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.
Common Errors When Submitting Travel Paperwork
The following items are commonly missed areas when travel paperwork is submitted. Please use the checklist below to verify that you have all the documentation required for your request. This will help ensure that your paperwork is processed in a timely manner.
  • The Departmental Chartfield (Fund/ Dept.-ID/ Program/ Proj-Grant). Cannot pay without it.
  • Each Chartfield (change or split) needs to be approved by each Expenditure Authority.
  • Signature from: Payee/Traveler, Chair or Higher Expenditure Authority, Dean, Vice President (No employee can approve his/her own travel)
  • Dates of Travel
  • SS number
  • W-9 FORM (if never reimbursed by travel)
  • Chair or Next Higher Expenditure Authority Signature is not legible – Print below signature as required.
  • Signature Authority not authorized for the chartfield used. (check Eagle Vision to avoid delays)
  • Complete a “Travel Voucher” and attach receipts to be reimbursed. (see website for forms) Attach a copy of your approved Permission to Travel Form. Any changes on the PTT must be approved by signature authority. REQUIRED FOR CONFERENCES & ORGANIZED MEETINGS.
  • “Original” Itemize Hotel bill required (Express check out not allowed by State)
  • “Original” Gasoline receipt required (credit card statement is not acceptable)
  • “Original” Itemize Rental Car receipt required. Handwritten or Summary not accepted. (also required for proof of rental for fuel reimbursement)
  • All rental cars should be booked through State Contract Provider. A waiver is required for booking that exceeds the contract rates. (See website for link and instructions)
  • Waiver Required: Hotel exceeds conference rate; Authority to pay a hotel other than the conference hotel; Amount greater than state contract rate for rental car
  • Parking or Taxi receipt required (original receipts if in excess of $10.00/per expense)
  • Airline E-Ticket or Airline Passenger Receipt reflecting proof of payment required.
  • Paid Registration receipt required. (Cancelled check, electronic transaction, original receipt) a photocopy of check not acceptable.
  • Indicate if additional meal is for employee authorized to travel. If not employee, SUBMIT a completed BREF (Business Related Expense Form).
  • Mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of airline coach ticket and total cost of flying. (Obtain cost of airfare, along with other justification to support your total costs of driving is less) Attach to travel voucher. (See website for policy)
  • Provide place of lodging in order to be reimbursed for meals (State will not allow us to reimburse for a day trip).
  • Travel Advance and Registration Fee payment policy changed 7/09. Review Policy on website for more information.
  • All foreign travel receipts must be converted in US Dollars written on the receipt (use conversion rate for date trip starts) by traveler. Attach proof of official rate of change for the date of travel voucher.
  • Submit conference literature showing the conference hotel rates or a copy of the registration form that includes the housing reservation information. (A state requirement)
  • Submit to Accounts Payable on an Employee Reimbursement Form for reimbursement (cannot be reimbursed on a travel voucher)
  • Submit to Purchasing on a P.O to be reimbursed (Dues, abstracts, memberships cannot be reimbursed by travel)
Requesting the items above, helps the UNIVERSITY stay in compliance with the State travel requirements in preparation for annual audit.
Important Points Related to Travel
  • Do Not Send CASH in Campus Mail! If cash is sent through campus mail and the funds are lost, the Employee will remain responsible for the balance of the unspent advanced funds.
  • Submit your completed Permission to Travel form at least three weeks prior to travel (90 days for international travel)
  • Keep a copies of the completed Permission to Travel form, Employee Travel Voucher form, Remittance Voucher form, and all credit card statements and receipts.
  • Please make sure you have an approving signature on your forms. AN EMPLOYEE CANNOT APPROVE HIS/HER OWN TRAVEL. The approval should come from the next higher expenditure authority above the employee who is traveling.
  • Employee Travel Vouchers and Remittance Vouchers received in the Travel Office by 5 PM Wednesday will be paid within three weeks after submission UNLESS the voucher has to be returned to the employee for a correction or missing documentation. Reimbursement checks will be mailed to the Department's box number.
  • In order to pay conference or workshop registration fees the Pcard can be used as the preferred method (see the following link), another method is to complete the Registration Check Request with a copy of the approved Permission to Travel form and the completed registration form to the Travel Office. To insure that the payment is received on time for the conference, send the Registration Check Request to the Travel Office at least 1 month prior to the due date of registration.
  • In order to reimburse a non-university employee for travel expenses, submit a Remittance Voucher. Receipts are required for airfare (passenger receipt), car rental, hotel, parking, and supplies. Send to Procurement Box 5104.
  • Complete a Business Related Expense form and attach to the Employee Travel Voucher if employee pays for one or more non-university person's meal expenses while on university travel.
  • In order for an employee to be issued payment for airfare costs prior to completion of the trip, the university will require submission of a completed Employee Travel Voucher. A copy of the airline E-ticket reflecting payment, a copy of the passenger receipt, or copy of the credit card statement (credit card number should be marked out) reflecting the airline charge MUST be attached to the Employee Travel Voucher.
  • When in doubt, get original itemized receipts for all purchases related to travel. Keep all email confirmations, ticket stubs, credit card statements, and receipts for all transactions related to travel to be submitted with your travel reimbursement forms.
When will funds be available in my bank account?
Funds will become available on the business day after the ACH check process has been initiated (possibly longer depending on the receiving bank), for vouchers meeting audit requirements and deemed an allowable expense. Subject to the banks electronic ACH file transmission cut off times. Prior to utilizing funds, please check with your bank and ensure funds have been deposited. Please contact your bank directly if your funds are not available.
How will I be notified that the University has prepared a Direct Deposit on my behalf?
The payment system will generate an automatic email notification at the time the payment is created (this will occur when email notification becomes available in the near future). Until the system generated email notification is available please allow at least two weeks for the processing of your Remittance/Travel Voucher before checking your bank for deposit of funds.
If my payroll is direct deposited can I opt out of having expense and travel reimbursements being direct deposited?
Remember that direct deposit saves the campus money and we are moving toward this service on all levels, therefore all expenses and travel will be paid in this manner.
Can my expense and travel reimbursement go to a different account than my payroll check?
No, the expense and travel reimbursements system depends upon banking information already provided by employees for payroll. If a payroll direct deposit relationship does not already exist, a check will continue to be issued.
What if I change the account that my payroll is direct deposited into, does my expense and travel reimbursement account change also?
Yes, changes to your payroll direct deposit account will affect expense and travel reimbursements. The request will automatically update A/P & Travel expense reimbursement records.
Will my cash advances be direct deposited also?
Yes, (see website for Travel Advance qualifications)
If my payroll is direct deposited, do I have to do anything for my expense and travel reimbursements to be direct deposited?
No, your expense and travel reimbursements will automatically go to the same account as your payroll.
If I currently receive a paper check for payroll, will my expense and travel reimbursements be direct deposited?
We encourage those University Employees who are not currently set up for direct deposit to do so. Until a direct deposit relationship is established a check will continue to be issued and sent to your department box on record.
Can a non-employee/student have payments deposited directly into their bank account?
Non-employees will receive a paper check sent to their current address on file. Students will receive a paper check sent to their department’s campus box.