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Travel: NYS Guidelines

SUNY New Paltz Travel Policy

The travel regulations are complex. If there is a need to obtain additional information or clarification of items in this document, please contact the Accounts Payable Office (257-3175).


A. Official Station, Travel status & Advances

  1. An employee's official station is used to determine allowable travel expense reimbursement. Designation of an employee's official station will be established in the best interest of the State and SUNY and not the convenience of the employee. One's official station is SUNY New Paltz, unless otherwise determined by the appropriate Vice President. In such a case a written justification must be attached to each travel voucher.
  2. Employees are in travel status when they are on official business and more than 35 miles from their official station and place of residence. Employees can be reimbursed for mileage, tolls, or parking costs but will not be allowed meals or lodging within 35 miles of their official station and place of residence. If an employee is in travel status for less than three hours, meals and/or lodging are not allowed regardless of the distance traveled.
  3. Travel Advances may only be issued to regular or temporary service State employees. Students and employment candidates are not eligible to use these items.

B. The Process

  1. Travel Requisition Form
    Each requisition should clearly explain the purpose and nature of the trip. The Accounts Payable Office monitors compliance of approvals and will address any issues with the traveler.

    The form is required for all travel to be paid with State or Income Fund Reimbursable funds. The traveler should complete all information requested on the Travel Requisition. Failure to properly complete the form could delay the approval process and may jeopardize approval of the trip.
    • Travel Requisition forms are necessary to ensure the trip is approved and meets State travel requirements.
    • Travel requests are prepared by the traveler approved by the appropriate supervisor, department chair and/or dean.
    • Requisitions are forwarded to the appropriate vice president's office.
    • The vice president's office approves or disapproves the requested trip and forwards the document to Purchasing for processing or back to the traveler in case of denial.
    • If travel requisition is greater than $500.00 or out of state then Vice President for Administration's approval is required.
    • Conference and meeting registration fees may be processed on a Travel Requisition form. Include a completed copy of the registration form and indicate the organization's Federal Employee Identification Number. If prepayment of the registration fee is required, the name of an alternate attendee must be provided. It is the responsibility of the traveler to complete and process the registration form, either electronically or by facsimile, to the host organization. When necessary, it may be noted "check to follow" on the registration form.
    • If prepayment of lodging is required by hotel/host, only ONE night's lodging will be prepaid.

    Because of the extended approval process, it is incumbent upon the traveler to allow sufficient lead-time to obtain the various approvals. The traveler should allow at least three weeks for completing the travel request process. If a travel advance is requested another two weeks should be added to the processing timeframe.

    Persons who travel before obtaining all approvals do so at their own risk and may not be reimbursed for their travel costs.

  2. Travel Cost Reimbursement
    State regulations provide reimbursement limits for meal and lodging costs incurred as a result of authorized travel. No reimbursement is allowed for lunch. Meal and lodging charges within thirty-five miles of an employee's official station or place of residence are also not allowed.
    a. Departure/Arrival Time Requirements
    Charges for meals will be allowed when the time of departure from home or office at the beginning of a trip necessarily occurs before the hour of 7:00am and concludes after the hour of 7:00pm.

    b. Reimbursement Rate Schedule
    Allowable lodging and meal rates are the same for all negotiating units and are dependent upon the county and city to which the person travels.

    When completing Travel Vouchers and Requisitions, the city and county traveled to must be clearly indicated for payment to be made.

    c. Overnight Travel Status
    Meal expense reimbursements are excluded from an employee's income when they are associated with overnight business travel.

    An employee in overnight travel status without lodging receipts will be allowed the following reimbursements. However, the name and full address of the host must be included on the travel voucher.
    LocationPer Diem
    New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties $50.00
    Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and their respective surrounding metropolitan areas $40.00
    All other locations in New York State $35.00
    Foreign/Out of State (this includes any out of state tax on lodging) $50.00

    d. Non-overnight Travel Status
    Employees on business trips lasting one day or less may be eligible for reimbursement of breakfast ($5.00) and dinner ($12.00). However, the Internal Revenue Service requires that meal reimbursements associated with travel not requiring the employee to stay overnight, constitutes taxable income to the employee. Thus, these reimbursements are reported in the employee's gross income and are subject to withholding taxes.

    e. Vehicle Reservations

    • To request a vehicle please call:  Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 845-485-2222.
    • When you call for a vehicle please remember to mention customer number JN0196.  This number will be recognized by the rental representative and will guarantee that you will receive SUNY New Paltz's special rates and services.  When you call, please have your requisition or purchase order number available. 
    • Enterprise Rent-a-Car hours are Monday-Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.
    • If you need a vehicle before Enterprise opens or after Enterprise closes, please make your local Enterprise representative aware, as Enterprise offers a free delivery service to SUNY New Paltz.
    • Enterprise will deliver cars at no charge to the SUNY New Paltz campus.  If more convenient, SUNY New Paltz employees can go directly to our location at 724-726 Main Street in Poughkeepsie to pick up their vehicle, in this case, Enterprise Rent-a-Car would provide free parking for the renters personal vehicle.  Enterprise Rent-a-Car also offers a free pick-up service should you need a ride directly from your home.
    • Enterprise will be provided 3 to 4 parking spaces in a designated lot on the campus.  These spaces will be clearly marked and Enterprise will meet renters there or at your department.
    • Always make a reservation in advance when possible and always call the branch when you are ready for a car.
    • Enterprise Rent-a-Car will also honor discounted rates for personal use.  Standard rental payment, procedures, and qualifications will apply.
  3. Processing
    All requests for reimbursement must be filed on the State of New York Travel Voucher (Form AC 132). Support documents should be attached and cross-referenced on the travel voucher. original receipts are required. If a travel advance was issued, please make copies of receipts to accompany the originals to Accounts Payable.

    Upon completion of the trip, the traveler prepares a Travel Voucher, signs it, and attaches all documents necessary to support the items being claimed. If a personal car was used, the Statement of Automobile Travel form (form AC 160) should be completed and attached to the Travel Voucher.

    The traveler forwards the Travel Voucher with all supporting documents to the account manager to be approved, signed by all necessary dean/vice president and forwarded to the Accounts Payable Office.

    All travel reimbursement checks are mailed to the traveler's home. The amount received by the traveler is the net of any outstanding travel advance.

    a. Supporting Documents Required
    1) Original Receipts - these documents must show the method of payment

    • Registration receipts
    • Paid hotel bills with room breakdowns
    • Airline tickets/receipts
    • Bus and train
    • Any type of photocopying, telephone receipts, parking receipts
    • Meals do not require receipts and will be reimbursed based on approved per diem rates.

    2) Program Itinerary/Brochure

C. Travel Advances

Eligible employees can receive travel advances to offset out-of-pocket costs associated with their travel.
A cash advance may be provided to employees who are in travel status for at least one day. The advance is equal to the number of days of travel multiplied by the per diem rate for that area, minus any prepaid lodging. The minimum amount is $100. The maximum amount that may be advanced at one time is $400.
In unusual circumstances, an advance in excess of $400 may be approved (ie. Foreign travel and Travel for Long periods when the traveler is unable to submit a travel voucher for reimbursement).

Travel Advances can be issued:

  • only in conjunction with approved trips.
  • only to SUNY employees (not students or employment candidates) who are in travel status for at least one day that includes an overnight lodging.

Travel advances cannot exceed the approved per diem rate and cannot be issued for registration fees.

Advance checks may be picked up in the Accounts Payable Office generally one or two days prior to the date of the trip. The traveler's office will be notified when the advance check is ready.

Repayment of the Travel Advance
When the amount to be reimbursed to the traveler on the Travel Voucher is less than the amount of the advance, the traveler must submit with the Travel Voucher a check for the difference, payable to "SUNY New Paltz".

In these cases, the traveler is responsible for immediate repayment of the excess advance and should process the Travel Voucher within ten days after returning from the trip.

If the advance repayment check is returned by the bank because of insufficient funds, a $20 returned check fee is imposed. The traveler will be required to submit payment in the form of cash, money order or certified check for the amount of the original check plus the $20 returned check fee. Personal checks will NOT be accepted as a form of payment for a returned check.

When the amount due the traveler for reimbursement exceeds the amount of the advance, the traveler will be reimbursed for the difference. Timely submittal of the travel voucher upon return from the trip will ensure the traveler is reimbursed as soon as possible.

Delinquent Repayment of Travel Advance
If a Travel Voucher or personal check for full repayment of the advance is not received by the Accounts Payable Office within thirty days after completion of the trip, the outstanding advance will be considered delinquent. An amount equal to the advance may be deducted from the traveler's wages or other monies due the traveler to reimburse the Travel account.

A traveler delinquent in repayment will be refused additional travel advances. Notices of the delinquency will be issued to the traveler's supervisors and respective vice president's office.

D. Interviewee Travel Expenses

Travel reimbursement is permitted for both residents and non-residents of New York State. In no case, however, may reimbursement be made to interviewees residing fifty miles or less from the interview site.
Interviewees must prepare a travel requisition and travel voucher in accordance with standard campus procedures. The "Purpose of Travel" section should indicate that interviewee expenses are being paid. The vice president's signature will connote that all the requirements listed above are met and that the expense is allowable.
Reimbursement of interview travel expenses may be less, but not greater, than the travel allowances permitted state employees. No central funds are maintained for interviewee travel reimbursement. Respective departmental, dean or vice presidential funds should be used for this purpose.
Travel requisition and travel voucher forms should be submitted early to permit timely reimbursement.
Departmental personnel must ensure that State rates are not exceeded and that only reimbursable items are submitted for payment. The department must inform the interviewee that only the cost of travel, room and meals will be reimbursed based on State per diem rates. Charges related to incidental expenses such as telephone, parking, laundry or in-room films will need to be paid by the interviewee.
The Campus does not allow for reimbursement of employees lunch or dinner costs associated with interviewing potential candidates, as the employees are not considered to be in travel status. However, costs such as travel to and from the airport may be reimbursed.


SUNY New Paltz does not pay New York State Sales Tax:

When traveling on SUNY New Paltz business, the traveler must present a Tax Exemption Certificate for lodging and transportation vendors.

Travelers, please make sure you are using the Tax Exemption Certificate for hotel room tax (ST-129). There is an older Tax Exemption Certificate (AC 946) which is still valid, however it should only be used for rental cars, etc. Form ST-129 should be used strictly for hotel room tax exemption. Please make sure you are using the new form. The form is available in the Accounts Payable Office (HAB 304) or the Purchasing Department (HAB 307).

For current per diem rates, please go here.