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Travelers' Guide

            University of Maryland Travelers' Guide

University Travel Policy

The University of Maryland's travel policies are intended to facilitate travel and travel arrangements; to provide reimbursement for necessary expenses; and to protect travelers against the risk of loss while simultaneously maintaining the necessary controls for accountability.

All travel is to be documented. Pre-approval is required for University of Maryland employee and sponsored visitor out-of-state and international travel. Pre-approval is required for University of Maryland travel which includes an overnight stay, regardless of whether the destination is in-state. Trips should be cancelled via a Trip Adjustment as soon as it is known that the trip will not occur, including if the cancellation takes place after the start date of the trip.

University official travel is normally undertaken using regularly scheduled licensed commercial transportation and commercial hotel accommodations. Special needs should be addressed in advance of travel in coordination with the department approving authority and Travel Services.

University System business conducted in the "Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area" is classified as in-state travel.

Required approval may vary according to the travel destination and sources of funds. Direct reports may not approve their supervisor's travel or expenses.

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Travel Reimbursement

University travel expenses must not be reimbursed until the trip has been completed.

Departments are strongly encouraged to make reservations and purchase airline tickets and other travel services through the University Travel Agencies, and to use the University Travel Card for payment.

University business travel arrangements made in this way eliminate the need for the traveler to advance personal funds, since reimbursement for airline tickets, deposits, etc. cannot be made until after the trip has been completed. There are other benefits that apply to business travel when the University travel agents issue airline tickets and make reservations, and when payment is made using the University Travel Card.

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International Travel Insurance

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Fly America Act

All federally funded travel must comply with the Fly America Act and the Use of United States Flag Air Carriers section of the Federal Travel Regulation, which require that a United States flag carrier be used unless an exception applies. Federally funded travel is normally funded using KFS numbers between 4300000 and 4339999 and KFS numbers beginning with 5. Further guidance, including exceptions to the Fly America Act, may be found on the Office of Research Administration's website.

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U.S. Passport Information

U.S. Department of State Passport Services and Information

Passport photographs are available at University of Maryland Photo Services, 1117 Patapsco Building (5145 Campus Drive), 301.405.0577.

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Miscellaneous Expenses

Airline / Hotel Cancellation and Change Fees No Except emergencies and for the convenience of University of Maryland
Alcoholic Beverages No  
Car Rental Coverage
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)
U.S. Rentals, Employee Travelers

State of Maryland is self insured. When signing the rental agreement, the renter must include his/her name, University of Maryland, and State of Maryland.

Car Rental Coverage
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)
U.S. Rentals, Non-Employee Travelers
Yes Only CDW/LDW is reimbursable.
International Car Rental Coverage
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)
Employee and
Non-Employee Travelers
Yes CDW/LDW is reimbursable for international rentals - outside the 50 United States.
Baggage Yes As appropriate to support business travel with receipt
Fines No Fines including, but not limited to, fines for traffic, toll, photo enforcement, and parking violations are the personal financial responsibility of the individual who incurred the violation. The driver is responsible for payment of the violation as well as any associated fees received from the issuing jurisdiction.
Gift Cards and Certificates No Gift cards and gift certificates may not be paid for with university funds.
Gratuities Yes Reasonable; Must be detailed on the Travel Expense Statement
Laundry / Valet Yes With itemized receipt, when domestic travel exceeds 5 working days; International laundry included in per diem allowance
Mileage Driving to Origin Airport Yes Mileage is measured from the closer of the duty station or point of departure to the airport for travel on days during the employee's normal work schedule. For travel on days that are not part of the employee's normal work schedule, actual airport mileage is reimbursable.
Parking (Airport and Train Station) Yes Reasonable and with receipt
Passport / Visa Yes When required for official travel. Check with ORA as to whether this is an allowable expense on sponsored funds.
Registration Fees Yes With itemized receipt
Taxi Yes If any single taxi journey reimbursement is $75.00 or less and no receipt is available, the traveler must provide details in the "Expense Description" field of the Travel Expense Statement. Details must include (for each taxi journey) the date, origin/destination, and cost per trip.
Telephone, Fax, and Internet Access Yes University-business-related while in an approved travel status
Toll Charges (Highway) Yes  
Zipcar No Zipcar rentals provided on campus are exclusively for personal use and cannot be used for University business travel; therefore, travelers cannot be reimbursed for Zipcar rentals.

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University Business Hosting

University of Maryland Policy and Procedures Concerning Food Purchases for Purposes Other Than Employee Travel and Resale (Business Meals)

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University travel policy requires advance approval via a Travel Approval Request form, and itemized receipts must be provided with the Travel Expense Statement. Receipts are used to verify that the travel services purchased were used for the approved traveler, dates, and location for which official travel was approved. Receipts also document the actual cost and payment of each expense.

Itemized receipts are required for all travel expenses including airfare, airport/train station parking, rail ticket, car rental, ground transportation, lodging, conference/event registration, rental vehicle fuel, and any meal reimbursed in excess of the UMD per diem amount allowed for that meal.

Receipts should show the date and specific services rendered, vendor name, the amount charged, and the form of payment. Receipts for air, rail, car rental, and lodging should also include the traveler's name. Travelers should take care to submit receipts rather than "confirmations," which do not show how payment was made. If hotel, car rental, or other "express" check-out receipts or Internet vendor receipts do not show how payment was made, a copy of the credit card bill with the corresponding final total charge should be provided with the Travel Expense Statement.

If necessary, an exception to the receipt requirement may be made for a permissible "miscellaneous" expense if the individual charge is $75 or less, including gratuity. Permissible miscellaneous expenses may include taxi fares, tolls, local parking fees, local bus fares, subway/light rail fares, and the like. The expense breakdown for each miscellaneous expense must be provided on the Travel Expense Statement. For example, if two taxis are used and receipts are not provided, the traveler must indicate the cost breakdown and route details for each taxi used.

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Event and Exhibition Admission

If special admissions including museums, events, and the like are official expenses, they should be included on the Travel Approval Request (TAR). If a receipt for an approved activity cannot reasonably be obtained, the expense should be detailed on the Travel Expense Statement, referring to the Travel Approval Request (TAR).

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Combining Personal and Professional Travel

Careful records must be maintained to separate the expenses of travel companions from the reimbursable expenses of University of Maryland official travelers. Written verification of a hotel's applicable single rate should be obtained at time of check-out and submitted along with the actual bill and Travel Expense Statement. University of Maryland will not reimburse any expenses incurred on behalf of a travel companion unless a specific determination is made by the approving authority in advance that the companion's travel is official business necessitated by the nature of the event.

Any additional cost incurred due to stopovers or route modifications made for the convenience of the traveler will be borne entirely by the traveler. For wholly personal or vacation travel, contact Globetrotter, Omega World Travel, and Travel Leaders Corporate for information about University of Maryland employee discounts.

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University of Maryland Contract Travel Agencies

University of Maryland Contract Travel Agencies (Globetrotter Travel, Omega World Travel, and Travel Leaders Corporate), are committed to finding and offering the lowest fare that meets trip requirements. University of Maryland travel arrangers normally should use contract travel agencies. Purchase of non-routine travel services and all requests anticipated to exceed departmental delegated authority using non-contract travel agencies must be coordinated with Travel Services in advance of securing reservations or making payments.

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Airfare Ticketing Procedure

The least expensive, practical itinerary should be used.

Normally airline tickets should be purchased using the University contract travel agencies, making payment with the University Travel Card. Tickets purchased through other sources are discouraged. Tickets purchased using a personal credit card will not be reimbursed until after travel has been completed. Note that expense reimbursement for airfare requires an itemized invoice that details vendor name and address, flights used, price paid, and form of payment receipt.

Plan ahead to qualify for discount fares and avoid full coach fares.

The University will not reimburse travelers for airline tickets that had no cost, such as "free" tickets earned on frequent flyer or other incentive programs.

The Policy on University System Travel prohibits the use of institutional funds for the purchase of additional flight insurance. University travel agencies provide air travel insurance for tickets they issue in accordance with University travel policy. Contact the University travel agencies directly for details of coverage.

The purchase of first class airfare is not permitted.

The purchase of business class and other premium airfare is discouraged unless specific operating requirements make it impractical to travel in coach class. In exceptional circumstances when it is necessary to purchase business class air travel, the University Travel Approval Request (TAR) must indicate that business class airfare was purchased and the reason the trip required it.

Travelers may sit in an upgraded section of the aircraft if there is no cost to the University.

The University will reimburse travelers for airline a la carte service fees when the service purchased is permissible within University travel policy and procedures, is authorized by the department approving authority, and the service is necessary for the traveler to perform University business. Travelers should discuss airline fee structure with the University contract travel agencies when selecting flights in order to anticipate the full cost of their transportation selection and reflect that cost on their Travel Approval Request (TAR). Receipts must be provided with the Travel Expense Statement in accordance with University receipt requirements. Airline and other travel supplier a la carte services that are for personal use (e.g., movie, personal on-board shopping, alcohol) are not reimbursable and must be paid for with personal funds.

For federally funded travel, see Fly America Act above for additional information. University contract travel agencies can provide assistance to ensure that travel is booked to meet federal requirements.

Be sure to consider and fully understand the airfare's applicable restrictions as well as change and cancellation penalties before accepting the itinerary. Such penalties are reimbursable only if your approving authority agrees that an itinerary change or cancellation is in the best interest of the University.

Departments must ensure that tickets purchased are used in accordance with University policies and procedures. Unused tickets or portions of tickets must be processed for credit, which may be due the University. Tickets and credits are the property of the University.

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Reimbursable Meal Rates

Domestic and International Meal Reimbursable Rates

Travelers will normally be reimbursed at UMD meal per diem rates. Travelers are not required to obtain meal receipts when using UMD meal per diem. Reimbursement will not be made if a meal has already been paid for as part of a conference. A partial day's travel is eligible for proportionate meal allowance.

In special circumstances, a higher amount of reimbursement may be appropriate and allowable with advance approval and supported by proper receipts. Examples of such circumstances may include: required attendance at a function for official purposes, lodging inaccessible to normal array of dining choices, etc. Reimbursement in excess of UMD per diem should not be used on a routine basis. The cost of alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.

Extended or recurrent travel may require special arrangements to be coordinated by the Approving Authority, Comptroller, and Travel Services on a case by case basis. Examples of such circumstances may include extended stays in a residential setting where grocery purchases provide a more cost-effective approach than dining out.

Travelers should check with the IRS to determine whether any record keeping is required for personal income tax purposes when using per diem allowances. The IRS should also be consulted concerning reimbursement for relocation (moving) expenses to determine if there is a personal tax consequence.

For further information, please see the Board of Regents Schedule of Reimbursable Rates

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Pre-approval is required for University of Maryland travel which includes an overnight stay, regardless of whether the destination is "in-state." Every effort should be made to ensure that lodging costs are reasonable and appropriate. Globetrotter, Omega World Travel, and Travel Leaders Corporate, can assist with reserving Government and other discount rates. Some discounts also apply to personal travel.

Lodging and other in-trip expenses are normally paid by the traveler at time of use with their University of Maryland Travel Card or other preferred personal charge card. University of Maryland normally does not issue Travel Advances.

University travel arrangers and travelers securing lodging in Maryland and Washington, DC should advise the hotel that the University of Maryland is exempt from sales and use tax in these areas. Travelers should verify that sales and use tax is not charged to their final bill at checkout. The University of Maryland State of Maryland tax exempt number is printed on the University Travel Card. For additional information, contact the University contract travel agencies for hotel reservations. The State of Maryland Tax Exemption Certificate and the District of Columbia Tax Exemption Notice, are available on the Department of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing Website.

Itemized receipts (including hotel's itemized bill) must be submitted with the Travel Expense Statement for reimbursement. A credit card slip alone does not satisfy the receipt requirement.

University of Maryland will not reimburse "no show" charges. In-room cable TV and other items of a personal nature are not reimbursable. Reimbursement for meals charged to the hotel bill must be submitted as outlined under Reimbursable Meal Rates. Extended or recurrent travel may necessitate special requirements to be coordinated by the Approving Authority, Comptroller, and Business Services Administrator on a case by case basis. An example would be a residential stay for which a lodging per diem may be established in the absence of traditional tariffs and receipts.

Travelers utilizing Federal funding must advise the travel agency reservationist if their contract or grant specifies cost limitations or other restrictions. If uncertain, contact the Office of Research Advancement and Administration prior to finalizing reservations.

For further information, please see the Board of Regents Schedule of Reimbursable Rates.

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Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Mileage Reimbursement

Employees may be required to use personal vehicles in order to carry out assigned duties when a University vehicle is not available. The University is not required to provide a vehicle to employees who refuse to use their own vehicles to perform their assigned duties.

Authorized persons required to use a privately owned motor vehicle for official University business will be reimbursed in accordance with the current officially approved rate (see Privately Owned Vehicle Reimbursement Schedule). A University employee using a privately owned vehicle for travel may be reimbursed for mileage. Mileage is measured from the closer of the duty station or point of departure to destination and return for travel on days during the employee's normal work schedule. For travel on days that are not part of the employee's normal work schedule, actual mileage driven is reimbursable. Please see the Privately Owned Vehicles Used for UMD Business policy for more information.

Authorized drivers will be reimbursed for reasonable parking and toll expenses incurred while conducting official business.

The University will not reimburse its employees for any increased insurance premiums or fuel expenses attributable to the use of their vehicle for business. Reimbursement for insurance and fuel is reflected in the mileage reimbursement rate.

For further information, please see the Board of Regents Schedule of Reimbursable Rates.

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University of Maryland Discount Vehicle Rental Rates

University of Maryland has discount car rental rates with several companies. Globetrotter, Omega World Travel, and Travel Leaders Corporate also offer discount rates with additional car rental firms. University of Maryland identification numbers should be provided at the time reservations are made. (Globetrotter, Omega World Travel, and Travel Leaders Corporate will do this automatically).

Discount Rate Information
Business Travel
Leisure Travel
 Avis A535800 A535890
 Budget T586400 T586490
 Enterprise  XZ78822 XZ78823
 National XZ78822 XZ78823

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For Further Information

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