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Travel - Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions. They have been provided to answer some of your travel questions. If you have a specific question, please contact the travel coordinator at 805-756-1717.

FAQ Travel Restrictions – AB1887

Is there a dollar limit for lodging expenses?

Yes. Effective November 1, 2015 per night lodging expenses for domestic travel may not exceed $275, excluding taxes. Lodging rates in excess of this amount must include a written justification (see Travel Pre-Authorization Form. As a reminder, all University travel requires a Travel Pre-Authorization Form be submitted to Payment Services with the Travel Claim Form.

What is the mileage reimbursement rate for University travel?

Effective January 1, 2018, the reimbursement rate for University travel is 54.5 cents per mile.

Do I need to file a Travel Pre-Authorization Form?

Yes. It is necessary to file a Travel Pre-Authorization Form with the State Accounting Office along with your Travel Claim Form. This is a multi-purpose form showing the departmental approval for the trip, and assigning an account number and dollar amount. This form acts as proof of official State business.

How soon after my trip do I need to file a Travel Claim Form?

Your Travel Claim Form should be filed within 10 days of your return. Doing this ensures your prompt repayment. The longer you wait, the greater chance of losing your receipts. Reimbursement requests for conferences or classes attended should be paid on your Department's University ProCard.

I recently called to rent a vehicle with one of the official state carriers and the rate I was quoted was higher than their regular rate.

Occasionally this may happen. However you need to remember that the State contract rates are guaranteed statewide, and that liability insurance (up to $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and property damage combined) is included in the rate. Non-State rates do not include insurance and Cal Poly will not reimburse you for adding insurance.

What is a Form 261 and what is it used for?

The 261 form is also called “Authorization to use privately owned vehicles on state business”. Its purpose is to ensure the University, and your department, that you carry the proper insurance and that your vehicle is mechanically sound. This form is kept in the department, and should be updated yearly.


The above form contains confidential employee information. Completed forms must be handled pursuant to the Cal Poly Information Classification and Handling Standard.

These records must be retained and disposed according to the CSU Records / Information Retention and Disposition Schedule.

If my trip will be split between the State and the Corporation/Foundation should I file separate claims?

No, you can use the State form for all. Please indicate on the form the account numbers and amounts to be charged to each. Your claim will be processed by the State and then forwarded to the Cal Poly Corporation for processing. You will receive multiple reimbursement checks (if applicable).

How do I pay for my airline tickets, conference registration and other fees?

You can file for a travel advance to cover your costs. The advance must be over $250 dollars, and be submitted at least fifteen working days prior to your trip. Advances issued via check will be available at the University Cashier, located on the first floor of the Admin. Building, Room 131E.

Can I receive my travel advance and travel reimbursement via direct deposit?

Yes. University employees can elect to have travel and other reimbursements sent electronically to a checking or savings account instead of receiving a paper check. Enrollment is completed via the My Cal Poly Portal. For more information on the direct deposit program and instructions for enrollment, please visit Payment Services’s Direct Deposit web page:

I am traveling internationally and need a travel advance, what is the process?

Submit all necessary travel pre-authorization forms to the Cal Poly International Center  (including the Travel Pre-Authorization Form).  Once approved, international travel pre-authorization forms are returned to the department to be submitted with the travel claim form(reimbursement) at the completion of travel. The International Center will submit a copy of the Travel Pre-Authorization Form to the Travel Coordinator for processing.

How can I receive the Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver when traveling?

Your Travel Pre-Authorization Form can be used as approval /proof of traveling on University business and therefore make your hotel stay eligible for a tax discount. It is the hotel's discretion to grant the waiver of fees.

The State of California Form 236, Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver (Exemption Certificate for State Agencies) may be found at: The hotel/motel may have their own adapted version of this form.

FAQ Travel Restrictions – AB1887

What is Assembly Bill 1887 (AB1887)?

AB1887 is a California law that restricts state agencies from requiring its employees to travel to any state that has enacted a law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For a complete text of the bill, please visit the California Legislation information website,

When do the AB1887 CSU Travel restrictions go into effect?

AB1887 CSU travel restrictions are effective January 1, 2017.

Who does AB1887 apply to?

AB1887 applies to all CSU employees, officers, or members, as well a non-employee travelers, including students.

How does AB1887 affect CSU Travel?

As a result of this new law, the CSU is restricted from requiring employees to travel to certain states. Additionally, the CSU is prohibited from approving state-funded or state-sponsored travel to those states. The state to be traveled to is the deciding factor for the ability to travel, not the funding source for the travel, unless one of the documented exceptions is met (see What are the exceptions to AB1887 travel prohibitions?).

How do I find the states that are on the list?

The complete list of affected states will be maintained on the California State Attorney General’s website,

Can I refuse to travel to the states on the California State Attorney General’s website?

Yes, the CSU cannot require an employee, officer, or member to travel to the affected state, unless the travel meets one of the exceptions.

What are the exceptions to AB1887 travel prohibitions?

Exceptions to AB1887 ( travel prohibitions are as follows:

  1. Enforcement of California law, including auditing and revenue collection.
  2. Litigation.
  3. To meet contractual obligations incurred before January 1, 2017.
  4. To comply with requests by the federal government to appear before committees.
  5. To participate in meetings or training required by a grant or required to maintain grant funding.
  6. To complete job-required training necessary to maintain licensure or similar standards required for holding a position, in the event that comparable training cannot be obtained in California or a different state not affected.
  7. For the protection of public health, welfare, or safety, as determined by the CSU or other state agencies.

Any travel completed using the above exceptions to prohibited travel per the AB, must contain documented approval of the exception.

What if I booked my travel prior to January 1, how am I to handle trips to states listed on the Attorney General’s website?

If travel arrangements were made and/or paid for to an effected state prior to the law’s effective date, then the university will reimburse for all travel expenses incurred before and after the law’s effective date. The same logic will apply as states are added to the website.

Can I invite prospective employee, speakers, or consultants from states on the Attorney Generals list?

Yes. AB1887 applies to the states that one is traveling to, not the states that one is traveling from. The CSU can reimburse for travel expenses of someone traveling from a state on the Attorney General’s website.

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