Instructions for the travel expense vouchers are below.  Original receipts must be presented to receive reimbursement, including Conference Registration forms.

Airfare must be charged to a MSU Billings Purchasing Card. Contact the Purchasing Office for the forms.

Travel reimbursement requests should be filed within 30 days of travel and repayments of travel advances should be paid to MSU Billings within 10 days of the completion of travel. According to the Administrative Rules of Montana, an employee who does not file for reimbursement within 90 days after incurring the expense waives the right to reimbursement.

An approved travel authorization must be on file in the Business Office two weeks before registration fees, advance accommodations, airline fares, etc. for travel will be paid.  A travel authorization must be filled out for travel outside of Billings city limits.

An employee should not expect to receive a travel advance before the last working day prior to traveling and should not be used for lodging or vehicle rentals.

Before beginning reimbursable travel with a group of students, a team travel form must be completed.  A student/group travel authorization is available here and on the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs website.

General Instructions

  1. The following forms must be received in the Business Office within 30 days following completion of travel and 10 days if repaying an advance:
    1. Travel Expense Voucher --  Attach a copy to the requisition. Two signatures are required -- the employee's and the fund controller's signature.
    2. Receipts -- ORIGINAL receipts are required for all reimbursements except meals, and mileage allowance.  Attach the receipts to the requisition.
  2. Transportation shall be the most economical in terms of direct cost to the state and the employee's time away from the office.
    1. Trip Insurance, Seat Upgrades, etc are not an allowable expense.
    2. Commercial Airfare--State travel policy requires travelers to use the State Purchasing card for individual employee (not team or large group) airfare purchases. This applies to ticket purchases made through a travel agent, purchased directly from an airline, or purchased from an online travel source. 

    3. IN LIEU OF AIRFARE, an employee may wish to use other than the most economical and expeditious mode of transportation to complete a travel oriented work assignment. For example, an employee may prefer to drive a private vehicle to a particular destination rather than fly. To drive would require more travel time and more cost than airfare. When other than the least expensive class service is used, a full explanation of the justifying circumstances MUST be included with the claim. The employee will be given "air travel equivalent"--the most economical airfare in lieu of mileage and allowable meals and lodging as though the trip had been made on a commercial airline. The remaining travel time (in excess of air travel time) would have to be completed on the employee's time (non-working hours of vacation).

    4. A Rental Vehicle is the preferred method of travel for out of town trips.
      1. Rental Car reservations can be made with any Vendor contracting with the State. Click Here to review the FAQ’s and reserve a car. 
      2. In the event a rental vehicle is not available a request for the higher rate can be submitted with the Personal Vehicle Authorization Form. 
    5. Personal Vehicles -- MSUB employees may use their personal vehicle and received reimbursement at the rate of 27.9 cents per mile.  No MSUB employee will be compensated for driving their own vehicle unless it is used for State business.
  3. Specific questions concerning travel should be addressed to the Travel Claims Clerk at 657-2301, in the Business Office.
  4. As part of the Montana State University International Travel Policy, all MSUB students, faculty, and staff traveling internationally that is organized, sponsored or supported by the University, must register their travel. **Please note these will redirect to our Bozeman sites**
    1. To read the policy, please visit
    2. To Register your International Travel Click Here  
  5. International Travel Insurance:  It is required that each traveler secure international travel insurance, as personal and/or MSUB University insurance plans may not cover policy holders while traveling internationally, even if traveling on behalf of the University (refer to your Plan administrator). In compliance with the MUS System directive, the MSU Office of International Programs (OIP) offers international travel insurance through GeoBlue which offers affordable options to University Faculty, Staff and Students traveling abroad.
    1. Access the GeoBlue international travel insurance website HERE.

Travel Expense Voucher Directions

Name/Address--Your name and signature on the form must be exactly alike.  Enter your home or campus address where you want the warrant mailed.  If you enter a campus address and the warrant is over $100, the warrant will be held in the Business Office and you will be contacted to pick it up.

Month/Year--Enter the month(s) and year in which you traveled.

index No.--Responsibility center number.

I.D. No.--Banner ID number.

Purpose--Enter the general purpose and the date of each trip.  For example: Attendance at professional conference-January 1-5, 2005.


Day--The numbers 1 through 31 correspond to the days of the month.  Itemize by day on the correct line.  For example, if you travel on October 31st through November 2nd, enter the costs for October 31st on Day 31 (Please indicate the month-OCT-to the left of '31').  Include only one day's lodging, meals, etc. on this line.  Enter expenses for the second day of travel on Day 1, and the expenses for the third day on Day 2.  (Please indicate the month-NOV-to the left of these days).

  1. Enter the time of departure.  Enter "A" for a.m. and "P" for p.m.  (Noon is 12:00 P, midnight is 12:00 A).

  2. Enter the time of arrival.

  3. Describe the travel in terms of departure point, destination point and points visited enroute.

  4. Enter a mode of travel used from the following codes:

SC - State Car

PC - Private Car

SA - State Aircraft

CA - Commercial Aircraft

PA - Private Aircraft

PT - Passenger Train

OT - (please explain under Misc. expenses)

  1. If personal car or personal aircraft was used, enter the total car mileage or air miles.  When more than one employee shares personal transportation, only one employee may claim mileage.

  2. The excel spreadsheet will automatically calculate the miles to the rate. It calculates as follows:
            Total mileage (Column 5) X Rate = Mileage Allowance

    Please Use Map Miles, Montana Map Miles.

    As of 7/1/2019, The University requires the use of rental vehicles and will reimburse any personal vehicle mileage at the Standard Rate of $0.279 per mile. Private Aircraft Rate $1.16 per air mile (nautical mile).

  3. Enter the amount of per diem allowed based on the following schedule:

    Lodging--amounts entered must be supported by original receipts.  Carbon copies, Xerox copies and credit card receipts are not acceptable.  Effective October 1st, 2019 in-state lodging per diem has the following changes:

    • The maximum lodging reimbursement rate for in-state travel is the federal per diem room rate which is currently $96 per night plus tax for all cities with the exception of Big Sky, West Yellowstone, Butte, Helena, Missoula and Polson/Kalispell. Please refer to the Federal Lodging Rate Guidelines for these cities. MT High Cost Cities
    • The federal per diem Room Rates for All States is also available through the Internet at the same location.
    •  State Financial Services Division also has a number of resources that can assist in State Policy.
    • Some Montana Hotels will waive the tax if requested and notified of the Tax ID Number.
    • Click Here for a list of state rate Montana Hotels.

Actual cost reimbursement for in-state lodging may be obtained under the following circumstances:

    • Attendance at a conference sponsored in whole or in part by a state agency and you are lodging at the facility
    • Lodging costs below the cap are unavailable due to special functions
    • Emergency travel prevents finding rates below the cap
    • Remote locations with limited accommodations below the cap, 15 mile radius
    • Employment in regulatory or undercover functions which may cause a personal safety risk
    • Request for Reimbursement of Lodging at Actual Cost is now a section of the Travel Authorization.

Adequate justification and approval from a higher authority must be provided prior to travel in order to obtain reimbursement for actual lodging costs.

Reimbursement for actual cost not to exceed:

  In-State Out-of-State
State Tax Rate Allowed .07 X $91.00 $6.58  
  $102.58 $96.00
If lodging receipts are not available and travel includes overnight stay:    
$12.00 $12.00


Please contact the Business Office Claims Clerk in charge of Travel for designated "high cost" cities or check the link above in the lodging section.  Reimbursement for the reasonable actual cost of lodging is allowed for cities on this list.

--Receipts are not necessary for meals.

For travel effective October 1st, 2018 of at least three continuous hours in the time range, meal reimbursement will be as follows:

  Reimbursement Rate
Time Range Allowed Meal In-State Out-of-State
12:01 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Must be in Travel Status before 7am for breakfast allowance) Morning $7.50 $13.00
10:01 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Midday $8.50 $14.00
3:01 p.m. to midnight (Must be in Travel Status after 6pm for dinner allowance) Evening $14.50 $23.00


  • A maximum of one meal is allowed per travel shift.  Travel shift begins one hour before and ends one hour after your normal work shift. This would be travel from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • A maximum of two meal allowances is allowed if travel begins before or ends after your travel shift and the travel did not exceed 24 hours. This would be travel from 6:59 am (or earlier) to 6:01 pm (or later) and did not exceed the 24 hours.
  • No meal reimbursement is allowed if travel time is less than three continuous hours.
  • Meal allowance is a fixed amount per meal, inclusive of taxes and tips, not reimbursement for actual costs incurred, an employee is generally entitled to receive a meal allowance if they are in a travel status and meet the travel status criteria. However, they may not request reimbursement for meals included in the cost of a conference registration that is paid by their agency or for meals provided by the State or another governmental entity.
  1. Enter reimbursable expenses paid with personal funds that are not included in the mileage or per diem amounts.  For example: airline tickets, taxi fares, parking.  TIPS AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.  Receipts are required for all items.  Enter the other expenses by day in the blocks provided, and explain each item under "Misc. Expenses" at the bottom of the form.

  2. Enter total amount allowed by day.


  1. The excel spreadsheet will enter totals for columns 5 through 9.

  2. Enter the travel advance received, if any.

  3. If any charges were put on a Campus Credit Card enter the amount here.

  4. & 14. The excel spreadsheet will calculate the amount from line 10, 11 and 12. If line 10, less line 11 & line 12 is a positive amount, the spreadsheet will enter the positive number in line 13 and a negative number in line 14. This indicates a reimbursement is due to the traveler. If the opposite applies then the traveler needs to reimburse that amount to the state.

The above information was compiled from the Montana Code Annotated, the Administrative Rules of Montana, and the Montana Operations Manual.  Copies of these references are available in the Business Office if you wish to refer to them.


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