Travel Expenses

Note: This page attempts outlines some of the most common aspects of travel at SF State. Please review carefully and refer to the SF State Travel Center Website for more information. If you have any questions, please contact your ORSP Grant Administrator.

Prior approval is required for all travel by CSU employees

Travel must be properly authorized via the Request for Authorization to Travel/Travel Advance (ATEA) for ORSP Projects form. This form must be completed and signed by the PI & the traveler (if not the PI), approved by the College Dean, then submitted to ORSP prior to making any reservations for airlines, car rentals or hotels.

  • This form is also required for mileage reimbursement if the traveler will be driving outside a radius of 25 miles from SF State (the definition of "a state of travel")
  • All Authorization to Travel request forms must be approved at the Associate Vice President (AVP)/Dean level
  • Please contact your GA directly if you need to request a travel advance for group travel
  • If your travel is international:
    In addition to the ATEA form, please also include a Request for Foreign Travel Insurance form signed by the PI, the traveler (if the PI is not the traveler), the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College (for the project that will be charged for travel expenses). A Release of Liability Packet is also required for students and non-employees. ORSP will review and inform the traveler of approval before the traveler can make their travel reservations. Completed forms must be received in ORSP 45 days prior to travel.
  • For more information about international travel, please visit the Enterprise Risk Management website.
    Summary of Approval for International Travel

Note: The use of Fell Travel for booking travel and hotel expenses, and supporting documentation comparing fares outside of Fell Travel is no longer required. However, University business related car rental reservations still must go through Fell Travel so that the necessary liability and insurance requirements for vehicles on State business will automatically be provided. You may use either a US Bank Personal Liability Card or your personal credit card.


Use the Combined Travel Claim and Itemized List of actual Expenses form (“Travel Claim” form) to get reimbursed for approved travel-related expenses upon the completion of a trip.

  • For travel by air, travelers may book their flight using either their US Bank Travel card or personal credit card. Reimbursement works the same for both methods, as the traveler is responsible for paying the balance on the US Bank Travel card.
  • For car rental, travelers must book reservations through Fell Travel using either their US Bank Travel Card or personal credit card. Travelers must have completed SF State’s defensive driving course to be reimbursed for car rental (see below).
  • For travel in private vehicles, any employee driving a private vehicle on official University business must be certified by the Department of Environmental Health and Operational Safety (EHOS) and must have adequate liability insurance. See requirements for driving a private vehicle on University business. Please note that the EHOS does not grant any exemptions for drivers who have not met the qualification requirements.
  • The standard mileage reimbursement rate is 54 cents ($0.54) per mile for travel on or after January 1, 2016

Reimbursement for overnight trips

Travelers book their lodging accommodations and will be reimbursed for expenses via the Travel Claim form upon completion of the trip. Submit original receipts and a copy of the bank or credit card statement showing charges hitting the traveler's account.

  • Receipts are required for any expenses $75 or more (except subsistence claims, see below)
  • Subsistence is limited to $55 per day for travel in the continental US. Travelers pay for their meals and are reimbursed by noting meal expenses on the Travel Claim form.
    • Do not submit receipts for food unless it is to claim full reimbursement for any meals over $25.00 (not to exceed $55.00) on the first and last day of travel (partial days)
    • Incidentals are capped at $7.00 per day, and cannot be claimed during the first 24 hours of travel
  • Domestic lodging reimbursement is limited to $ per night
  • See caps and restrictions on areas outside the continental US
  • If travel is to attend a conference, a copy of the conference agenda must be attached to the travel claim packet

Fill out the Travel Claim form once your trip is over, noting that information entered on the Subsistence tab in the Excel file will auto-populate the coversheet. Attach receipts for lodging, car rental (if used), airfare, and shuttle / taxi (if more than $40). Also include receipts for business expenses (e.g. internet / fax at hotel, printing, copying, registration fees) and itemize those costs in the "Business Expense" column of the form.

Submit the completed Claim directly to the SF State Travel Office within 30 days. Include all required signatures (note: a PI can be both the Traveler and the Claimant) and include a sentence with a verb in the "Purpose of Trip" description. If you submit the form to your ORSP approver first, please note that it will be forwarded to the Travel Office for initial review prior to receiving ORSP approval.

SF State's Travel Center Website


  • All travel must be preapproved on the ATEA form
    • Domestic travel requires approval from your Dean and ORSP
    • International Travel requires approval from your Department Chair and Dean
  • Local travel (more than 25 miles) can be covered by bundled/blanket approvals for a given time period
  • Submit your completed Claim directly to the SFSU Travel Center within 30 days of travel
  • Travel expenses can only be charged to a project if travel was itemized in the funded budget
  • Pay conference registration fees by check or with your P-Card; do not use a personal credit card
  • Do not use your P-Card to pay for food, hotel, airfare, or car rental
  • Drivers must be authorized by EHOS to drive on University Business; Defensive Driver Training is completed on-line; approver must verify that employee has a current Std 261 on file in the department
  • The In State Travel account code is 606001; Out of State Travel is account code 606002
  • Reimbursements of $100.00 or less will be handled through Petty Cash (use the form below)
  • If you submitted a request for payment and have confirmed with your GA that the check is missing, you should complete as much information as possible on an Stop Payment/Check Replacement Application form, and submit to your ORSP GA
  • For details on meals without travel on federal awards, please click here

(ATEA Form) Request for Authorization to Travel/Travel Advance for ORSP Projects

Combined Travel Expense Claim Form

Foreign Travel Insurance Information and Required Forms

Release of Liability form

Subsistence Summary

Petty Cash form