Travel Services


When do I need to complete a Travel Authority (TA)?

Written prior approval is required on the TA in the circumstances outlined below. The department is responsible for retaining the TA per the record retention policy in all instances except for when it is routed to Travel Services for processing.

  • When the traveler is going out of state or out of country.
  • When a privately owned, rented, or chartered aircraft will be used.
  • When a third party is paying for a portion of a WSU official’s travel.
  • When requesting an exception to policy.
  • When seeking authorization for applicant, student, speaker, or other nonemployee travel.
  • If you department requires it. An individual unit may require written approval for all travel.
  • When a travel advance is requested. Route to Travel Services.
  • When a conference registration is to be paid in advance. Route to Travel Services.

Note:  The Purchasing Card is the preferred method of payment of conference registrations.


When do I need to seek approval to travel?

  • All official travel needs approval prior to the trip either by use of the TA (when required) or some other means of approval (written, verbal, etc). The approval is required in order to be eligible to travel and seek reimbursement. See 95.05 for an explanation on when the TA is required to be completed and 95.01 on the responsibilities of the traveler and administrator.

What kind of receipts do I need to keep from my trip?

  • All miscellaneous travel related receipts in excess of $50;
  • All lodging, airfare, and rental car expenses; and
  • An itemized receipt for meals reimbursed at actual costs. If for a group, a list of individuals paid for needs to accompany the receipt.

Note: Departments may require receipts for all expenses.

What can I do if I lost my receipts?

What personally paid travel expenses can be reimbursed prior to traveling?

Reimbursements for expenses incurred prior to the trip are not allowed per state policy—our policies are in the process of being updated to reflect this. If the traveler meets the travel advance requirements they can be issued an advance to defray the costs expected to be incurred for the trip. Our policy states a traveler must:

  • Be an employee;
  • In travel status for more than 14 days; and
  • Have no outstanding advances

WSU policy also states that the traveler cannot receive the advance more than 14 days prior to the trip start date. If they do not meet these requirements, but are still approved and authorized to receive an advance, an exception to policy can be requested through Central. If the request is outside of state policy (i.e. for a student, more than 30 days prior to the trip start date, or for airfare) the advance would have to be issued on 17A funds. Advances are then cleared upon returning from the trip via a TEV substantiating the expenses.

Note: The Purchasing Card is the preferred method of payment of conference registrations and the Central Travel Account for all air, rail, and bus fare. This eliminates the need for personal resources of travelers to be used and reduces the administrative burden involved in processing reimbursements through Central.

Where can I find training materials on the eForms system?

Where can I find information on how to apply for a Travel Card?

Can I use my Travel Card to make personal purchases?

  • The University maintains a zero tolerance policy for any personal usage of University Travel Charge Cards.  Because the card is issued by Washington State University for University business travel expenses, the University may cancel the card account for misuse and/or payment delinquency.

Am I allowed to have a WSU employee’s lodging direct billed to WSU?

  • Policy prohibits the direct billing of employee lodging, except when an employee is accompanying a nonemployee or 5 or more employees are booking a block of rooms. To seek an exception to policy, please contact Aly Kincaid with detailed information prior to the trip for evaluation of the circumstances.

Am I allowed to have a WSU student's lodging direct billed to WSU?  What if the student also has an hourly position?
  • Yes.  Students traveling on behalf of WSU can have their lodging direct billed regardless of whether they have a hourly position.  The student's department is responsible for making the arrangements.

If I am traveling and have personal automobile trouble, will WSU reimburse me for getting my car fixed?  Can I use my Travel Card to pay for the services?

  • WSU is not responsible for repairs to personal automobiles and using your WSU Travel Card is not appropriate. The POV mileage rate that individuals are reimbursed at factors in the cost of owning and operating a vehicle, which includes maintenance and personal insurance as that is the primary coverage when choosing to travel via POV.

May I use the government rate offered by hotels when I am not traveling on business?

  • If the rate is offered to all government employees, whether or not they are on official business, then yes.  If the hotel requires you to be on official business, then you cannot accept the government rate.  To do so would be to use your official position to secure a special privilege.  Reference:  WA State Ethics Board


Travel Services, PO Box 641025, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1025, 509-335-8074, Contact Us