General Travel Procedures

Regulations regarding the reimbursement of travel expenses are specified in the Oklahoma statutes.  The Office of State Finance has the responsibility of interpreting these statutes and issuing guidelines with which all state agencies must comply.

Special Note for Foreign Travel
Please note that travel to, and in-country activities within certain destinations may require a U.S. Government license. Please contact OU's Office of Export Controls (export@ou.edu or (405) 325-5052) if you will be traveling to or through Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

Based on these statutes and guidelines, listed below are step-by-step instructions for completing the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.  If further assistance is needed, please contact Financial Services at 325-3021.

  • Prepared by _______________________   
  • Phone No.___________________________

Please provide the name and telephone number for the preparer of the claim in order to expedite processing the claim in the event of any questions.

  • Is car state-owned? 

If a state-owned or University vehicle was driven during the time the individual was in travel status, please check   YES________.  For any other type vehicle, please check NO_________.

The State Finance Office requires tag numbers for personal vehicles, state-owned, or University vehicle being driven if any types of expenses relating to the vehicle are being claimed, i.e. tolls, gas, mileage, etc.

When using a state-owned vehicle, fuel should be purchased with the credit cards issued.  If the state-issued credit cards cannot be used, reimbursement for fuel is allowed with proper receipts and should be placed in the Itemized Miscellaneous Cost section of the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.

  • Is claimant a state official or employee? Check YES if claimant is:
    • A full-time, permanent University employee;
    • A part-time or temporary employee.  (Type in Temporary beside the boxes YES and NO.);
    • An employee of another state agency, i.e. OSU, Health Science Center, etc.  (Type in the agency beside the boxes for YES and NO ); or
    • An employee and an OU student.  (YES on 3A and 3C) 

  • Is claimant a volunteer?  Check YES if claimant is:
    • An individual not employed by the state and the only compensation the individual will receive is the reimbursement of travel expenses.  An example would be an individual who speaks at a seminar for the University and only request reimbursement of the travel expenses.
    • Special Note: Do not process a travel claim for persons who are receiving a fee for services. Travel expenses need to be included on the invoice with the fee.

    • An OU retiree.  (Please type Retiree beside the boxes for YES and NO).

  • Is claimant a student?  If the claimant is a University of Oklahoma student check Yes.

  • City, State of Official Employment Site will be the location that the claimant reports to work. For most employees, the site will be Norman, OK.  But for employees hired to work full-time at a site away from the campus, such as Tulsa, Biological Station or an overseas branch of Advanced Programs, they would enter the city and state or country of their official work assignment.

  • Nature of Official Business should contain a brief description of the reason for the travel.  If attending a conference, please include the conference name and dates.  If there were other activities in conjunction with the conference such as set-up, pre-conference workshop, etc., include these activities in the description.  If more space is needed, additional notes can be made in the lower section of the Show Points of Travel section.  If attending a conference, meeting, workshop, etc., attach a conference agenda.  The agenda is required by the Office of State Finance to verify the dates and number of meals provided.

  • Do not write or put any stamps in the blank area on the top middle section of the form.  This space is utilized by Financial Services.

  • Claim of: Should contain the claimant's name.  Please make sure the name is spelled correctly.

  • EMPLID/SSN: If the claimant is a University employee, enter the 6 digit number listed in the HR system. If claimant is a volunteer or student, enter their student identification number or their social security number.

  • The box to the right of Total Amount Claimed should indicate the total amount of reimbursement after all calculations have been made.

  • Assignment section of the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher should be completed if the check should be made payable to someone other than the individual submitting the claim. To complete this section:

    • Enter the name of the individual/organization to whom the check should be made payable.
    • Indicate the date of the claimant's signature by the Date.
    • Claimant's signature is required.  Please note: Claimant’s signature is also required at the bottom of the voucher where indicated.

    A few of the examples in which the Assignment section would be utilized are:

    • Travel advances received from the OU Foundation, which must be reimbursed to that office.
    • Reimbursement that must be returned to someone who paid for the expenses other than the claimant.

    Special Note: If the Assignment section has been completed, the total amount claimed on the Travel Voucher would be made payable to the payee listed in this section. 

If other expenses should be made payable to the claimant or different sources, a State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher should be prepared for each of these sources. The voucher should then be identified as a supplemental claim in the lower portion Show Point Travel section.

  • Show Point Travel section of the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher is considered the body of the form.  The data required for this section are:
    • Points of travel should include beginning and ending location points of travel and list all cities where University business was conducted.  If the trip includes traveling to multiple cities, the dates and times for each city need to be listed separately on the form so that per diem and lodging can be properly calculated.
    • Date(s) should include the Year, Month, and Day.  If the travel began and ended on the same month, day and year, only one entry must be recorded.  If the travel included travel to multiple cities with overnight stays, the ending date from one city would be beginning date for the next city.
    • Travel shall not begin more than twenty-four (24) hours before or continue more than twenty-four (24) hours after the objective of the trip, such as the meeting, workshop, conference, etc.  For foreign travel, travel should not begin more than forty-eight (48) hours before or continue after the objective of the trip.

      In order for employees to take advantage of special weekend cost savings airfares, reimbursement of expenses may be allowed to start up to 48/72 hours before and/or extend 48/72 hours after the date of the object of travel. Notwithstanding any savings involved, the extra day of travel must be a weekend day, i.e., Saturday or Sunday. The claim must include a detailed cost comparison of additional meals, lodging and other expenses versus the savings on airfare.

      Travel under the 48/72-hour extended rule shall not be allowed if the costs of extra lodging and meals along with the discounted airfare exceed the costs of travel under the standard 24-hour rule as shown in the cost comparison. In addition, the 48/72-hour extended rule shall not apply where travel is by privately-owned automobile in lieu of coach class airline fare, regardless of any direct savings that may be demonstrated.

      If part of the trip included some personal travel, the business travel dates should be listed in this part of the form for the calculation of per diem and lodging reimbursement but the actual travel dates should be noted at the bottom of this section.  Example: If the claimant traveled 7/01/07 0800 and return 07/04/07 2400 and the official date for business is 07/02/07 through 07/04/07.  A notation in the lower unused portion of this section should read: 

      Actual travel dates were 7/1-7/4/07.  Remainder of time is personal and will not being charged to the University.

      As a reminder, a single travel claim cannot claim more than 31 consecutive days.  Multiple travel vouchers may be filed for trips for an extended amount of time.  After the first voucher has been claimed, subsequent vouchers should be noted as in continuous travel status as supplemental vouchers.

    • Mileage Claimed section should be completed when a personal car has been used and reimbursement for mileage is being requested.  The mileage must be separated into map and vicinity miles.

      • Map mileage relates to the mileage from one city limit to another.
      • Vicinity mileage is the miles driven within a city or town.
      • Click here to see the list of recent mileage reimbursement rates.

      An example would be the mileage to Will Rogers Airport from OU main campus.  The map mileage is 38 miles round-trip (Norman to OKC) and the vicinity mileage is 12 miles round-trip.  The total number of miles (50) would be reimbursed at the current mileage rate.

      If the number of map miles is not known, please contact Financial Services or access the following web sites http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/hqdiv/p-r-div/howfar/okmile.htm and www.randmcnally.com. If the claimant drove more miles than the map miles, the difference should be entered in the vicinity column. (round to whole number)

      To claim mileage from Oklahoma to another state, please obtain a coach airfare comparison from a travel agency with a state contract prior to the travel.  The agency, amount quoted, and the date should be indicated on the face of the claim in lower portion of the Show Point Travel section.  The lesser amount of the mileage or the coach airfare can be claimed. 

      Special Note: If the claimant's usual work site is the campus in Norman and travel is on a weekday, travel status must begin and end in Norman or the location where they reside, whichever is less.

      Occasionally, extraordinary circumstances may arise making out-of-state travel by commercial airplane impractical or unfeasible, such as trips to remote locations, multiple destination points, transport of materials or equipment, etcActual mileage can be claimed but the reason for the extraordinary circumstance must be documented on or with the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.

    • Travel Status Hour, both beginning and ending times, must be completed for overnight travel whether or not per diem and/or lodging are being claimed.

     

    1:00 AM 0100 hours 1:00 PM 1300 hours
    2:00 AM 0200 hours 2:00 PM 1400 hours
    3:00 AM 0300 hours 3:00 PM 1500 hours
    4:00 AM 0400 hours 4:00 PM 1600 hours
    5:00 AM 0500 hours 5:00 PM 1700 hours
    6:00 AM 0600 hours 6:00 PM 1800 hours
    7:00 AM 0700 hours 7:00 PM 1900 hours
    8:00 AM 0800 hours 8:00 PM 2000 hours
    9:00 AM 0900 hours 9:00 PM 2100 hours
    10:00 AM 1000 hours 10:00 PM 2200 hours
    11:00 AM 1100 hours 11:00 PM 2300 hours
    12:00 NOON 1200 hours 12:00 MIDNIGHT 2400 hours

    Please Note: The time between midnight and 1:00 AM should be written with zeros before the minutes.  For example 0030 for 12:30 AM.

    • Number of Days/Hours is calculated from the dates and times listed in previous columns.  If personal travel time was taken, enter only the number of days and hours in which official business was conducted.

    • Per Diem covers the reimbursement of meal and incidental expenses.  Some examples of incidental expenses are tips, emergency laundry, refreshments such as beverages and snacks, etc.  The claimant must be in travel status for at least eighteen hours or overnight status in order to request reimbursement for per diem.

    If the claimant is in travel status for a period of eighteen hours or more and per diem is not being claimed, a statement about this fact should be included in the lower portion of this section.  Example:  "No per diem will be claimed," "Per Diem was provided by sources outside the University," " or "Per diem was claimed on a previous claim".
               
    Per Diem and Incidental Costs are currently reimbursed according to the federal rates.  Here is the link for the per diem and lodging rates, http://www.gsa.gov.   Click on the appropriate state on the United States map to view the rates for that state. There will be a listing of high rate cities and counties for that state.  In a shaded area above the high rate cities and counties, there is listed the standard rate for all other locations.  To see if the city is in one of the high rate counties, click on the link to the National Association of Counties website also in the upper section of this screen to see if that city is in a high rate county.  Again, if the city is not in a high rate county or listed as a high rate city, then the standard rate listed in the shaded area above the high rate city for that state will apply.

    For reimbursement purposes, a day is broken into quarters.  For quarter days, you will need to divide the rate by four and then multiple it by the number of quarter days the individual was in travel status.

    A higher rate of per diem in lieu of lodging can be claimed when family or friends have provided lodging in a private home.  A note to this effect must be included on the face of the claim.  Depending on City, State the rate can be increased by ten dollars daily.

    Listed below is a chart that can be used to compute the amount allowable for the quarter days if per diem was $39.00 per day:

     

    Example:  for                       Standard Rate         Per diem in lieu of lodging
                           
    0 up to 3 hr                             No amount allowed
    over 3 up to 9 hr = 1/4                                   9.75                            12.25
    over 9 up to 15 hr = 1/2                                19.50                            24.50
    over 15 up to 21 hr = ¾                                29.25                            36.75
    Over 21=1 day                                            39.00                            49.00

    The per diem amount is calculated by multiplying the number of days by the applicable day rate and the number of quarter days by the quarterly amount.
     

    Special Note: If meals were provided to the claimant as part of a registration fee paid by purchase order or paid by other sources, etc., please indicate the number of meals provided. For each meal provided, the per diem reimbursement should be reduced by one quarter (¼) day. 

    Note: "Continental breakfasts" receptions, and refreshments, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc., provided during meeting breaks are not considered meals. Also, exceptions may apply if there were special circumstances which prevented the claimant from participating in the function at which the meal was provided. Examples of special circumstances would include special dress requirements, diet restrictions, transportation availability, etc. A statement signed by the claimant attesting to the special circumstances of non-participation in the meal function must accompany the invoice or the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.

    Payment or reimbursement would not be permissible in instances where the claimant merely chose not to attend the function. A statement signed by the claimant attesting to the special circumstances of non-participation in the meal function must accompany the invoice or the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.
               

    • Lodging Amount includes only the amount the claimant was charged for lodging and lodging tax.  In order to request reimbursement for lodging, an itemized paid lodging receipt must accompany the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.  Please note that the lodging receipt must indicate "Paid" or zero balance or have a credit card receipt attached or show being charged to a credit card

    All receipts in foreign currency must be converted to the US dollar amount.  Click here to obtain conversion rates, www.oanda.com/converter/classic.

    Lodging is currently reimbursed according to the federal rates.  Here is the link for the per diem and lodging rates for travel within the US, http://www.gsa.gov.   Click on the appropriate state on the United States map to view the rates for that state. There will be a listing of high rate cities and counties for that state.  In a shaded area above the high rate cities and counties, there is listed the standard rate for all other locations.  To see if the city is in one of the high rate counties, click on the link to the National Association of Counties website also in the upper section of this screen to see if that city is in a high rate county.  Again, if the city is not in a high rate county or listed as a high rate city, then the standard rate listed in the shaded area above the high rate city for that state will apply. When retrieving a lodging rate please review effective dates to ensure that the travel status dates are within this time period. For travel outside the US use http://www.state.gov to determine the per diem rates.

    If an individual is attending a conference, meeting, workshop or similar event conducted at a designated location, actual lodging expenses may be reimbursed not to exceed single room rateThe designated lodging documentation such as conference brochures, letters from conference sponsors, etc., must be attached to the claim.

    Individuals who choose to acquire less expensive lodging in lieu of the designated lodging shall be reimbursed the actual lodging expense not to exceed the single room rate of the designated lodging.  Support from the conference sponsor must accompany the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher to verify the single room rate of the designated lodging.  The lodging rates at the designated lodging will be compared with the amount requested for reimbursement to ensure it does not exceed the amount allowable. 

    Please note when choosing this option, reimbursement for local transportation between the optional lodging and the meeting site is allowable.  However, local transportation to and from the conference site cannot exceed the rate of designated lodging amount each day.

    If a room is shared with an individual who is not filing a claim, the claimant may request reimbursement for single room ratePlease note the following information on the lodging receipt:  "Shared with non-employee.  Claiming single rate." or "Single/double rate same."

    If two or more employees share a room, but the rate for the room is the same regardless of the number of occupants, reimbursement can be made to the individual paying for the room. In this case, please note the following on the other occupants travel claims:  “conference rate charged/shared room with claimant”. Please indicate claimant’s name.

    If there were multiple travelers in a room, one individual paid the entire lodging bill, and the room rate was more than allowed for one traveler, the other individual(s) would request reimbursement for the lodging expense or complete a travel voucher for the lodging and assign the proceeds to the individual who paid. The name(s) of the other employee(s) who will be claiming a portion of the lodging reimbursement should be referenced in the lower portion of this section.

    Individuals who are in overnight travel status but request no lodging reimbursement should provide a statement in the lower this section. For example, "Lodging is being paid by another source", etc.

    A University department may prearrange and designate lodging sites if they meet the following criteria:

      • Agency must be the sponsor of the meeting, conference, etc.;
      • Designated lodging must be approved and notice issued prior to beginning a trip; or
      • Meetings, conference, etc. must be conducted at designated lodging site, a block of rooms must be arranged, or the participants must receive rate reductions.

    If a department meets the above criteria, the Agency-Sponsored Designated Lodging Notice, http://www.ou.edu/controller/fss/dwnload/contaa1.doc, can be completed or the department can prepare its own notice or brochure listing the designated lodging site. The following data that would be required for the notice would include:

      • Department’s name;
      • Date of notice;
      • Date of conference, meeting, etc.;
      • Purpose of travel;
      • Hotel name;
      • Hotel address;
      • Single room rate.

    The Agency-Sponsored Designated Lodging Notice must accompany the claimant’s participating State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.

    • Total Per Diem Lodging  should be entered in this space.

    For this section, the Totals should be extended to the bottom of each column.

    • The sum of the map and the vicinity mileage should be placed in the space beside Total Miles and should be multiplied by the current mileage reimbursement rate. Click here to view the current rate.  The total should be placed in the right-hand column.
    • Public Transportation refers to the primary type of transportation used to reach the claimant's destination.  The most common mode of transportation for out-of-state travel is airline.

    As a reminder, University faculty, staff, students and non-university employees traveling on University funds, including grants and contracts and agency special departments to out-of-state destinations, must receive prior written approval from his or her appropriate supervisor or appointed designee with budgetary authority (Department Head, Vice President, Chair, Principal Investigator, Dean, and Provost). Documentation of the approval shall be maintained in the departmental files of the traveler and/or the funding sponsor and shall be subject to compliance review by Internal Auditing. Upon completion of the authorized travel (in-state or out-of-state), the travel voucher submitted for reimbursement must be approved by the traveler's appropriate supervisor with budgetary authority.
    When booking air travel through one of the University contract travel agencies, travelers must provide the agent sufficient information to enable the travel agency to bill the airfare to the proper campus and department. In addition, travelers should complete the appropriate authorization form before purchasing the tickets. The information required by the travel agent will be:

    • University financial information (e.g., Norman Campus – Department number, Health Sciences Center – chart field combination).
    • Traveler's identification number (EMPLID).
    • Whether the traveler is a U.S. citizen (yes or no).
    • Department number.
    • Travel authorization/reference number.
    • Department track/reference. An optional twenty-five (25) character field may be used by department to further identify travel.
    • Notes. A twenty-five (25) character comments/purpose field for optional use by departments.

    Airfare is automatically charged to the University’s department through a ghost card and then subsequently internally billed to the appropriate campus/department/account.

    Fees associated with changing a traveler’s itinerary for a business purpose or an emergency are allowable expenses. If change fees are incurred while in travel status, documentation must be submitted with the travel voucher submitted for reimbursement of the additional fees.

    Consolidators are companies that buy in volume and reduce the prices to the customer accordingly. The most frequent use of a consolidator is in booking international tickets. Since prices on consolidator tickets rarely match the amounts paid, these tickets should be booked and paid for through an authorized travel agency. Each of the contracted travel agencies has access to all consolidators.

    The exceptions for not purchasing an airline ticket from one of these agencies are:

    • Air travel services secured at a lower cost from another source.
    • Travel was initiated on an emergency basis--such as changing itinerary en route or emergency travel after hours.
    • Air travel originated from a location outside the state, making it impractical to arrange for air travel through a state agency.
    • Air travel was part of a package arranged by an organization scheduling a meeting or conference.

    The passenger airfare ticket or an itinerary showing a zero balance or method of payment must be submitted with the travel claim.

    Special Note: If the claimant did not purchase the airline ticket from a state-contracted travel agency and does not meet one of the above exceptions, a written memorandum stating the reason for non-compliance, signed by the claimant, should be attached to the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.  Also the coach airfare comparison from a state-contracted travel agency must be noted on the face of the claim. 

    There is no provision for the reimbursement or payment of a first-class airline ticket.

    If the primary transportation is not being claimed because it was purchased directly by the University, was paid for by other sources, or is not being claimed, please circle "YES" at the applicable question on the travel claim form.
     
    A claimant may request reimbursement for airline tickets purchased by the individual from a state-contracted travel agency.  The listing of travel agencies currently under contract can be located on the Purchasing website at http://www.ou.edu/purchasing/home/contracts/services.htm#services

    If other transportation sources were used such as train or bus, list the type of transportation and the amount paid.  Paid receipts must be attached.

    The total for this section should be extended to the far right-hand column in the Total Public Transportation.

  • Itemized Local Transportation refers to expenses incurred for transportation at the claimant's destination.  Receipts are required for any local transportation expense (one way) of $25.00 or more.
  • A receipt is required for a rental car.  The receipt must indicate the name of the claimant, date rented and returned, and amount paidJustification for rental car must be listed on the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher.

    If a rental car was obtained to travel to an out-of-state destination, the claimant must obtain a coach airfare prior to traveling.  The claimant will be reimbursed the lesser amount of coach airfare plus estimated local transportation costs, actual mileage at the current mileage rate, or cost of the rental car plus gas, tolls, etc.

    For in-state travel, rental cars are reimbursed at the current mileage rate, the same as for a personal car.

    Other types of local transportation would be shuttle, taxi, etc.  List the amount to be reimbursed beside the type listed.  If the amount listed included multiple trips, in parenthesis, indicate the number of trips.  As a reminder, any single expense of $25.00 or more requires a paid receipt.

    If the type of transportation used is not listed, type the description and the amount under the Other Local Transportation.

    The total for this section should be entered in the right-hand column of the form where Total Local Transportation is indicated.

    • Itemized Miscellaneous Cost includes:
      • Registration fees require paid receipt, front and back of canceled check, or name tag from the meeting.  If registration is not being claimed and claimant attended a conference, meeting or workshop, please indicate how registration was paid such as direct, Pcard, Other Source, etc.
      • Business-related telephone calls and justification written on the hotel bill. 
      • Gas for state-owned and rental vehicles; attach paid receipts.
      • Parking, attach receipts if available, required if $25.00 or more.
      • Toll road fees.
      • Other miscellaneous costs must be itemized and paid receipts attached.   Examples of this type of expense would be supplies, airport taxes, field trips, etc. Internet must be business related and documented as such and paid receipts available.
      • For foreign travel, there may be costs for passports, departure taxes, and conversion fees.  These costs can be itemized under the other miscellaneous cost section.

      The total for this section should be entered in the right-hand column of the form where Total Miscellaneous is indicated.

    • Total Amount Claimed includes the total of Per Diem and Lodging, Mileage, Public Transportation, Local Transportation, and Miscellaneous Costs.

    • The department may have a limit on the amount of reimbursement.  If the amount is less than the Total Amount Claimed, enter the amount in the Maximum Amount Approved space. 

    • Enter the (Department) Number to which the reimbursement should be charged.

    • Please indicate the address where the Reimbursement check should be mailed.  This can be a designated person in the department, if desired.

    • Obtain the Claimant’s signature and date signed.  The State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher cannot be processed without the claimant's original signature.

    • Obtain the date and Signature of the Sponsor or the claimant's supervisor when the claimant is the sponsor.  The travel voucher submitted for reimbursement must be approved by the traveler's appropriate supervisor with budgetary authority.  This approval must be obtained before Financial Services can process the claim for payment

    • Financial Services will complete the Agency’s Approving Officer space.  Do not write in this space

    Upon completion of the form, forward the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher with the original receipts to Financial Services (if grant or contract department, submit to the grant and contract administrative offices).