NOTICE: The Finance Policies and Procedures Manual, along with the previous manual, is undergoing changes. These sites are continually updated to reflect changes in business processes. If you cannot find the information you are seeking in these policies, email financecomm@unc.edu for more information.
Policies and Procedures

Policy 1302 – Statutory Provisions and Maximum Rates for Travel

Effective
September 1, 2005
Last Updated
July 14, 2017
Last Reviewed
January 6, 2017
Responsible University Officer
Director of Systems and Operations
Responsible Unit
Systems and Operations

Policy Statement

Expenses for employee travel on official University business are reimbursed at the following rates as set forth by State of North Carolina legislation:

  • University travelers are obligated to use a State owned vehicle or  vehicle leased through a state contract when the round trip exceeds 100 miles.  In processing personal mileage requests for trips that began on or after Jan. 1, 2017, the allowable business standard mileage rate is 53.5 cents/mile for 100 miles per day of travel and 17 cents per mile each additional mile thereafter. See allowances page for more details.
  • Transportation by airline, bus, railroad, or other conveyance shall be reimbursed at actual tourist-class fare.
  • Travel Subsistence Rate Revision Effective July 1, 2017:
In State Out of State
Breakfast 8.40 8.40
Lunch 11.00 11.00
Dinner 18.90 21.60
Total Meal Expense $38.30 $41.00
Lodging 71.20 84.10
Total $109.50 $125.10

Reimbursement for lodging may be made only in the amount documented by a receipt of actual lodging expenses from a commercial lodging establishment. The per diem rate for lodging does not include taxes. That is, the payment of sales tax, lodging tax, local tax, or service fees applied to the cost of lodging are paid in addition to the lodging rate and are reimbursed as a lodging expense.

Reason for Policy

Ensure compliance with State of North Carolina travel regulations as defined by the legislature.

Exclusions

The University reimburses the actual cost with receipts for lodging when faculty, staff or students are in a high-cost area and unable to secure lodging with the current allowance, or when an individual submits in writing an opinion that his/her personal safety or security is unattainable within the current allowance.

Special Situations

Allowances will be paid for meals for partial days of travel when the partial day is the day of departure or the day of return. The following table details the requirements to claim such reimbursement.

Meal Day of Departure Day of Return Comments
Breakfast Leave before 6:00 a.m. N/A Must extend the workday two hours
Lunch Leave before 12:00 p.m. Return after 2:00 p.m. Cannot be claimed unless either the trip requires an overnight stay
or the cost of the lunch is part of a registration fee
Dinner Leave before 5:00 p.m. Return after 8:00 p.m. Must extend the workday by three hours

 

Subsistence expense is reimbursable if it is incurred at least 35 miles from the employee's home or work station, whichever is less, unless specifically authorized in advance by the Chancellor.

A request to stay at a non-commercial establishment (e.g. lodging at a location other than a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast) must be approved in advance by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). Please submit requests with sufficient lead time to allow for review by OSBM staff.

Procedures

None

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am attending a conference in Richmond, Virginia and will travel 310 miles over a three-day period of time to a conference.  How do I calculate my mileage?
A:  You can be reimbursed at the 53.5 cents per mile rate for 100 miles for every day of travel, and any additional miles at the 17 cents rate.  So, if you traveled over a three-day period, you can claim 300 miles (3 days x 100 miles) at the 53.5 rate, and the additional 10 miles at the 17 cents rate.  If, however, you completed the entire 310 mile trip in one day, you can claim 53.5 cents per mile for the first 100 miles, but the remaining 210 miles would be reimbursed at 17 cents per mile, as travel occurred all on the same day.

Q: Do the meal per diems apply to out-of-country travel?
A: The answer depends upon the funding source. If the trip is to be paid from State-appropriated or F&A funds, the maximum per diem amount allowed for meals is $40.50. Trips funded by discretionary funds are reimbursed at the out-of-state per diem rate unless actual receipts are submitted. Some federal contracts and grants allow meal reimbursement based on the U.S. State Department allowances.

Q: Why does the OSBM publish a lodging allowance?
A: All employees of the State are to request the State rate when reserving lodging. The actual lodging amount supported by a receipt will be reimbursed when it is not possible to obtain clean, safe lodging within reasonable proximity for this amount.

Q: Do meal per diems include the tip?
A: Yes.

Q: Under what circumstances may a traveler fly first class or business class?
A: A traveler with a doctor-certified medical condition may fly first class. A traveler may fly business class on international flights.

Q. May I claim my actual expense for meals if I keep my receipts?
A: Meal expense is an allowance and may not exceed the per diem amounts as determined by the NC General Assembly.

Related Data

North Carolina

Office of State Budget and Management Budget Manual

Contacts

SUBJECT CONTACT TELEPHONE FAX E-MAIL
Travel Provisions Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356 travel_team@unc.edu
Travel Policy Systems & Operations 919-843-5098 919-962-2356 operations_team@unc.edu

History

Revised:
July 14, 2017: Changed travel subsistence rates as per State Budget Director, effective July 1, 2017.
February 17, 2017:  Changed mileage wording to include per day notation on the 53.5 cents allowance.
ebruary 2, 2017:  Changed language from "state owned or Enterprise" to "State owned or leased through a state contract"
January 6, 2016: Decreased mileage rate to 53.5 cents per mile and for mileage over 100, to 17 cents per mile.
December 15, 2016: Decreased mileage reimbursement for personal car to $0.19 per mile, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
July 18, 2016: Changed mileage limit for personal car from 100 to 75.
August 27, 2015: Update information on travel by private car.
July 14, 2015: Updated daily per diem rates.
January 8, 2015: Changed mileage rate allowance.
January 9, 2014: Changed mileage rate allowance.
July 23, 2013: Revised daily expense rate limits.
May 10, 2013: Changed information about per diem rates for out-of-country travel.
January 4, 2013: Changed mileage rate allowance.
July 1, 2011: Rate change.
September 20, 2010