Travel Reimbursement

Employees may be reimbursed for actual expenses not to exceed amounts authorized by the employee's agency and applicable collective bargaining agreement/compensation plan.

Employees must not treat meals or other reimbursements as a per diem arrangement. Itemized paid receipts are required for all purchases except meals.

Expenses are paid to the employee who incurred the expense. This includes expenses incurred when traveling as part of a group. An employee may not assume the expenses of another employee and submit for reimbursement. 

For help filling out your Employee expense report, refer to the expense report page.

Employees are reimbursed for the actual cost of a meal not to exceed the maximum established in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or compensation plan. Meals are not to be treated as a per diem arrangement.

What is my Allowance based on my Bargaining Agreement/Compensation Plan?

Eligible meal reimbursement:
  • Breakfast - in travel status overnight or when the trip begins before 6:00am
  • Lunch - in travel status and more than 35 miles from work station through the normal lunch period
  • Dinner - in travel status overnight or when the trip ends after 7pm
  • Times of departure and return must be indicated on the Expense Report (Excel) for all meal reimbursement requests

If you are not staying overnight, the reimbursements for meal expenses are taxable income, therefore when the expenses are paid, federal, state, FICA, and Medicare taxes will be withheld from the employee’s pay. Note: This gets recorded in the 4th column of the Expense Report (Excel).

Meals are recorded in columns four or five on the Expense Report (Excel).

Employees are reimbursed for actual miles driven at the rates specified by the applicable collective bargaining agreement, compensation plan or state statute. There are several rates used when reimbursing mileage for state travel. The IRS sets a standard mileage rate and updates it periodically.

  • Mileage will be reimbursed for the shortest direct route from your home “work” location to your destination or your “residence,” whichever is shorter.
  • Requested but no State Vehicle was available – .58 cents per mile effective Jan. 1, 2019. Note on the Expense Report that "no State vehicle was available."
  • Choose to drive your own vehicle – .51 cents per mile effective Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Long distance driving reimbursement is limited to the lowest round trip airfare. Contact the Business Office for a quote.

Mileage Tables

Legal Counsel has reminded agencies they must use licensed lodging facilities when conducting authorized Minnesota State Colleges and University business. This includes all employees, students and any other individuals authorized to travel or be reimbursed for allowable expenses. The use of AirB&B, VRBO and similar properties, are not recommended as the license status is unable to be determined. 
  • Employees must submit the itemized receipts for lodging showing the detail of charges with their Expense Report (Excel).
  • Employees traveling on state business may be offered travel benefits issued by lodging facilities. Benefits issued by lodging facilities may include a free night of lodging given after a specified number of days paid. Employees must not accept these benefits; reference Minnesota Statutes 43A.38, subdivision 2. Receipts should not reflect participation in any reward programs.
Itemized receipts are required for all expenses except meals, for example, parking, taxi, baggage, etc.

Expenses that do not qualify to be reimbursed are:
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Annual fees and interest for personal credit cards
  • Late payment fees or interest on state-issued corporate credit cards
  • Expenses of traveling companions or family members
  • Expenses related to vacation or personal days while traveling
  • Loss or theft of personal cash or property
  • Entertainment or amusement costs, movies, optional travel or baggage insurance, parking or traffic tickets, commuting mileage or costs, health/fitness club fees, towing/repairs of personal vehicles
  • Incomplete or incorrect expense reports or expense entry in self service


Purchases may be reimbursed by using: