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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1302 – Statutory Provisions and Maximum Rates for Travel

September 1, 2005
Last Updated
February 6, 2018
Last Reviewed
February 6, 2018
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.  In processing personal mileage requests for trips that began on or after Jan. 1, 2018, the allowable business standard mileage rate is 54.5 cents/mile for 100 miles per trip. For business travel trips that utilize personal vehicles and exceed 100 miles per trip, the employee shall be reimbursed at 33 cents a mile See allowances page for more details.
  • Transportation by airline, bus, railroad, or other conveyance shall be reimbursed at actual tourist-class fare, with receipt if more than $20.00.
  • 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.

The employee may exceed the part of the ceiling allocated for lodging without approval for over-expenditure provided that the total lodging and food reimbursement that the employee is entitled to for that day does not exceed the maximum allowed daily subsistence.

Reason for Policy

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

Special Situations

A state employee may be reimbursed for meals, including lunches, while on official state business when the employee is in overnight travel status.  Employees may be reimbursed for meals for partial days of travel when in overnight travel status and the partial day is the day of departure or the day of return. The following applies:

  • Breakfast: depart duty station prior to 6:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: depart duty station prior to Noon (day of departure) or return to duty station after 2:00 p.m. (day of return).
  • Dinner:  depart duty station prior to 5:00 p.m. (day of departure) or return to duty station after 8:00 p.m. (day of return).

No excess reimbursement will be allowed for meals unless there are predetermined charges, or the meals were for out-of-country travel.

See Policy 1305 regarding reimbursement for lodging in an establishment that is being rented out by a Third Party (Third Party Lodging).



Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am attending a conference in Richmond, Virginia and will travel 310 miles to a conference.  How do I calculate my mileage?
A:  All university travelers are obligated to use a State-owned or lease vehicle. If none is available and/or you must utilize a personal vehicle, you will be reimbursed for 310 miles at 33 cents per mile, as the trip is more than 100 miles.

Q: What if my trip is less than 100 miles?
A: If you utilize a personal vehicle because no state vehicles or vehicle leased through a state contract is available, you may be reimbursed for the trip at 54.5 cents per mile, as long as the entire trip is less than 100 miles. If it is more than 100 miles, the reimbursement rate drops to the 33 cent rate for the entire trip.  Under 2018 guidelines, the first 100 miles of a trip are not eligible for the 54.5 cent rate unless the entire trip does not exceed 100 miles.

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 $41.00. 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:  Are we allowed meals during daily trips?
A:  No. Meal per diem is only allowed when the travel requires an overnight stay.

Q:  Can we receive meal per diem if the conference or workshop provides meals?
A:  No. University employees cannot be reimbursed for meals that are taken in conjunction with a conference, workshop, or seminar.

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


Travel Provisions Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356
Travel Policy Systems & Operations 919-843-5098 919-962-2356


February 6, 2018: Updated mileage rates to new 2018 limits: 54.5 per mile reimbursement for personal vehicle usage (when a state-owned vehicle or lease contract vehicle is not available) for all trips that are less than 100 miles.  For trips more than 100 miles, reimbursement is 33 cents per mile.
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