUNT THAT I SUBMITTED ON MY TRAVEL VOUCHER?
You’ll need to call the Travel Office at x64131. We will have to pull your voucher and see what changes were made.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF THE TRIP IS CANCELLED AND I HAVE ALREADY PAID FOR IT?
Email us to cancel your PTT if the trip has not occurred and/or you have no expenses to claim. If you paid for airfare, you will need to fill out a cancelled airfare refund form to attach to your Travel Voucher for reimbursement.
MY FUELMAN CARD DIDN’T WORK. CAN I GET REIMBURSED FOR MY GAS?
If you used a University Vehicle and paid with a personal credit card, send an Employee Reimbursement Voucher to Accounts Payable, as it cannot be reimbursed by the Travel section.
CAN I SEND SOMEONE OVER TO PICK UP MY CHECK?
Reimbursements are automatically sent to the department box. Travel advances must be signed for and picked up in person. Send a memo authorizing your designee to pick up your travel advance.
I USUALLY GET MY CHECK ON MONDAY AND I HAVEN’T RECEIVED IT YET. IS THERE A PROBLEM?
Reimbursement checks are sent to the Post Office on Friday. The Post Office staff places the checks in your mailbox, so there may have been an unexpected delay there.
I AM ON THE COAST. HOW CAN I GET MY ADVANCE CHECK?
We can mail it to you if you have signed a Travel Advance Agreement for the trip. When you are called for pick up, tell the person you want it mailed.