We understand the travel regulations are complex. Please contact the Accounting Office's travel unit at 518-437-3826 for guidance and clarification.


Travel-related Forms and Links

Forms: Please visit the Forms page to access travel-related forms.




Travel Agencies and Vehicle Rentals

SUNY-contracted Travel Agency

Direct Travel
30 Corporate Drive
Clifton Park, NY 12065

Contact Direct Travel at 800-774-0655 or [email protected] for booking assistance.

Access Direct Travel's online booking tool, Concur Solutions.

Vehicle Rentals

When use of a rental vehicle is necessary and prudent, travelers must use a rental company on the New York State Passenger Vehicle Rental Contract with the contract codes below to obtain the lower rental rates offered to NYS agencies. Note: Renting cars for campus visitors, job candidates and student travelers is strictly prohibited.

Effective October 2019, Hertz is the only nationwide and global car rental agency contracted with New York State. They also waive the fee for picking up a vehicle in one location and dropping it off in another location as long as the two locations are within 500 miles of each other. The other agencies will charge this fee

The Enterprise and National contracts are limited to the following states and counties 

  • New York: All locations in New York State

  • Connecticut: Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties

  • New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and Union counties

  • Vermont: Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties

Eligibility for Travel Reimbursement


An employee's official station is used to determine allowable travel expense reimbursement. Designation of an employee's official station will be established in the best interest of the State and University and not the convenience of the employee.

Employees are in travel status when they are on official business and more than 35 miles from their official station or place of residence. Employees can be reimbursed for mileage, tolls, or parking costs but will not be allowed meals or lodging within 35 miles of their official station or place of residence.

Travel must be by the most economic method. A person traveling by an indirect route not associated with the purpose of the trip shall personally assume any extra costs incurred. No transportation costs will be allowed between an employee's residence and his or her official station.

New York State's published reimbursement rates for employee travel are the maximum amounts that can be paid. Account managers can allow for reimbursement at less than the full reimbursement rates by indicating such on the travel voucher.

The following conditions must be met for a State employee to be reimbursed from State funds.

  1. The travel involved is so integrally related to the duties of the employee that failure to travel would prohibit the employee from performing the primary duties of his or her position. Generally, attendance at conferences or seminars will be approved only if the individual is making a presentation or serving on a committee requiring his or her attendance.

  2. Failure to approve such travel would clearly result in a loss of income to the State. The measure of loss of income to the State is to be a net loss of income after any State expenditures for travel, lodging per diem, or participation fee are considered.

  3. The requested travel is required by the terms of a contract or grant.

Students & Non-employees

University students may be reimbursed for travel when the trip is necessary for University purposes. Reimbursement will not be made for travel undertaken to support a student's educational program.

Occasionally, the need may arise to support the travel expenses of an individual who is not a State employee but who incurs expenses while performing services which benefit the University. For these individuals, the notation "Non-State Employee" should be entered in the "Title" section of the Travel Voucher. The document should specify the relationship of the traveler to the State and a description of the University work to be done. Reimbursement will be based on the rates and other policies specified in the Reimbursement Rate Schedule.

Before a student may travel on behalf of the University, their supervisor must approve the travel. To do so, the student’s supervisor must write and sign a justification letter, then send to [email protected], along with the completed travel reimbursement voucher.

The justification letter must include the reason(s) for the travel, the duties assigned to the student while traveling and how the travel benefits the University. Note: Students are not New York State employees and cannot sign a justification letter.

Travel Vouchers for personal reimbursement should be completed and sent to Jeanne Heiserman in MSC309.

Travel reconciliations on the travel card should be sent to Melinda Schissler in MSC326.

Interviewee Travel Costs

The State allows reimbursement of interviewee travel expenses, (e.g., transportation, food, lodging).

Travel reimbursement is permitted for both residents and non-residents of New York State. In no case, however, may reimbursement be made to interviewees residing fifty miles or less from the interview site.

Interviewees must prepare a travel voucher in accordance with standard campus procedures. The "Purpose of Travel" section should indicate that interviewee expenses are being paid. The vice president's signature will denote that all the requirements listed above are met and that the expense is allowable.

Reimbursement of interview travel expenses may be less, but not greater, than the travel allowances permitted state employees. No central funds are maintained for interviewee travel reimbursement. Respective departmental, dean or vice presidential funds should be used for this purpose.

Air travel arrangements should be set up by the Department and must be booked through a non-employee travel (net card) with one of the State contract vendors.

Travel voucher forms should be submitted early to permit timely reimbursement.

It is possible for departments to arrange all travel plans for interviewees and have the University directly billed by the vendor for services. This makes it easier for both the department and the interviewee, as well as enables the department to control the travel lodging costs.

When direct pay arrangements are made, the department will receive the bills from the vendor and submit a purchase requisition to the Accounting Office according to the standard procedures, but must indicate that payment be made to the hotel, travel agency, etc. Departmental personnel must ensure that State rates are not exceeded and that only reimbursable items are submitted for payment. The department must inform the interviewee that only the cost of travel and room will be directly paid and that he or she can be reimbursed for meal costs based on State per diem rates.

Ancillary costs associated with the candidate (such as travel to and from the airport) may be reimbursed.

Relocation Expenses

A. The basic cost of moving household goods and personal effects from the appointee's residence at the time of the initial appointment to the residence located near the new place of employment, provided that the mover used a carrier authorized by the New York State Department of Transportation or the Interstate Commerce Commission to perform such a service.

  1. Household goods are defined as all reasonable items of furniture, furnishing, clothing, appliances, tools and equipment, including necessary expenditures for handling such items as pianos, refrigerators, and deep freezers.

  2. Not included are such items as automobiles and other motor vehicles, trailers other than house trailers used as an appointee's residence; building materials; animals raised for profit, farming equipment, livestock, boats; belongings not the property of the appointee's immediate family; and belongings related to commercial enterprises engaged in by the appointee or his/her family.

  3. The cost of additional insurance above the lowest valuation rate charged.

  4. No reimbursement shall be provided for household goods and personal effects in excess of 12,000 pounds.

B. The cost of packing and/or unpacking household and personal effects if such services provided by the carrier are used.

C. The cost of transportation of the appointee and his/her family to the new location, at the rate paid by New York State for the use of personally-owned automobiles for official business, the mileage to be measured by the shortest highway route between the two places of residence.  Payment shall be made at such rate for one automobile, regardless of the number owned, or actual method of transportation used.

D. Expenses other than those enumerated above incurred by the appointee as a result of relocation shall not be subject to reimbursement.

The maximum amount reimbursed is $3,000, unless otherwise approved for an increase by the Vice President or University Controller.

Please attach a copy of the official appointment letter signed by the Vice President to the voucher. If your request exceeds $3,000 and 12,000 pounds, you must contact the University Controller and/or the Vice President for Finance and Business to obtain approval for the increase.

The Office of the State Comptroller allows $3,000 and 12,000 pounds to be reimbursed to state employees; exceeding that amount would require approval from the University's Controller/Vice President for Finance and Business.  Please obtain those approvals before forwarding your request for reimbursement to Accounts Payable.

  • Mileage or gas of your personal vehicle is reimbursed, if requested.  Both cannot be reimbursed, One option should be chosen for one car.

  • Complete a travel voucher with new address, stating the reason is relocation expense, attach all copies of personally paid receipts, proof of payment of these receipts, statement of automobile mileage (if chosen). Supervisors signature and account number should be printed at bottom of voucher.

  • No lodging receipts are reimbursed.

  • No meals are reimbursed.

  • No New York State taxes can be reimbursed on receipts.

  • No tips can be reimbursed. Please remove tips from your request.

  • Please review your receipts prior to submitting for reimbursement for any personal charges that are not reimbursable such as personal items, personal donations or any other items that are not associated with the move of your household items. Personal items on receipts are not reimbursable.

  • Airfare cannot be reimbursed unless approved by the University Controller.

  • Car Rentals cannot be reimbursed.

  • Shipping of personal automobiles via car carrier cannot be reimbursed.

  • The weight must be listed on any moving company invoices. If you do not have the weight listed, please obtain a new invoice from the moving company before submitting for payment. We cannot process your relocation expense without the weight indicated on the invoice.

Please review all relocation expense information on the New York State Office of the State Comptroller's website and Accounting Office website prior to submitting your request for relocation expenses.

Rules for Travel Reimbursement

1. General Provisions

State regulations provide reimbursement limits for meal and lodging costs incurred as a result of authorized travel. No reimbursement is allowed for lunch. Meal and lodging charges within thirty-five miles of an employee's official station or place of residence are also not allowed.

Union agreements specify various reimbursement rates. Care should be exercised to ensure the proper rates are used when submitting vouchers for payment. Special rates are issued by the Office of the State Comptroller for international travel. These rates are available in the Accounting Office Travel Unit, 518-437-3826.

Employees with permanent disabilities may be entitled to reasonable and necessary expenses in excess of the rates for meals and lodging. Exceptions are made on a case by case basis. Contact the Accounting Office Travel Unit (518-437-3826) to determine eligibility for additional expense reimbursement.

2. Departure and Arrival Time Requirements

Breakfast: Charges will be allowed when the time of departure from home or office at the beginning of a trip necessarily occurs at least one hour before their normal work start times. Generally this is 7 a.m.

Dinner: Charges will be allowed when time of return to home or office at the conclusion of a trip necessarily occurs at least two hours later than their normal ending work time. Generally this is 7 p.m.

3. Travel Status

Meal expense reimbursements are excluded from an employee's income when they are associated with overnight business travel. Generally, this rule is satisfied if an employee must be released from his or her principal post for a period that will enable the employee to get sufficient sleep or rest to complete the travel assignment.

Employees on business trips lasting one day or less may be eligible for reimbursement of breakfast and dinner. The Internal Revenue Service requires that meal reimbursements associated with travel not requiring the employee to sleep or rest, constitute taxable income to the employee. Thus, these reimbursements are reported in the employee's gross income and are subject to withholding taxes.

The following examples clarify the application of the Internal Revenue Service requirement regarding taxability of travel reimbursements:

  • An employee travels to Buffalo on business, leaving his residence at 5:30 a.m. to arrive on time for a full day of meetings commencing at 10:30 a.m. The employee eats breakfast on the road and departs Buffalo at 7:45 p.m. after having dinner. In accordance with the State Comptroller's regulations, the employee is reimbursed for breakfast and dinner. As this trip did not require the employee to stop for rest or sleep to complete the trip, the amounts the employee receives to cover meal expenses will be reported as gross income and subject to withholding taxes.

  • Assume the same facts as above except the employee parked in a rest area on the thruway and slept in the car for two hours. The meal reimbursement is taxable because, to be applied, the overnight rule requires a stop of sufficient duration that it would normally result in a significant increase in expenses. In effect, the employee must incur a lodging expense for the overnight rule to apply.

  • An employee goes on a business trip, leaving on a Monday and returning on a Friday. The reimbursement for all meals including those eaten on the last day of the trip, are not taxable. These expenses are treated as part of a trip that required an overnight stay.

  • An employee attends a professional meeting in a city two hours away. A meal is served as part of the program. Reimbursements received are not taxable because the meal consumed is part of a program designed to achieve a business objective.

4. Processing

Note: Please visit the Forms page to travel-related forms.

All requests for reimbursement must be filed on the State Travel Voucher (Form AC 132), please ensure that all boxes in gray are completed.Supporting documents (receipts, etc.) should be attached and cross-referenced on the travel voucher. University at Albany policy requires original receipts for ALL expenses being claimed.

Upon completion of the trip, the traveler prepares a Travel Voucher, signs it, and attaches all documents necessary to support the items being claimed. If a personal car was used, the Statement of Automobile Travel form (Form AC 160) should be completed and attached.

The traveler forwards the Travel Voucher with all supporting documents to the account manager to be approved, signed and forwarded to the Accounts Payable Office, MSC 309.

All travel reimbursement are either direct deposited into the traveler's bank account (same as paycheck) or a check is mailed to the traveler's home address.

5. Reimbursement Rate Schedule

The traveler can be reimbursed for travel expenses by one of two methods. Method I is a per diem allowance, while Method II pays the actual lodging cost to a maximum amount plus a per diem meal allowance. In either case, no reimbursement is allowed for lunch.

Allowable lodging and meal rates are the same for all negotiating units and are dependent upon the county and city to which the person travels.

The reimbursement rate schedule summarizes allowable reimbursements under Method I and Method II. It also covers reimbursement for personal car mileage, meal allowances for non-overnight travel, and an explanation of how the meal per diem can be used in part to offset lodging rates that exceed the maximum allowance.

When completing Travel Vouchers, the city and county travelled to must be clearly indicated for payment to be made.

6. Transportation by Common Carrier

a. Travel by Air

All airfare must be charged to your NYS Travel Card with one of the two state contracted travel agencies. Please see the topic, "University Designated Travel Agencies" for a listing of the available travel agents.

Exceptions to the use of this contract shall only be made for emergency situations or where a special incentive fare may save more than $200 over the contract price. Please note, exceptions to the use of the contract require prior approval by the Agency Finance Officer. A quote is required from the State contracted travel agency as to fare price.  OSC has confirmed that additional travel insurance is at the expense of the traveler, not the State.

When making reservations, you must be able to provide the following information:

The entity you are traveling for, the traveler's name and NYS Travel Card number, destination and dates of the potential trip.

Each agency has created a master profile and will create personal profiles for individuals who request them.

In all cases of travel by air, the passenger's portion of the airline ticket must be attached to the NYS Travel Card reconciliation form.

b. Travel by Train or Bus

Reimbursement is limited to coach fare when the trip is a daytime trip of 200 miles or less each way. Regular first class fare will be allowed for trips over 200 miles each way. The traveler should take advantage of round-trip or excursion rates whenever possible.

Service on trains is limited to chair rates for daytime travel and roomette rates for overnight travel. All charges for sleeping car and parlor car accommodations must be supported by a roomette or seat check as well as an appropriate explanation of why such accommodations were needed.

Tipping of porters for official travel within the State will be allowed at the rate of 25 cents for parlor car or chair accommodations and 50 cents for sleeping accommodations. On longer trips involving out-of-state travel, reasonable tipping charges will be allowed.

c. Traveling by Amtrak

Amtrak offers special governmental employee rates for travel between Albany/Rensselaer and New York City, and Schenectady and New York City. The governmental employee rates must be obtained, and reimbursement will be made at these rates only (See the reimbursement rate schedule). It is suggested that the employee use the University-designated travel agency to schedule all train travel.

Amtrak ticket agents require New York State employees to identify their employment status to obtain the lower rates. Presenting a University Identification Card satisfies this requirement.

d. Taxicab and Limousine/Car Service Charges

Taxicab charges are allowed. Reasonable customary tipping will be allowed. Tips should not be claimed separately but, rather, should be included in taxicab charges. Limousine/Car Service charges are generally not allowed, since Taxi/Uber/Lyft is most likely more cost effective.  Please note, tips for taxi/uber/lyft should not exceed 15%.

e. Reimbursement for Travel between Residence and Transportation Terminal

When in travel status, employees may be reimbursed for the following travel expenses incurred between residence and transportation terminals (bus stations, airports, State garages, etc.).

  • Actual cost incurred.

  • Actual cost incurred for travel between transportation terminals.

  • Personal car mileage at the negotiated rate (see the reimbursement rate schedule). The employee must provide receipts to be reimbursed. Parking meter charges will be allowed when the employee lists on the voucher the date and place the charges were incurred.

7. Transaction Fees

Transaction fees vary by travel agency. Please see topic, "University Designated Travel Agencies" for fees.

Airline Transaction Fee: The contractor is allowed to charge a Transaction Fee for reserving, booking and issuing airline tickets (Electronic or Paper Tickets). One transaction fee may be charged per trip, for booking and ticketing air travel. For purposes of airline transaction fees, a "Trip" is defined as all segments booked for one individual at one time for one itinerary. Any service not itemized separately in this amendment is designated as a non-fee item and shall be considered to be part of and included in the Transaction Fee charge. Additional charges for any service that is not listed will be considered to be a part of the Transaction Fee charge.

Bus/Train Transaction Fee: Travel agents may charge a transaction fee for booking train and/or bus transportation (bus tickets must be booked with commercial bus transportation companies, such as Greyhound and Trailways). This charge is allowed on a per ticket (per traveler) basis unless the transaction is for bulk ticketing. Bulk ticket issues are allowed only one transaction fee for the entire group of tickets. Bus/Train bulk ticketing is encouraged, when possible. Bulk ticketing is defined as multiple tickets ordered by one entity, at one time, for delivery to one location. Time permitting, train and bus tickets should be mailed first class with no additional charges. (Motor coach group bookings are excluded.)

Delivery by Messenger has been deleted from the State contract. E-ticketing is highly encouraged to lower the cost of delivery by a State contracted courier service. For non-priority tickets, arrangements for delivery through 1st class mail is acceptable. Ticket delivery shall be accomplished by satellite ticket printer or e-ticketing at no additional fee. When an e-ticket is issued, the travel agent contractor must fax or e-mail a confirmation to the purchasing agency. The using entity may use one of the contractors from the Statewide Courier Services contract to pick up tickets from the travel agent for delivery to their location. If this method of delivery is utilized, consideration should be given to use the least cost delivery time category that provides the tickets within the necessary time frame.

8. Transportation by Motor Vehicles

a.  Transportation by Rental Vehicles

When use of a rental vehicle is necessary and prudent, travelers should use a rental company on the NYS Passenger Vehicle Rental Contract to obtain the lower rental rates offered to NYS agencies. Use of a rental company not on the NYS contract must be justified.

Reserving a Vehicle: You may use the State Contracted Travel agency Direct Travel or you may go directly thru one of these companies via the online link below or telephone.

There is no option to direct bill a car rental. All rentals must be paid for with a credit card.

Payment: Travelers should use their NYS Travel Card to pay for vehicle rentals. Use of the NYS travel card provides insurance (commonly referred to as Collision Damage Waiver Insurance) for damage to the rental vehicle. Renting under the contract and paying with the NYS travel card provides sufficient insurance coverage for rentals of 31 days or less so purchasing additional insurance is not necessary. If travelers are unable to rent from one of the NYS contracted companies, additional insurance coverage must be purchased. The inability to rent from a contracted agency must be documented.

The NYS contract provides:

  • Reduced rental rates

  • Standard size vehicle rentals as a rule. Any vehicle upgrades must be justified.

  • Unlimited mileage

  • No additional fee for picking up a vehicle in one location and dropping it off in another location as long as the two locations are within 500 miles of each other.

  • Tax Exempt rentals in New York State. When renting under the contract and paying with the NYS travel card, an AC946 tax exempt form is not required. When picking up your rental, present your University ID and remind the counter agent to remove all NYS taxes from your rental agreement. Always review your agreement before leaving to ensure all NYS taxes have been removed. Travelers who pay NYS taxes must obtain a credit from the rental company or reimburse the University directly through other funds.

Important Reminders:

  • Additional Add-ons must be justified.

  • Tickets and toll violations must be reimbursed.

  • Retain receipts for Fuel, Tolls, or any other expenses related to the Car Rental. These expenses can be placed on the travel card or submitted for reimbursement.

  • Toll expense receipts while renting a car are available upon request.

  • Any use of the car rental period for personal use must be reimbursed back to the University.

Contracted Companies: Each company has a NYS Contract Code that must be provided to car rental reservation agents or entered on their website to ensure state rental rates are obtained for the rental. Review the Travel Agencies & Vehicle Rentals section for information.

b. Transportation by Privately Owned Vehicles

When a privately owned vehicle is used for University business, the traveler will be reimbursed at the current approved mileage rate (see the reimbursement rate schedule). Reimbursement is allowed for all travel necessary to accomplish the purpose of the trip.

A Statement of Automobile Travel (Form AC 160) must be attached to the Travel Voucher to support the miles claimed. The total of the "Miles Traveled" column on the Statement of Automobile Travel should agree with line 16 on the Travel Voucher and will be used as the basis for mileage reimbursement.

Note: Please visit the Forms page to travel-related forms.

When a personal car is used for official travel beginning or ending at the employee's residence rather than his or her official station and destination is 35 miles or more from the official station, the traveler may be reimbursed (in accordance with his or her allowed mileage rate) for the distance between their residence and the destination of travel.

When an employee uses a personal car on State business and is involved in an accident, the employee's insurance provides the primary source of coverage. State involvement is subject to specific requirements detailed in Section 17 of the New York State Public Officer's Law.

c. Vehicle Incumbent Costs

Tolls and parking charges will be reimbursed. Claims for reimbursement for parking charges must indicate the place and time parking was incurred.

9. Travel By Privately Owned Airplanes

In cases where travel by air is justified, travel by a privately owned airplane will be reimbursed at the maximum rate of $0.28, $0.25 or $0.205 per mile, depending on the bargaining unit. The reimbursement rate is the same regardless of the number of passengers.

If employees are authorized to use privately owned planes on University business, they must have a number of items on file with the Office of the State Comptroller. Please contact the Accounting Office before using a privately owned plane for State travel.

10. Lodging

Please be aware of per diem rates in the city and county you will be staying in. Per diem can only be exceeded under certain circumstances.

Note: Please visit the Forms page to travel-related forms.

11. Incidental Travel Expenses

a. Telephone, Telegraph and Fax Charges

Reimbursement claims for long distance telephone calls and fax charges must be fully documented and receipted to be paid in full. The Travel Voucher should include information, such as name of party called, place called, date of call, and statement of official business. Only the date of a call is required for local calls. In the case of charges for telegrams, the employee must provide the date, name, and address of the person to whom the telegram was sent.

Telephone calls and telegrams pertaining to such issues as leaves of absence, payment of salaries, expense vouchers, or personal business are not reimbursable.

b. Miscellaneous Charges

  • Reimbursable Expenses: Baggage transfer charges are allowed, but must be satisfactorily explained. Claims for reimbursement of expenditures made for the purchase of authorized supplies not exceeding $10 or similar charges incidental to travel must be supported by an itemized receipt. New York State sales taxes will not be reimbursed on these items. Sales tax exempt forms are available upon request.

  • Non-reimbursable expenses: Laundry, valet service, theater and banquet tickets, and entertainment and alcohol are considered personal items and will not be reimbursed.

c. E-Z Pass

There are two types of documentation that may be submitted to reimburse travelers for E-Z Pass tolls. The travelers may submit their E-Z Pass statement or go to the following website to create the documentation. Use the E-Z Pass toll calculator to complete these steps:

  1. Go to Tool and Distance Calculator

  2. Select type of vehicle

  3. Submit

  4. Choose a starting point

  5. Choose an ending point

  6. Calculate Toll

  7. Print and attach to travel voucher

Travel Rates and Reimbursement Methods

Please visit the Forms page to travel-related forms.

All travel vouchers should be sent to Jeanne Heiserman ([email protected]). All travel reconciliations should be sent to Melinda Schissler ([email protected]).

Method 1 Unreceipted Per Diem Rates

This flat rate per diem allowance for meals, lodging and incidentals may be used regardless of where lodging was obtained, even if you stay with a relative or friend. No receipts are required. To receive the full per diem the traveler must be in overnight travel status and be eligible for both breakfast and dinner.

Reimbursement for meals, lodging and incidental expenses on a per diem basis as follows:


Per Diem

New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties


Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and their surrounding metropolitan areas


All other locations in New York State


All locations outside New York State (this includes any out-of-state tax on lodging)


This method is also used if you are traveling and staying overnight with family, friends or colleagues. 

  • Any travel outside of New York State, where the traveler is staying with family, friends or colleagues may be reimbursed under this method for $50 per full day (7 a.m. breakfast is $10 and 7 p.m. dinner is $40). 

  • Inside New York State, please see above chart for meals when staying with family, friends or colleagues.

Method 2 Receipted Per Diem Rates

If you are requesting Method 2 receipted meals, a copy of your lodging bill is always required. We base the meals upon the zip code of the lodging according to the per diem chart. Please always attach a copy of your lodging bill when requesting the meal per diem rate.

The county allowances for lodging and meals are shown in the chart titled

Receipts for lodging are mandatory when using Method 2. Receipts are not required for meals when the employee is in overnight travel status. The per diem allowances are set by county, therefore, to avoid processing delays, the traveler's destination must include the county as well as the city.

Day Trip Reimbursement

Travelers may be reimbursed for breakfast and/or dinner for day trips based on departure and return times. Travelers are entitled to reimbursement for breakfast if they have to leave at least one hour before their normal work state time, and/or for dinner if they return at least two hours later than their normal work ending time.

Travelers without meal receipts are reimbursed $5 for breakfast and/or $12 for dinner. For example, a traveler leaves Albany at 7 a.m. for New York City. The traveler arrives back in Albany the same day at 6 pm. The traveler(s) scheduled work hours are from 8 am to 4 pm. The traveler is entitled to $5 for breakfast and $12 for dinner.

Travelers with meal receipts are reimbursed up to a maximum amount of the meal per diem allowance (Method 2) specified for the particular area of travel. The meal per diem allowance is apportioned for breakfast and dinner.

When an employee is in travel status for less than a full day and lodging charges are not incurred, reimbursement will be made for breakfast and dinner in one of two ways: receipted or non-receipted.

Receipted meals will be reimbursed at the rates stated under Method 2. Non-receipted will be reimbursed as follows, for all locations in New York State:

  • Breakfast Maximum: $5

  • Dinner Maximum: $12

These rates include gratuities. It is not possible to provide allowances greater than those shown above.

Working Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners

Working breakfasts (including candidate interviewee breakfasts) can be reimbursed. Please access the GSA website, input the zip code of the restaurant receipt and reimburse according to the breakfast/continental breakfast amount listed on GSA. An example of this is $16 per person (including tip) for breakfast in Albany for a working breakfast meeting.

Working lunches (including candidate interviewee lunches) can be reimbursed. Please access the GSA website, input the zip code of the restaurant receipt and reimburse according to the lunch amount listed on GSA. An example of this is $17 per person (including tip) for lunch in Albany for a working lunch meeting.

Working dinners (including candidate interviewee dinners) can be reimbursed.  Please access the GSA website, input the zip code of the restaurant receipt and reimburse according to the dinner amount listed on GSA. An example of this is $31 per person (including tip) for dinner in Albany for the working dinner meeting.  

No New York State taxes can be reimbursed on restaurant receipts.

Mileage Rates

Effective January 1, 2024, the new mileage rate has been increased to $0.67 for Personal Vehicles. For motorcycles, the mileage rate is now $0.635. (The mileage rate was $0.655 per mile for personal vehicles in 2023.)

Employees will be reimbursed a maximum mileage rate for the authorized use of personally owned vehicles, regardless of the number of passengers as follows:

  • a. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Unit (Negotiation Unit 05) — $0.67 per mile

  • b. Administrative Services, Institutional Services, Operational Services (Negotiation Units 01, 02, 03 and 04) — $0.67 per mile

  • c. United University Professions (UUP) (Negotiation Unit 08) — $0.67 per mile

  • d. Management Confidential employees and other unrepresented employees (Negotiation Unit 13) — $0.67 per mile

Gas costs are included in the mileage rate. All Management Confidential and other unrepresented employees' maximum mileage rates will match the IRS rate and will increase or decrease as the IRS rate changes. Notices will be issued in the event of such changes.

Amtrak Rates

Amtrak offers the following reduced rates for New York State employees traveling on State business.

These rates can be obtained from any contracted State authorized travel agent, Amtrak ticket windows or by calling Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Peak rates apply to departures on Friday and Sunday between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm.

The Amtrak Government Fare is $67 one-way (or $134 round-trip) between Albany/Rensselaer and New York Penn Station.

The following rules and procedures will apply:

  1. There will no longer be a peak or off-peak fare, just the one fare, which will have the fare code of "FOGN." This will be valid for government travel at any time. 

  2. Government travel between Albany/Rensselaer and New York Penn Station will not be required to have reservations - government fares will be valid on all trains between Albany/Rensselaer and New York Penn Station except for the Lakeshore Limited (Train numbers 48 & 49).

  3. There will no longer be government fares to/from Schenectady and Buffalo, NY.

  4. Those State Agencies that participate in the 'Bulk Ticketing' program by purchasing quantities of tickets in advance from Amtrak or designated Travel Agencies will still be allowed to do so and these tickets will also be valid on all trains between Albany/Rensselaer and New York Penn Station except for the Lakeshore Limited.

Meals and Incidental Expenses Breakdown

New York State (NYS) reimburses its employees for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) based on per diem rates established by the United States General Services Administration (GSA) for travel within the continental United States. The per diem rates vary by location and year.

In some cases, a traveler may be entitled to only a portion of the NYS M&IE per diem rate. In these cases, the traveler may be reimbursed up to 80 percent of the total M&IE per diem rate for eligible dinners or up to 20 percent of the total M&IE per diem rate for eligible breakfasts, rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Please refer to the “Reimbursement Allowances” section of the State of New York Travel Manual for guidance on when this applies.

The maximum per diem rates are updated annually in the Statewide Financial System to coincide with federal GSA rate changes. Please note that the NYS M&IE per diem rates have increased from the 2020-2021 year. The updated M&IE per diem rates are effective October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

Process and Document Preparation

For instances in which travelers are entitled to only a portion of the NYS M&IE per diem rate, the chart below provides the breakdown of the M&IE per diem rate totals between the breakfast and dinner rates. Incidental expenses such as tips for bellmen, porters, and hotel maids continue to be included in the M&IE per diem rate total. As such, employees should not request or expect reimbursement for these expenses.

Agencies should refer to the GSA website for future, current, and past per diem rates. Please note the following differences from the federal GSA per diem expense breakdowns:

  • NYS does not reimburse employees for lunch; therefore, lunch is not included in the NYS M&IE per diem breakdown rate.

  • NYS does not reimburse incidental expenses separately from the M&IE allowance.

  • NYS does not use “First & Last Day of Travel” per diem rates.   First and Last Day of Travel meals are for FEDERAL employees only, not State employees.    

  • NYS does not reimburse lunch to its travelers.

For areas with the following meal allowances, employees are reimbursed as follows and are based upon a 7 a.m. (breakfast) and 7 p.m. (dinner) time frame (as of October 1, 2021):

Meal Allowance Breakfast Dinner
$59 $12 $47
$64 $13 $51
$69 $14 $55
$74 $15 $59
$79 $16 $63

These rates include gratuities. Note: Incidental expenses such as tips to bellmen, porters, hotel maids, etc., continue to be included in the allowances.

It should be noted that taxes are not included in the maximum lodging allowances under Method II for out of State travel.

Regardless of the reimbursement method used, the maximum reimbursement for meal expenses incurred by employees while conducting regular State business may not exceed the meal allowance for the area of assignment. It is also not possible to increase the allowable total per diem allowance for any area of assignment.

The lodging for the Albany Area is $115. However, the meal per diem has now decreased to $59.

However, if the cost of lodging exceeds the maximum allowance for lodging in the area of assignment, the employee's meal allowance must be used to offset the higher lodging rate.

The following examples of an overnight stay in Rochester (per diem $110 for lodging and $54 for meals) at various lodging rates illustrates how this will be applied:

Actual Lodging Meal Allowance Maximum Total Allowance
$100 $54 $154
$90 $54 $144
$200 $54 $164
$200 $0 $110


New York State Travel Card Program 

Travel Card Procedures

View the NYS Travel Card Manual - updated March 2023.

The State of New York has a Corporate Travel Card Program to provide employees with a mechanism to pay for travel expenses.

  • Travel Card (T-Card) Program: The card is generally available to all State employees who are expected to travel using STATE FUNDS at least once a year as part of their job. Only the Cardholder's NYS State funded travel expenses are allowed on their card. A traveler may not use this card to pay for anyone else's expenses.

  • Non-Employee Travel (NET) Program: A NET card is an individualized (embossed) card that will be used for non-employee State travel expenses only. The card must be embossed with the name of the State employee responsible for reconciling the card. Some uses of this type of card include:

    • Student travel expenses (including athletic team travel)

    • Research Foundation (non-State) employee travel

    • Travel for potential candidate for employment

Please visit the Forms page to access travel card applications and reconciliation forms. Applications should be submitted via email to Eileen Scanlan at [email protected].

All state-funded travel must be preapproved. Preapproval forms should be submitted well in advance of travel to ensure the best prices are obtained. Cards are funded once a travel approval code has been issued for a trip.

Expenses will post to the default state account listed on the application. Expenses cannot be moved to the UAlbany Foundation or to the Research Foundation.

All Original Receipts must be saved. Travel card reconciliations must be submitted detailing all charges on the corporate card. Out of pocket expenses should be submitted on travel vouchers. Accounting will reimburse out-of-pocket expenses and pay the corporate Travel card directly. Both must be submitted timely since they provide information necessary to reconcile the corporate card bill. Suspension and/or Revocation of the traveler's card may occur if there are delays in the submission of vouchers or reimbursements.

Travel Card Policies

It is important to note that New York State guidelines, rules and regulations remain the same. These guidelines MUST be adhered to when using state funds to travel. View the Travel Card Manual for further details.

Your Individual Department's travel policies may mandate more restrictive travel spending and guidelines.

Please check with your Account Manager for more specific policies prior to traveling.

Only appropriate travel expenses may be charged to the card. These include:

  • Airfare: Airfare must be booked using the NYS Travel Card through Direct Travel, the SUNY-contracted travel agency. Call Direct Travel at (800) 774-0655 or email [email protected] for booking assistance.

  • Train or Bus: The Government rate of $68.00, one way from Albany to Moynihan Train Hall, coach class only, is the maximum fare allowable if traveling by Amtrak to NYC.

  • Lodging: Travelers must stay within Per Diem Rates for lodging. The only exception to this is if the traveler is staying at the Conference hotel, this must be proven with documentation.

  • Meals: Travelers must stay within Per Diem Rates for meals. Note: You cannot put meals on your Card and claim any portion of a Meal Per Diem Reimbursement for the same trip.

  • Gasoline: The Card can be used to purchase gasoline for Personal or Rental Vehicles. Note: You cannot charge Gasoline for your personal Car and claim any portion of Mileage Reimbursement for the same trip.

  • Other: Parking Expenses, Taxis, Conference Registration Fees, Baggage fees, and other miscellaneous travel related expenses may also be charged to the travel card.

The University is responsible for recovering any overpayments or improper charges, as well as ensuring the bill is reconciled correctly. Improper or unauthorized charges may result in mandated reimbursement to the University by the employee, this may be recovered from an employee's reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, paychecks or any other monies owed to the employee. Improper or unauthorized charges may also result in suspension or loss of privileges related to the card, and/or disciplinary action.

Employees leaving the University must turn in their travel card prior to leaving.

In the event of a declined authorization, lost or stolen card, or suspected fraudulent activity, contact the Accounting Office immediately. For after-hours assistance, send an email to Eileen Scanlan, the Credit Card Program Manager, at [email protected].

Travel Card Reconciliation Procedures
  1. For any month a traveler has activity on their JP Morgan Chase Travel Card, the State Accounting Office will send the individual traveler's JP Morgan Chase Corporate Card (JPMC) statement and the University at Albany Travel Card Reconciliation Form to the traveler and the account manager. These will be sent out via email with-in 5 business days at the end of a billing cycle.

    The Billing Cycle for the T-Card ends the 20th of each month.

    The Billing Cycle for the NET Card ends the 5th of each month.

    Please visit the Forms page to travel card applications and reconciliation forms.

  2. The traveler or account manager is responsible for transferring information from the JPMC statement onto the Reconciliation Form, attaching all pertinent original receipts and submitting this information to the State Accounting Office within 21 days of receiving the JPMC statement.

  3. In cases where a refund is due to the University from the traveler, the traveler must submit a check payable to the University at Albany with the documentation from step 2 above.
  4. If there are out-of-pocket travel expenses related to the trip(s) on the JPMC statement, a NYS Travel Voucher must be submitted with the original receipts and your Travel Preapproval Form to [email protected] for processing.
  5. Copies of all documentation submitted to the State Accounting Office should be retained by the traveler or within the department.
  6. Failure to submit all documentation related to the monthly JPMC statement in a timely fashion may result in the suspension of the traveler's credit card.
  7. The State Accounting Office will audit the Reconciliation Forms and NYS Travel Vouchers to ensure that all documentation related to this month's activity is reconciled.

Additional Guidance

Travel Pre-approval Required

If you are traveling on behalf of the University, please complete the Travel Pre-approval Form on the Forms page before your travel.

This form should be completed prior to making your travel arrangements and forwarded to [email protected] for approval. Once you receive your approval, you can then proceed with your travel arrangements.

Individual Development Awards (IDA)

Each year Individual Development Awards are awarded to applicants on campus. When these awards are approved, the recipient will receive a letter from the President of the Albany UUP Chapter regarding their award which will display the amount awarded to the recipient as well as the IDA account number. 

This award is used to offset any personally paid expenses you may have incurred while traveling on behalf of the University. Current University travel restrictions apply, please access the travel link on our page for all travel information. 

The travel voucher form is used to reimburse employees.  If you are using these funds to offset your travel, please access all appropriate forms under the forms link and review all travel information under the travel link.  The award can only be processed for the trip in which you applied for and received approval.

  • Declination of the IDA award should be addressed with the President of the Albany UUP Chapter, as Accounting cannot transfer your funds to another person or department.   

  • The travel form requires your name, home address (payments cannot be made to work addresses), zip code, purpose, destination including address and zip code, dates and times are required for processing, attach all personally paid receipts. sign, date and attach a copy of your award letter, and print the IDA account number under the Departmental Account Number box.

  • If your receipts were previously paid on a NYS issued travel card, these expenses have already been paid and reconciled and cannot be transferred to the IDA funds.  Also, no journal transfers can be made. 

  • These awards are for any items you may have placed upon your personal credit card or may have paid with cash or check. All receipts are required.  

  • Awards for coursework may be used only for tuition (fees are an ineligible expense; and awards may not be used for extra service).

  • If you are using your award to offset expenses for supplies, please also complete the travel voucher form as this form is the only form used to reimburse employees.

Ban on Nonessential Travel to Mississippi

New York State Executive Order 156 bans all non-essential travel to the state of Mississippi.

This travel ban applies to all travel funded by the University, State or Research Foundation, including travel funded from State IFR or Research Foundation multiple sponsor accounts, or by another New York State agency. 

Travel through an airport located in Mississippi to a final destination outside of Mississippi is allowed, so long as there is no overnight layover in Mississippi. However, when possible and cost effective, travelers should avoid making airline connections through a Mississippi airport. 

To comply with this Executive Order, do not schedule, make deposits or incur any expenses related to travel to Mississippi.

For questions related to state-funded travel, please contact University Controller Gerard Marino at [email protected]

For travel funded by the Research Foundation, please contact the Sponsored Programs Administration.

Travel Advances

Eligible employees can receive travel advances to offset out-of-pocket costs associated with their travel.

The University Travel Advance Fund can be used in the following circumstances:


  • 1. Authorized Users and Dollar Limits

    • a. Advances will be issued only in conjunction with approved trips. 

    • b. Advances will be issued only to University employees (not students or employment candidates) who are in travel status for at least one day which includes an overnight lodging. 

    • c. A traveler can have only one outstanding advance at any given time. 

    • d. Travel advances cannot exceed the approved per diem rate and cannot be issued for registration fees. 

    • e. Travelers should request travel advances at least two weeks in advance of the trip. 

  • 2. Travel Advance Request Instructions

    • a. Lines 1-9 on the State Travel Voucher, AC 132, should be completed, with additional information on Lines 2 and 5. 

    • b. Line 2, box marked "Additional", should include the travelers' telephone extension. 

    • c. Line 5, should include the travel advance information, including a maximum dollar amount of $400.00 and a listing of anticipated travel expenses, the initials of the traveler and the signature of the travelers' supervisor. 

    • d. The department account number should be inlcuded in the lower left-hand corner of the travel voucher, under the heading "Cost Center Unit". 

    • e. If any of the information above is not complete, a delay in the processing of the advance will occur. 

    • f. The Payee copy will be forwarded directly to the Accounting Department at MSC 326. The OSC and Department copies will be held by the traveler and completed by the traveler upon return from their trip. 

  • 3. Repayment of the Travel Advance 

    • a. When the amount to be reimbursed to the traveler on the Travel Voucher is less than the amount of the advance, the traveler must submit with the Travel Voucher a check for the difference, payable to "Advance for Travel - State University at Albany."

      In these cases, the traveler is responsible for immediate repayment of the excess advance and should process the Travel Voucher within ten days after returning from the trip. 

    • b. If the advance repayment check is returned by the bank because of insufficient funds, a $20 returned check fee is imposed. The traveler will be required to submit payment for the amount of the original check plus the $20 returned check fee. 

    • c. When the amount due the traveler for reimbursement exceeds the amount of the advance, the traveler will be reimbursed for the difference. Timely submittal of the travel voucher upon return from the trip will ensure the traveler is reimbursed as soon as possible. 

  • 4. Delinquent Repayment of Travel Advance

    If a Travel Voucher or personal check for full repayment of the advance is not received by the Accounting Office Travel Unit within thirty days after completion of the trip, the outstanding advance will be considered delinquent. An amount equal to the advance may be deducted from the traveler's wages or other monies due the traveler to reimburse the University's Advance for Travel account.

    A traveler delinquent in repayment will be refused an additional travel advance. Also, notices of the delinquency will be issued to the traveler's supervisors and respective vice president's office.