Authority to Travel

Overview / Phone

References: State Administrative Manual (SAM) Sections 0700 & 4100, California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Regulations, Sections 599.615 through 638.1 and Bargaining Unit Contracts.

This guide is a summary of the basic information for traveling on official State business however; it is not a replacement for the Travel and Expense Guide. Prior to traveling, employees should review detailed travel policies in the Travel and Expense Guide located at

State agencies shall provide reimbursement for the actual and necessary out-of-pocket expenses incurred by state officers and employees because of travel on official state business. The state agency is responsible for determining the necessity for travel and that such travel represents the best interest of the State. Each state agency may determine the time and method of travel, location and lodging. Once the necessity and method of travel, location and lodging has been determined, reimbursement shall be governed by the applicable California Code of Regulations Administrative Code, (CCR) Title 2 sections and the appropriate Bargaining Unit Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) referenced in this guide.

The signature of the officer approving travel and payment is certification that the approving party has authorized the travel and that expenses were incurred to conduct official state business and the items claimed are appropriate and in keeping with CCR rules, the applicable MOU, State Administrative Manual (SAM) and departmental polices. It is the intent of California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) that state agencies shall not have the discretion to provide reimbursement at a lower amount than contained in CCR sections unless such discretion is specifically authorized by rule. Language of CCR sections providing a specific time, distance or amount shall be rigidly interpreted.

Language such as "not more than" or "up to" a specified amount shall be interpreted as a rigid ceiling with departmental discretion below such ceiling.

Employees with questions regarding travel expense claims or policies may contact the Travel Information Line at (916) 227-9061 Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

Contact list:

No per diem reimbursement is allowed for locations within 50 miles of the employee’s headquarters/primary residence. Guidelines for an exception to this rule can be found in Chapter 6 of the Travel Guide located on the Internet at

All airfare, rental car and lodging reservations should be made via the Concur Travel Reservation System /CalTravelStore and require on-line supervisor approval. Airfare and Rental Car reservation must be approved by the supervisor within 24 hours to avoid cancellation. Lodging reservations must be approved by the supervisor within 6 hours to avoid cancellation. Per Diem (lodging, meals and incidentals) may be reimbursed for actual costs, up to the maximum rates allowed by CalHR and if applicable, Bargaining Unit contract.

Employees may not claim meal reimbursement when meals are furnished to the employee or otherwise paid for (i.e., meals on airlines, provided by hotel, etc.). A continental breakfast (juice, coffee, rolls) is not considered a meal.

Short-Term per diem are intended for travel that is scheduled for less than 30 consecutive days. Long Term per diem rates are intended for travel over 30 days. Weekends and short term assignments away from the job site do not “break” the continuity of the assignment.

When Expenses are Allowed

When Travel and Per Diem Expenses Are Allowed
IF . . . Yes No
Official State business X
Per diem expenses within 50 miles of primary residence or headquarters X
Illness when traveling or on a long-term assignment Up to 3 days with approval After 3 days
Vacation, CTO X
Promotional Exam X
Job Interview X
Saturday/Sunday/Holidays With approval / justification

Financing Travel Expenses

Air/Rental Car:

All airfare and rental car reservations must be made via the Concur Travel Reservation System/CalTravelStore. Reservations require on-line supervisor approval. The department pays airfare and car rental directly via the Citibank CTA account.


Lodging should be booked through Concur when possible. To book lodging in Concur, the reservation must be held with the employee’s personal credit card.

Meals and Incidentals:

With supervisor approval, a temporary travel advance may be issued to provide advance funding for lodging and meals. Instructions for requesting a travel advance:

Receipt Requirements

The use of third party companies (e.g. Travelocity, Priceline) require receipts from both the hotel and third party vendor. Employees must use Concur (CalTravelStore) for all air, rental car and lodging reservations.

Type of Expense Receipts Criteria
Lodging Yes Itemized receipt indicating paid.
Meals and Incidentals In-State No Employee should retain receipts.
Meals and Incidentals, Out-of-Country Yes/No If over $24.99; Under $24.99, Employees should retain receipts.
Meals, Out-of-State No Employee should retain receipts.
Airfare, In-State Yes Attach airline itinerary.
Airfare, Out-of-State Yes Attach airline itinerary.
Gas for Rental Car or State Vehicle Yes Attach itemized receipt to TEC.
Parking & Road Tolls Yes When cost exceeds $10.00.
Rental Cars Yes Attach receipt to TEC.
Shuttles, Streetcars, Local Rapid Transit Yes When cost exceeds $10.00.
Train & Bus Fares, In-State Yes When paid by the employee and cost exceeds $24.99.
Train and Bus Fares, out-of-state Yes Attach train receipt.
Business Phone Calls and Faxes Yes When over $5.00.
Other Business Expenses Yes Receipt required for items over $5.00. Explanation required for all amounts claimed.

Short Term Travel


Reimbursement for short-term lodging requires that the traveler incurs expenses arising from the use of reasonable, moderately priced lodging commercial establishments such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, and campgrounds that cater to the general public. The use of time shares and other privately owned venues do not qualify as a commercial lodging establishment and will not be reimbursed. The location of travel will determine the lodging rate allowed.

Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver -- STD Form 236

Hotels/motels have the option to waive occupancy (room) tax and employees should inquire when making reservations. Employees are expected to present a completed Form Std.236 at check- in.

Staying with Friends and Relatives

Short-term meals and incidentals may be claimed when staying with friends or relatives in accordance with the rates and timeframes.

Image of short term lodging rates

Per Diem

Meal and Incidental Rates and Requirements

Travel Less than 24 hours: Meal reimbursements are taxable for travel less than 24 hours without an overnight stay.

Meals Actual
up to
Travel Times
Breakfast $7.00 Travel begins at or before 6:00 a.m. AND ends at or after 9:00 a.m.
Lunch N/A No lunch reimbursement for travel less than 24 hours.
Dinner $23.00 Travel begins at or before 4:00 p.m. AND ends at or after 7:00 p.m.

Travel Greater than 24 Hours:

Meals Actual
up to
Travel Times
Breakfast $7.00 Travel begins at or before 6:00 a.m. or ends at or after 8:00 a.m.
Lunch $11.00 Travel begins at or before 11:00 a.m. or ends at or after 2:00 p.m.
Dinner $23.00 Travel begins at or before 5:00 p.m. or ends at or after 7:00 p.m.
*Incidentals $5.00 Incidentals up to $6.00 may be claimed after the first 24 hours of travel (second day).

*Incidentals are restricted to fees, tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff and staff on ships.

Out of State

Out-of-state travel is defined as any travel outside the State of California for the purpose of conducting business outside the State of California. It does not include trips through or stopovers in bordering states incidental to travel within points in California. For short-term out-of-state and out-of-country travel (less than 31 days) employees will be reimbursed for actual lodging expenses that are supported by a receipt.

An approved form STD. 257, "Request for Approval of Out-of-State Travel" is required to reimburse a travel expense claim (TEC). The total expenditures claimed on the TEC, plus transportation costs, may not exceed the total amount approved on the STD. 257.

Out-of-State Meals and Incidental Expenses:

Meal and incidental expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with in-state rates.

Out-of-Country Meals and Incidental Expenses:

Employees will be reimbursed for actual meal and incidental expenses subject to federal maximum rates. Federal maximum rates for meals and incidentals by country and travel dates are available on the U.S. Department of State’s website:

Appendix B (breakdown of rates):

Receipts are required for meals and incidentals claimed in excess of $24.99 (US):

Long Term Travel - Over 30 Days


A Long-Term Assignment (LTA) is defined as any assignment of 31 calendar days or more in a single location a minimum of 50 miles from an employee's primary headquarters and residence. The employee's return home for weekends or incidental short-term travel to another location does not break the continuity of a long-term assignment. Lodging reimbursement is limited to commercial lodging properties.

Form FA 1350, Long-Term Assignment Information Certification of Subsistence Rates

  • Complete and submit a Long-Term Assignment Information and Certification of Subsistence Rates (Form FA 1350) to their supervisor for approval. Submit approved copy to the Division of Accounting - Travel Policy Section, MS #25 at least 15 calendar days in advance of travel, or as soon as the circumstances that require approval are known.
  • When any changes are made to the FA 1350, it is the employee/supervisor’s responsibility to submit a revision to the Travel Policy Section. A new form is required when the assignment is changed to another geographical area. A geographical area is defined as an area within a 50-mile radius.
  • A copy of the FA 1350 must be attached to each TEC submitted for reimbursement. In addition, the Purpose of the Trip on the TEC should indicate the employee is on a long-term assignment.

Lodging, Meals and Incidentals

  • At the start of the assignment, short-term per diem may be authorized for travel to the new location and is limited to the time required to locate acceptable long-term accommodations. With supervisor approval, short-term per diem may be extended up to 30 consecutive calendar days.
  • Once long-term accommodations have been secured, the employee must claim long-term per diem. The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has established specific timeframes for authorizing employees to claim long-term per diem.
  • The lodging subsistence is intended for renting, whether it is an apartment, house condo, etc. The state does not make payments on a purchase. If an employee owns the LTA residence, only meals will be reimbursed.
The IRS classifies LTAs into two categories: Temporary and Indefinite Assignments.

Temporary Assignments

Defined as "employment away from home in a single location wherein the employment is realistically expected and in fact lasts, one year (365 days) or less.”
  • Travel reimbursements for Temporary Assignments and/or direct payment to third parties by the employer for meals, lodging, transportation, etc. are not taxable income to the employee.
  • If an employer initially assigns an employee to a Temporary Assignment and later determines that the assignment is now expected to last for more than one year, reimbursements are immediately taxable from that day until the end of the assignment.

Indefinite Assignments

Defined as "employment away in a single location wherein the employment assignment is realistically expected to last for more than one year."
  • Travel reimbursements for Indefinite Assignments and/or direct payments to third parties by the employer for meals, lodging, transportation, etc. are taxable income to the employee.
  • The assignment does not have to last more than one year. If at beginning of the assignment it is expected to last more than one year, the benefits are taxable for the assignment regardless of the actual length of the assignment.
Note: Travel expenses incurred while taking a business trip away from the LTA location are not reported as taxable income.

Employees on long-term assignments are expected to promptly acquire acceptable long-term commercial accommodations. Long-term accommodations are defined as, but not limited to, apartments, rental homes and rooms, condominiums, and hotels that offer long-term amenities. Costs associated with use of time shares and other privately owned venues are not commercial lodging establishments and will not be reimbursed. In general, these establishments offer monthly rates and may require separate utility payments. Once long-term accommodations have been established, the employee must claim long-term per diem rates as found in this section. If the employee owns the LTA residence, only long-term meals will be reimbursed. The Department may request additional information such as, but not limited to, rental agreements to determine that the secured accommodations are commercial.

An employee who does not maintain a primary residence (headquarters) area may claim one half of the Daily Rate.

To qualify for full long-term travel reimbursement, the employee on the long-term assignment must meet the following criteria:

  • The employee continues to maintain a permanent residence at the primary headquarters, and
  • The permanent residence is occupied by the employee's dependents, or
  • The permanent residence is maintained at a net expense to the employee exceeding $200 per month.

Per Diem Rate Options

Long-Term Per Diem Rates/Options

1. Daily Rate 3. Long-Term Assignment Differential
2. Rent /Utility 4. Non-Commercial (BU 9 Only)

Daily Rate

  • Long-term subsistence rates of $24 for actual meals and incidentals and $24 for receipted lodging for travel of twelve (12) hours up to twenty-four (24) hours and;
  • Either $24 for actual meals or $24 for receipted lodging for travel less than twelve (12) hours when;

The employee incurs expenses in one location in a commercial establishment catering to the long-term visitor.

This is calculated by dividing the monthly rent receipt by the number of days at the LTA site. Maximum lodging allowed is up to $24 per each 24-hour period regardless if the calculation exceeds this amount.

Rent/Utilities Option

  • Reimbursement for actual individual expense, substantiated by receipts, for lodging, water, sewer, gas electricity and furniture rental, up to a maximum of $1,130 per calendar month while on long-term assignments, and;
  • Actual expenses up to $10 for meals and incidentals, for each period of twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) hours and;
  • Up to $5 for actual meals and incidentals for each period of less than twelve (12) hours at the long-term location.


  • The LTA clock begins at the start of the normal workday. Per diem shall terminate at the end of the work shift or at the end of the paid per diem day preceding the employee's day(s) off.
  • Employees (except those in Bargaining Unit 7 and 10) with supervisor's approval, who complete the work shift and remain at the job or LTA location past the Friday twelve (12) hour clock, will receive full per diem for Friday. Those staying overnight shall not receive any additional per diem regardless of a Saturday departure time.
  • An employee returning to the LTA residence on Sunday will receive full per diem. This does not change California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) policy regarding the per diem clock, which starts, at the beginning of the work shift on Monday. If the normal workweek is other than as stated above, the same principle applies.

Remaining at the LTA over Weekends and Holidays

  • Expenses start at the beginning of the work shift on Monday. If the normal workweek begins on a day other than Monday, the same principle applies. The 24-hour clock is used to determine when employees qualify for lodging and meals. A 12 to 24 hour period qualifies employees for full per diem, whereas, a less than 12-hour period qualifies employees for one half of per diem.

Employees may claim per diem during regularly scheduled days off (e.g., Saturdays, Sundays, holidays) provided they remain at the LTA location.

  • With supervisory approval, represented employees (except those in Bargaining Units 7 and 10), who after completing the work shift and remain at the job or LTA location for at least 12 hours, will receive full per diem for the last day of the work week. Those staying overnight Friday shall not receive any per diem for Saturday regardless of the Saturday departure time.
  • Represented employees (except those in Bargaining Units 7 and 10) who are returning to the LTA residence on Sunday will receive full per diem for Sunday.

Vacation, ATO, and CTO

  • Employees may also claim per diem when using vacation, ATO, and CTO in increments of less than their normal work shift and when on ordered CTO when the weather prohibits employees from performing their job duties.

Moving Expenses

  • Employees on a LTA are not allowed reimbursement for moving expenses or any other expenses connected with establishing their LTA household. This includes, but is not limited to, cleaning and security deposits, cable hook-up fees, telephone hook-up fees, utility deposits, or any other miscellaneous living expense.

Lease Settlement Agreements

  • Lease Settlement Agreements are not reimbursable. If an employee establishes a lease agreement and does not fulfill the time period specified in the lease, any costs incurred as a result of breaking the lease become the responsibility of the employee. Employees are encouraged to ask the landlord for a special provision in the lease agreement to accommodate a break of lease due to a change in work location.

Breaks in Assignment

  • Short breaks in either Temporary or Indefinite Assignments do not automatically create a new assignment. The IRS and the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that breaks between assignments as long as long as four to six weeks within a 12 month period do not necessarily terminate a Long-Term Travel - Indefinite Assignment for tax purposes. Employers must consider the facts and circumstances to determine the true intent of the assignment.

When an employee travels away from home on business for extended periods of time, an employer must determine whether the travel is temporary or indefinite. This decision must be made when the travel is planned and not when it is completed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has defined a "single location" as including a major metropolitan area; cities in juxtaposition (vicinity) to one another and locations which straddle county or state lines. These physical situations do not represent "different" locations.

Long-Term Differential (Bargaining Unit 9 and 11 Employees, Supervisors, S09 and Managers, M09 Only)

Employees who are assigned to Long-Term Assignments for more than one year at the beginning of their assignment letter and who otherwise qualify for long-term per diem will receive a monthly pay differential in lieu of long-term per diem for meals and lodging. The LTA Differential is $1,800.00 per month. Reimbursement is issued through the State Controller's Office and is taxed at the Indefinite Assignment rates. Taxes are withheld from the differential at the time of issuance.

Employees initially assigned to a LTA for one year (365 days) or less and the assignment is extended to more than one year and who otherwise qualify for long term per diem shall receive a monthly differential in lieu of long-term per diem from the day the assignment was extended. Note: The differential option is restricted for Management Employees (M09) and only applies to Transportation's Toll Bridge Construction Program.

Employees qualifying for the monthly LTA Differential must provide the following to their supervisor each month:

  • Lodging receipts to substantiate proof that actual lodging expenses were incurred.
  • A form PM 0915, authorization for Long-Term Differential.
  • Completed forms are sent to the Division of Human Resources (Personnel), MS#47 for processing.
  • A FA 1350 must be on file with the Division of Accounting, Travel Policy Section, MS #25 before any expenses associated with the LTA can be reimbursed (i.e., transportation, short-term and the LTA Differential).
  • The initial short-term per diem at the start of the assignment must be submitted through the normal TEC process.
  • Transportation costs or short-term travel expenses away from the LTA location need to be processed through the normal TEC process in the Travel Payments Section.

Note: All travel expenses associated with assignments of more than one year is considered taxable income to the employee.

Non-Commercial Lodging (Bargaining Unit 9 Employees Only)

Bargaining Unit 9 employees who are on a LTA for one year (365 days) or less and choose to stay in non-commercial facilities (e.g. personal trailers, mobile homes) may claim non-commercial lodging and meals. Receipts are not required.

Reimbursement is issued through the State Controller's Office and is taxed at the Indefinite Assignment rates. Taxes are withheld at the time of issuance. Qualifying employees must complete and submit an Authorization for Non-Commercial Subsistence Differential Form, PM 0918 to the Division of Human Resources (Personnel), MS #47 for processing.

Non-commercial rates are calculated as follows:

  • $67 for travel of twelve (12) hours up to twenty-four (24) hours and;
  • $33 for travel of less than twelve (12) hours.

Personal Business

  • Employees leaving the LTA site for personal business will not receive per diem or transportation expenses.

Leaving the LTA location to Travel on Short-Term Travel Business or Personal Business

LTA Option LTA Lodging Reimbursed While on Short-Term Travel Business Related Travel LTA Lodging Reimbursed While on Personal Business (Vacation or other approved absences)
Represented Non Represented Represented Non Represented
Daily Rate No *Yes No *Yes
Rent/Utilities Yes Yes Yes Yes
LTAD Yes Yes Yes Yes
Non Commercial No N/A No N/A

*Authorization of the approving authority is required. Approved absences do not include weekends home.

Long term meals are not reimbursable while traveling on short-term or personal business with the exception of the LTAD option in which meals are already built into the $1,800.00 reimbursement.


Lodging receipts are required and must include the following:

A preprinted or written receipt that includes the renter's name, property address, name of property (if applicable), to and from dates, amount of rent paid, landlord or manager's name, phone number and signature. Copies of canceled checks or lease agreements do not meet the receipt requirement


Parking and Tolls

  • Parking and toll expenses are not reimbursable while at the LTA location.

Private Vehicles

Employees may claim transportation expenses within the following guidelines:

  • Actual miles up to 25 miles per day for private car mileage to travel between the employee's living accommodations at the LTA location, the LTA job site and to obtain meals. Supervisors are to review claims for reasonableness of mileage claimed.
  • Actual mileage up to 25 miles per day for obtaining meals during regularly scheduled days off (weekends, holidays) provided they do not return to their primary/permanent residence or headquarters and they remain at the LTA location.
  • Note: Excluding short-term business travel, all transportation expenses associated with an Indefinite Assignment (more than one year) is considered taxable income to the employee.

Appropriate transportation expenses (including bridge/road tolls), with supervisor approval, when returning to the primary/permanent residence or headquarters on days off. Department policy requires employees to use the method of transportation that is in the best interest of the State. Reimbursement for renting a commercial vehicle is not allowed. See Chapter 7 of the Travel and Expense Guide for detailed information.

Commute in Lieu of Subsistence - When commuting to the LTA location in lieu of subsistence reimbursement. Mileage is paid from the employee's primary/permanent residence or headquarters whichever is less (bridge and road tolls are not reimbursable). The Form FA 1350 must indicate "Commute mileage in lieu of subsistence." Employees who use their private vehicle on state business and who claim mileage up to 25 miles each day should separate their business mileage incurred during their regular work hours on their Travel Expense Claims.

State Vehicles

  • Employees on Indefinite Assignments using a state vehicle to commute to and from their LTA residence and the job site more than once a month are to report a non-cash fringe benefit of $3.00 per day.
  • According to the IRS, such employees are considered to be "commuting" from their homes to their first place of business and subject to the $3.00 per round trip rule. See Chapter 7, State Vehicle Use, in the Travel and Expense Guide for policy on personal use of state vehicles.

Method of Transportation

Rental Car Policy and Reservations


Enterprise Rent-a-Car is the Department’s primary rental car vendor for in-state travel. National Car Rental is the primary vendor for out-of-state travel and when an Enterprise car is unavailable. Each employee is responsible for ensuring that the State rate is at or below the daily contract rate and should confirm this rate at the time of reservation. Insurance coverage is provided by the State. Employees are not to purchase additional insurance coverage from the contracted vendors. Individuals who are not state employees and not on state business are prohibited from traveling in the rental cars. The state contract does not extend insurance nor allow unauthorized drivers, passengers, or any personal use.

Reservations- Employees are required to use the CalTravelStore booking tool Concur when making rental car reservations. Employees are limited to a choice between Compact and Intermediate size car. Employees are not to request or accept an upgraded vehicle unless a prior exception approval exists. More information can be found in the Travel Guide:

Employees are required to show a second form of identification along with itinerary at the time of check out. A second form of ID includes either an employer issued identification badge; a traveler’s state issued Business Card, or an authorization Letter on the department’s letterhead including the traveler’s name, date of rental, contact name and number from the traveler’s agency for verification purposes. Employees are required to return the vehicle with the same level of fuel it had when it was picked up. Prepay fuel option is not allowed.

Airline Policy and Reservations

Employees must use the state travel agency’s CalTravelStore’s booking tool, Concur for making reservations. Last minute airfare reservations (within 24 hour of flight) must be called in to the CalTravelStore (additional service fee). Choose non-refundable airfare whenever possible, specifically if the trip dates and times are fixed and there is a low probability of a change in plans. For business trips that are likely to be rescheduled or for infrequent travelers, choose refundable airfare.

Airfare rates:

Airport Check-In - Airport Security

A copy of your itinerary along with a photo ID will be required at check in. Travelers should review current airline security measures prior to travel. Information can be found through the specific airline's web sites.

Changes to Airline Reservations

Employees who need a change of ticketed airline reservations are required to contact CalTravelStore during normal business hours (8am to 5pm) at 1-877-454-8785. There is additional service fee for calling the travel agency after normal business hours. Employees should only call the afterhours for an actual emergency. Failing to plan in advance is not an emergency.

Southwest Airlines: If the traveler books a non-refundable fare anywhere in his/her itinerary and that portion of the flight is not used and not canceled or changed at least ten (10) minutes prior to scheduled departure, all funds on the unused portion of the reservation will be lost, and the remaining itinerary will be canceled. This will not impact travelers who cancel or change a non-refundable fare at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure; in this case, travelers may reuse these funds toward future business travel on Southwest. Funds will not be lost for changed or canceled refundable itineraries. All other airlines: United, US Airways, Delta and American have increased their penalty fee for changing non-refundable tickets by $50 (to $200).

State Owned or Leased Vehicles

Renting a vehicle from the Sacramento state garage is often the most economical option for short- and long-term rentals. To reserve a state vehicle in the Sacramento region, call the OFAM Call Center.


Fuel costs are included in the mileage charge. An Office of Fleet and Asset Management (OFAM) Voyager fleet card is issued with each vehicle.

How to Pay

Bring your driver's license, your department billing code (check with your Budget Resource Manager for details), and State of California ID to have charges billed to your department.

For more information on state-owned vehicle leasing, go to OFAM.

Insurance Requirements:

Guidelines for the use of a state owned or leased vehicle:

Vehicle Accidents and Roadside Emergencies

Vehicle Accident Instructions:

STD Form 269:
STD Form 270:

Roadside Assistance/Emergency Repairs for State Owned and Long Term Leased Vehicles: Employees requiring roadside assistance or emergency repairs to state vehicles should refer to the Operators Handbook located in the glove box of the vehicle.

Emergency Car Rentals:

In case of emergency or other special circumstance, no traveler should be stranded without a rental vehicle. Travelers may rent using a personal credit card. Keep in mind that in this case, rental excludes contracted benefits such as the state rate and insurance and other fees may apply. You may want to select the insurance option. For more information on insurance coverage, see OFAM resources site. You must submit a TEC along with a Short-Term Vehicle Justification Form approved by your supervisor. ORIM does not adjust claims for rental car accidents. State employees involved in automobile accidents in rental cars should contact the Office of Fleet and Asset Management website.

Privately Owned Vehicles

Employee may use his or her privately owned vehicle on official business if approved by the supervisor. When the use is not less costly than the normal mode of transportation, the supervisor may authorize the use, but the payment will be for the less costly alternative. No employee is required to use his or her privately owned vehicle unless it is a formal condition of employment.

Mileage is paid to an employee when authorized to use a private vehicle on official business OR when called back to work necessitating more than one trip to the work location on a normal workday.

An employee who operates a vehicle on official business must have a valid driver's license, insurance, and a good driving record. The employee shall use, and ensure all passengers use, all available safety equipment in the vehicle. Frequent drivers should attend and successfully complete an approved defensive driver-training course at least once every four (4) years. Driver training courses are available through the Department of General Services.

Employees using their private vehicle on state business MUST have an Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business (Form FA 205) on file with their supervisor.

Mileage Rate: The current standard mileage rate is posted in the Travel Guide - Chapter 11 - Transportation - Private Vehicle Use. The mileage rate covers gasoline, maintenance and automobile repair expenses. Mileage is taxable for call-back and indefinite long term assignments. For the latest vehicle mileage rate, see the Travel Guide - CH 11 - Transportation - Private Vehicle Use.

Other Modes of Transportation

Other modes of transportation that may be used for state business are:

  • Train
  • Taxi, Uber, and Lyft when it is the best alternative when evaluating cost
  • Airport shuttle/limousines or hotel buses
  • Bicycles may be claimed at .04 cents per mile
  • Shared Bicycle and Shared Scooter

Miscellaneous Expenses

Overtime Meals

Contiguous: A total of two (2) hours either before and/or after extending the regularly scheduled workday, e.g. one (1) hour before and one (1) hour after the workday.

Consecutive: Either two (2) hours before or two (2) hours after the regularly scheduled workday.

All overtime and arduous meal reimbursement is reportable and taxable. Employees working at least 2 hours or more of overtime on their regular day or regular day off may claim an OT meal.

  • An additional OT meal may be claimed for each additional six hour period.
  • Receipts are not required for OT meals.
Bargaining Unit Or Group Hours Required Over
Regular Work Schedule
1 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
2 2 hours consecutive Up to $8.00
4 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
7 2 hours consecutive Up to $8.00
9 2 hours consecutive Up to $8.00
10 2 hours consecutive Up to $7.50
11 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
12 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
13 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
14 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
15 2 hours contiguous Up to $8.00
21, other than WWG2 $0.00
21 WWG2 2 hours consecutive Up to $8.00
Non-Represented WWG2 2 hours consecutive Up to $8.00
Arduous Meals

Non-Represented, other than WWG2
On rare occasions when an employee is required to physically or mentally work 10 hours or more (not including breaks for meals) for an extended period of time, the employee, with approval of the appointing authority, may claim the actual cost of an arduous work meal. Up to $8.00

Other Expenses

Business Expenses

Business purchases must be made through the Division of Procurement and Contracts. Business expenses made by employees are limited to those charges necessary for completion of official state business while on travel status and should be included on the TEC. Justification as to the reason for the purchase is required on the TEC. Expenses over $25.00 require an additional signature on the TEC, box 18, by the designated manager. Inappropriate expenses will not be reimbursed. They include, but are not limited to, the purchase of computer software, cellular phone accessories, and computer equipment.

Miscellaneous Expenses

The TEC may also be used to claim reimbursement relating to Bargaining Contract items such as training, membership dues, and license fee renewals. See Travel Guide Chapter 9 for more information. The original receipt plus one copy is required for reimbursement.

Travel Expense Claim

The Travel Expense Claim (TEC), Form FA-0302 is required to reimburse travel expenses and to clear outstanding travel advances. The TEC should be submitted to the Division of Accounting, Travel Payments Section, MS #25.

  • All TECs must be completed and signed in ink. It is recommended that black ink not be used, as it is difficult to identify as original.
  • Original receipts plus one copy are required. Please tape small receipts to 8½” X11" size paper.
  • Relocation and out-of-state expenses must be clearly identified and submitted separately from in-state expenses. June and July claims in the same calendar year must be on separate TECs.

How to complete a TEC

  • Employee information - complete all information on top of TEC.
  • All appropriate expenses: per diem, transportation, mileage, etc.
  • Date and time (military) when expense occurred.
  • Location/purpose of each trip, and any additional justification required.
  • Private vehicle license number and mileage rate claimed.
  • Original signatures of employee, supervisor and, when applicable, the designated manager's signature in Box 18.

Fringe Benefits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Franchise Tax Board (FTB) have deemed that the following employee fringe benefits are taxable.

  • Call-Back/Overtime Mileage
  • Overtime Meals
  • Meals Less Than 24 Hours when travel does not require an overnight stay
  • Personal Use of State-Owned or Leased Vehicles
  • Long-Term Assignments that are expected to last more than one year
  • Private Aircraft Mileage
  • Relocation
  • Bicycle Mileage and Bicycle Commuter Program

Agency Object and Sub Object Code

Description Object * Sub Object
Conference and Meeting Fees (In-State and Out-of-State) 077
Driver's or Flight License Medical Examinations, DMV License Fees, and Vanpool Medical Exams 132
In-State Commercial Airfare 008
In-State Per Diem (Lodging, Meals, and Incidentals) 020 ML, MP1, MP2
In-State Private Automobile Mileage, Private Aircraft Miles, and Cost Comparison (In-Lieu) 010 ML, AR
In-State Travel Expenses (Bridge, Highway, Road and Ferry Tolls for vehicles. Expense of electronic transponders used for the recording and payment of Bridge and Highway tolls.) 003 ML
In-State Travel Expenses (Business Expenses, Parking, Rental Car, Rental Car Fuel, Taxi, bus shuttle, Rail (Amtrak), Passenger tolls or expenses on ferries, buses, rail, etc.) 001 ML
Out-of-State Commercial Airfare 108
Out-of-State Per Diem (Lodging, Meals, and Incidentals) 021 ML, MP2
Out-of-State Travel Expenses (Business Expenses, Mileage, Parking, Tolls, Rental Car, Rental Car Fuel, Taxi, Rail (Amtrak), etc.) 101 ML
Overtime and Callback Mileage 110 CB
Overtime Meals 023 OM
Postage 026
Professional Exams and License Fees, State Bar Dues, and Individual Membership Dues 075
Relocation (All charges) 022 MR
Stationery, Office Supplies, Maps and Books (Not directly related to a State approved training course.) 044
Tuition, Registration Fees, Training Materials and Books (Directly related to a State approved training course.) 024
Uniform Allowance and Safety Footwear,
Pre-Employment Physical

* Sub Object Codes required for Employee Fringe Benefits:

  • ML - Long Term Assignment – Per Diem expenses for assignments exceeding 365 days.
  • MP1 - Per Diem expenses less than 50 miles from home or HQ (DOA pre-approval required)
  • MP2 - Meals for travel less than 24 hours (without an overnight stay)
  • OM - Overtime Meal reimbursement
  • CB - Call Back (Overtime) Mileage reimbursement
  • MR - Employee Relocation expense reimbursement
  • BM - Mileage reimbursement for the use of Bicycle on state business
  • AR - Mileage reimbursement for the use of privately owned aircraft on state business

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1. Who do I call when I have a travel related question?

If an employee and supervisor cannot resolve the question by reviewing the Travel Guide at:, call the Travel Information Line at (916) 227-9061.

2. Can I use a computer-generated version of the FA- 0302 TEC Form?

Employees are to use the Form FA-0302 located on Forms Management’s website:

3. If my TEC has been lost en route to Accounting, can I send a duplicate photocopy for payment?

Yes, however, the employee and supervisor must resign the TEC. In addition, the TEC must indicate "RESUBMITTAL" in bold letters across the top of the claim and copies of the receipts must be attached with an explanation the originals were lost en route.

4. Does my lodging receipt need to be itemized?

Yes, lodging receipt must be itemized listing all expenses (room, tax, phone call, etc.) separately. The receipt must also have a zero balance showing the payment was made.

5. What is required on a receipt for LTA lodging?

There are two types of acceptable receipts: a) A pre-printed receipt which includes the name of the property, address and phone number or b) A receipt indicating the property address and landlord name/phone number.

NOTE: The landlord or property manager must sign the receipt.

6. If I rent a vehicle for State business and will also be traveling on personal business, can I use the same rental car?

No, the rental for personal business must be under a separate contract. Employees wishing to retain a commercial vehicle for personal use must make arrangements with the vendor. Enterprise offers the state discount to employees on personal business. Contact Travel Policy for the employee discount code.

7. Can I purchase my own airline ticket?

No. Employees must reserve flights via CalTravelStore (Concur). Approval for all travel reservations are required in Concur.

8. What happens if I lose a receipt?

In the event of a lost receipt, employees are responsible for obtaining a copy of the receipt from the vendor (a fax copy will suffice). Bank and Credit Card statement can be used to substantiate expense listed on employee’s travel expense claim for reimbursement.

In the few cases where a copy of a lost receipt cannot be obtained (i.e., parking), you must document in writing the circumstances beyond your control. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, the expense will not be allowed for reimbursement.

Contact Numbers & Web Sites

Contact Phone Numbers

Travel Information Line (916) 227-9061
Travel Policy Section, Supervisor (916) 227-8643
Travel Policy Section, General (916) 227-8652
Travel Policy and Payments - Fax (916) 227-9357
Travel Payments Section, Supervisor (916) 227-9858 or (916) 227-9079
CalTravelStore (Concur) 1-877-454-8785

Web-site Addresses

Caltrans Travel and Expense Guide
Caltrans Electronic Forms System
CalTravelStore (Concur)
CA Department of Human Resources
Department of General Services (Airline and Rental Car Contracts)