State of Florida DEP 610
Department of Environmental Protection Effective: October 27, 2011
To set forth policies and procedures for travel performed on behalf of the
s.112.061, Florida Statute (F.S.); Chapter 69I-42, Florida Administrative Code
(FAC); and Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) Reference Guide for
All travel conducted by employees and non-employees on behalf of the
Department shall be conducted in compliance with s.112.061, F.S., Rules of the
DFS, the FAC, and the Department of Environmental Protection Travel Manual.
All travel shall be authorized and approved by Department managers delegated
All travel shall be planned and monitored to ensure that it is necessary to
accomplish the official business of the State and that the most efficient and
economical method of transportation has been used.
Refer to the attached Department of Environmental Protection Travel
Manual regarding travel on behalf of this Department.
This directive replaces and supersedes DEP Directive 610 dated June 15, 1999, and
refers to a revised Travel Manual for policies and procedures. Includes information on
the use of the Purchasing Card for travel expenses and reflects the increase in meal
allowances, per diem and mileage rate effective July 1, 2006. This update constitutes
clarification of policies and procedures of DEP Directive 610 and should be closely
reviewed by employees prior to conducting any travel on behalf of the Department.
Responsible Office: Bureau of Finance and Accounting
Division of Administrative Services
Attachment: Department of Environmental Protection Travel Manual
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS ........................................................................................... 1
QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ALLOWANCES ........................................................... 4
AUTHORIZING TRAVEL ............................................................................................. 6
PURPOSE OF TRAVEL ................................................................................................ 7
TRANSPORTATION ................................................................................................... 7
AIRLINE TRAVEL ....................................................................................................... 8
ALL VEHICLES ........................................................................................................ 12
RENTAL VEHICLES .................................................................................................. 13
STATE AND PERSONAL VEHICLES ............................................................................ 16
PER DIEM AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES ............................................................ 18
INCIDENTAL TRAVEL EXPENSES .............................................................................. 21
MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL INFORMATION................................................................. 22
OUT-OF-STATE AND FOREIGN TRAVEL .................................................................... 26
CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION TRAVEL ................................................................ 27
PAYMENT OF REGISTRATION FEES.......................................................................... 29
ADVANCES ............................................................................................................. 31
PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES ............................................................................. 32
CHECKLIST FOR SUBMITTING A TRAVEL VOUCHER ................................................. 34
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
AUTHORIZED PERSON – (1) A person other than a public officer or employee,
whether elected or commissioned or not, who is authorized by an agency head to incur
travel expenses in the performance of official duties. (2) A person who is called upon
by an agency to contribute time and services as consultant or adviser. (3) A person
who is a candidate for an executive or professional position.
CLASS A TRAVEL - Continuous travel of 24 hours or more away from official
CLASS B TRAVEL - Continuous travel of less than 24 hours which involves overnight
absence from official headquarters.
CLASS C TRAVEL - Travel for short or day trips where the traveler is not away from
official headquarters overnight.
COMMON CARRIER — Train, bus, commercial airline operating scheduled flights, or
rental car of an established rental car firm.
CONFERENCE — The coming together of persons with a common interest or interests
for the purpose of deliberation, interchange of views, or for the removal of differences
or disputes and for discussion of their common problems and interest, whether a
registration fee is charged or not. The term also includes similar meetings such as
seminars and workshops, which are large formal group meetings that are programmed
and supervised to accomplish intensive research, study, discussion and work in some
specific field or on a governmental problem or problems. The term “Conference” does
1. The coming together of agency or interagency personnel;
2. Attendance at a regularly scheduled meeting of governmental boards, commissions,
committees, advisory groups or support organizations (whether constituted by
governmental employees or appointed persons pursuant to law) even though the
general public may attend and have input in the discussions;
3. Unstructured informal meetings between State agency staff and members of the
public without a formal agenda;
4. Public hearings or workshops conducted by staff as required by law; and
5. Attendance at State sponsored meetings/workshops.
CONVENTION — An assembly or group of persons representing persons and groups,
coming together for the accomplishment of a purpose of interest to a larger group or
groups. A convention does not mean the coming together of agency or interagency
DEPARTMENT – The Department of Environmental Protection.
EFT (ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER) — Automatic deposit of a travel
reimbursement if traveler participates in the direct deposit program.
EMERGENCY NOTICE — Notification of less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled
EMERGENCY SITUATION — Circumstances in which there is an immediate danger or
a threat of immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare or of other
substantial loss to the State requiring emergency action.
FOREIGN TRAVEL — Authorized and approved travel outside of the United States and
its recognized territories and possessions.
GREEN LODGING PROGRAM - Pursuant to s. 286.29, F.S., Effective July 1, 2008,
state agencies shall contract for meeting and conference space only with hotels or
conference facilities that have received the “Green Lodging” designation from DEP for
best practices in water, energy and waste efficiency standards, unless the responsible
state agency head makes a determination that no other viable alternative exists.
HYBRID VEHICLE - A vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to propel
IMMEDIATE VICINITY — Class A or B Travel – The area within 50 map miles of the
traveler’s official headquarters or home, whichever is closer. Class C Travel – The area
within 30 map miles of the traveler’s official headquarters or home, whichever is closer.
MAP MILES — Mileage computed on the basis of the current official map of the Florida
Department of Transportation.
MEAL ALLOWANCE — The amount authorized by s. 112.061, F.S., for each meal
during the travel period.
MOST ECONOMICAL METHOD OF TRAVEL — The mode of transportation (e.g.,
State owned vehicles, privately owned vehicle, common carrier) designated by an
agency head in accordance with criteria prescribed in s. 112.061, F.S., and this Manual.
NON-BUSINESS DAY — For a public officer or employee, refers to a weekend or an
authorized State holiday; for an authorized person, refers to a day on which such
person was not scheduled to be performing service or contributing time to the
OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS — The geographic location specified by s. 112.061 (4),
F.S. (For more detailed information please refer to OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS on Page
24 of this Manual.)
PER DIEM RATE — The daily amount authorized by s. 112.061, F.S.
PERSONAL TIME — The time other than the regular work-hours of an employee’s
normal business day; a non-business day or a day for which the officer or employee
had prior approval for leave.
POINT OF ORIGIN — The geographic location of the traveler’s official headquarters
or the geographic location where travel begins, whichever is lesser distance from the
PROGRAM AREA – Refers to a Division/District/Office within the Department.
TRAVEL DAY — A period of 24 hours consisting of four quarters of six hours each.
TRAVEL PERIOD — A period of time between the time of departure and time of
VOUCHER — A standard Florida Accounting Information Resource (FLAIR) voucher
schedule as prescribed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) complete with
invoices and such other supporting documentation necessary to authenticate the
recording of a transaction into the accounting records of the agency. This
documentation will also serve as an official request by the DFS for a payment in
satisfaction of an obligation incurred.
QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ALLOWANCES
(Please refer to specific sections of the manual for additional details)
PER DIEM RATES
CLASS A OR B TRAVEL
Daily Rate (When overnight travel occurs).......................................... $80.00
Quarterly Rate (One fourth of the daily rate)............................……..... $20.00
6:00P.M. 6:00 A.M.
ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD
Breakfast............................................................................................. $ 6.00
When travel begins before 6:00 a.m. and extends beyond 8:00 a.m.
When travel begins before 12:00 noon and extends beyond 2:00 p.m.
When travel begins before 6:00 p.m. and extends beyond 8:00 p.m.
Class A and B — If you are within 50 map miles of your official headquarters or your
home, whichever is closer, you may not claim per diem or subsistence under Class A or
Class C — If you are within 30 map miles of your official headquarters or your home,
whichever is closer, you may not claim reimbursement for Class C meals. Note: A
traveler cannot be reimbursed for per diem when Class C travel occurs, but instead may
receive an allowance for meals if authorized by the Legislature.
The rate used to calculate reimbursement when a personal vehicle is used on State
business as allowed by s. 112.061, F.S., is .445 cents per mile.
Mileage allowed from:
Douglas/Carr Buildings to Bob Martinez Center................................. 10 miles
Bob Martinez Center to Capitol......................................................... 3 miles
Douglas/Carr Buildings to Capitol..................................................... 7 miles
Bob Martinez Center to Magnolia Plaza.............................................. 2 miles
Douglas/Carr Buildings to Magnolia Plaza........................................... 8 miles
Maclay Gardens to Douglas/Carr Buildings...................................….. 10 miles
Wakulla Springs to Douglas/Carr Buildings..................................…… 21 miles
Unless your home is closer to the airport than your headquarters, the following mileage
is allowed for reimbursement each way for travel to the Tallahassee Regional Airport:
Douglas/Carr Buildings........................................................... 6 miles
Bob Martinez Center.............................................................. 7 miles
If your home is closer to the airport claim actual mileage. Due to new security
requirements at all airports your travel period can begin up to two (2) hours before the
scheduled departure time and end up to two (2) hours after actual arrival (return) time.
If more than two (2) hours is required, please provide an explanation on the
Section 112.061, F.S., Chapter 69I-42, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), Reference
Guide for State Expenditures compiled by the DFS, and this Manual are the only sources
authorizing either the reimbursement for or provision of meals or lodging to those
traveling on behalf of the Department. Following the instructions contained herein will
assure the payment of these and other expenses related to travel. In addition, all
travelers must comply with any travel restrictions imposed by the Legislature.
I. AUTHORIZING TRAVEL
WHO CAN TRAVEL? — Any person may be authorized to travel on behalf of
the agency for a legitimate purpose. This includes not only full-time, part-time,
and Other Personal Service (OPS) employees, but extends to other “authorized
persons” (non-employees) as well.
TRAVEL REQUIRING PRE-AUTHORIZATION – All Class A, B and C Travel
must be pre-authorized.
WHO MUST HAVE WRITTEN PRE-AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL? — Prior
approval for travel must be secured on Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur
Travel Expenses, for the following:
• Any Department employee traveling on official business. (In an emergency
situation, written after-the-fact approval shall be secured immediately upon
completion of travel);
• Any person not employed by this Department. The traveler must be identified
as an “authorized” non-employee and indicate who they represent and justify
payment of travel expenses.
WHO AUTHORIZES TRAVEL? — All travel must be approved in advance by
the appropriate Deputy Secretary, Inspector General, General Counsel, Director
of Law Enforcement, Chief of Staff, or their delegate, using the DEP
Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses Form (DEP 53-201). Persons authorized
to approve travel are defined in the Program Area directive on delegations of
authority. The “Mission-Critical Statement” field on this form must include the
phrase “critical to the Department’s mission” and contain sufficient information to
describe why the travel is mission-critical. In addition, for travel to foreign
countries, other states or the District of Columbia, conferences, staff-training
activities or other administrative functions, the DEP Authorization to Incur Travel
Expenses form must also be signed by the Secretary of the Department. In lieu
of his signature on the form, the Secretary has provided a signed memorandum
setting forth his approval as to the types of activities that he deems to be
mission-critical. A copy of the Secretary’s memorandum must be attached to the
DEP Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses form, and the form must be signed
by the DEP Chief of Staff when requesting reimbursement for these five travel
For travel to foreign countries, other states or the District of Columbia,
conferences, staff-training activities or other administrative functions not
authorized in the Secretary’s memorandum, the DEP Authorization to Incur Travel
Expenses form must be signed by the Secretary of the Department. These travel
authorization requests must be received in the Secretary’s Office at least two
weeks prior to the date of travel.
HOW IS REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AUTHORIZED? —The
approved Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses should be
attached to the completed Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of
Travel Expenses. These travel forms and supporting documentation should be
submitted to Finance and Accounting to request reimbursement. A copy should
be retained in the traveler’s Program Area for the standard three-year record
retention period and shall be available for audit. (See the Section of this Manual
titled CHECKLIST FOR SUBMITTING A TRAVEL VOUCHER for a list of the
information which should be submitted to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting
to obtain travel reimbursement.)
For all non-employee travel, conferences/conventions, and out-of-State or
foreign travel, the original Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel
Expenses must be submitted to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting with the
original Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
II. PURPOSE OF TRAVEL
PURPOSE OF TRAVEL — An explanation of the purpose of travel must be given
on Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses and Form DEP 53-
203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. If travel includes several
days or locations, explain the functions on each day and at each location. The
purpose or reason has to be in sufficient detail for someone not knowledgeable
of the trip to understand why the traveler made the trip.
ACRONYMS — All acronyms must be spelled out at least once on Form DEP 53-
201, Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses and Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses so that someone not knowledgeable will
understand the meaning. Reference may be made afterwards using the
acronym as long as the meaning is clear.
PURPOSE/REASON EXAMPLES — Listed below are examples of some of the
purposes/reasons commonly given and the type of detailed explanation actually
needed. Please contact the Bureau of Finance and Accounting when in doubt
about the detailed purpose or reason for a particular trip.
UNCLEAR PURPOSE/REASON SUFFICIENT PURPOSE/REASON
Attend Meeting Attend meeting with District
Managers on policy and procedures
Training Conduct training of DEP employees
on data processing procedures
Meet Staff Meet with staff to discuss current
issues, problems and resolutions
The aircraft and motor vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the Office of the
Governor/Lieutenant Governor or any State agency are available for official State
business only as authorized by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or the
Transportation must be planned in advance so that the most efficient and
economical method is used and the traveler is reimbursed for all costs allowed.
The traveler must compare costs and calculate the most efficient and economical
method of transportation.
NOTE: Joint Utilization of State vehicles is recommended for
travelers with common itineraries.
All travel must be by a usually traveled route. In case an indirect route is taken
for the traveler’s own convenience, any extra costs shall be borne by the
traveler; and reimbursement for expenses shall be based only on such charges
as would have been incurred by a usually traveled route. The approving authority
shall designate the most economical method of transportation for each trip,
keeping in mind the following conditions:
♦ The nature of the business.
♦ The most efficient and economical method of transportation
(considering time of the traveler, impact on the productivity of the
traveler, cost of transportation, and per-diem or subsistence required).
When it is more efficient and economical to either the traveler or the
agency head, jet service offered by any airline, whether on State
contract or not, may be used when the cost is justified.
♦ The number of persons making the trip and the amount of equipment
or material to be transported.
If the most economical method of transportation is not the method to be used, a
full explanation must be given on Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur
Travel Expenses, or in the case of exempt Class C travel, on Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
In addition, if the travel plans in any way are different from what might be
considered a standard direct trip route, explain the difference. If the method of
travel actually saves the State money, explain this also. If an alternative, non-
direct route is chosen for personal convenience or to accommodate personal
leave, the traveler may not request reimbursement for costs in excess of that
which would have been incurred had travel been by the most direct method.
NOTE: At no time shall a traveler be reimbursed for expenses
incurred between home and official headquarters.
IV. AIRLINE TRAVEL
The traveler should obtain the lowest fare available considering such factors as:
per diem, subsistence, productivity, Saturday stay-over and amount of time
required for travel.
USE OF TRAVEL AGENTS — Airline tickets or other travel arrangements may
be made through a travel agency. However, travelers are encouraged to
include travel agencies classified as Minority Business Enterprises when making
arrangements. Contact the Procurement Section at (850) 245-2361 for minority
travel agencies in your area.
TRAVEL AGENCY SURCHARGES — In order to ensure that State agencies
obtain necessary travel agency services; the DFS has advised that payment of
travel agency surcharges may be allowed. State agencies should obtain pricing
information from multiple travel agencies. If the agency finds that the best
proposal, from a pricing and service standpoint, requires the payment of the
surcharge, then the additional surcharge may be paid. Compare costs among
travel agencies and airlines. Note: The Purchasing Card cannot be used for
third party billings, such as E-bay, PayPal, or Half.com, etc.
AIRLINE TICKETS — When a State term contract for airline travel is in effect,
the contract carrier must be used unless the use of non-contract carrier is
justified. Such justification must be explained on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. Other costs/factors to be considered
include airport parking, transportation at destination, per diem, salary costs and
travel to/from airport. Consult the current contract and all related memos for
any new Department policies which may require additional approvals or
Travelers are also encouraged to purchase tickets in advance and to consider
discounted airfares, commonly referred to as “super saver” tickets, instead of
the more costly full fare refundable tickets if it is reasonably certain the
employee will be going on the trip. Many of these tickets are non-refundable or
require payment of a penalty if canceled. Program Areas and travelers should
carefully evaluate the circumstances and risk of cancellation prior to the
purchase of each such ticket in order to avoid or at least minimize the
cancellation penalty on these tickets. Penalties for cancellation of discounted
airline tickets may be paid from State funds only:
♦ If the cause for cancellation is in the best interest of the State.
♦ If the cancellation is due to illness of the traveling employee or illness
or death of a member of the traveler’s immediate family, for which an
employee is authorized to use sick or administrative leave.
♦ If the traveler is not an employee, but would have been authorized to
use sick or administrative leave if they had been a State employee.
If the ticket is canceled for the convenience of the traveler, the
cancellation penalty may not be paid or reimbursed from State funds.
Pursuant to 69I-42, F.A.C., when the Program Area determines that it is in the
best interest of the State to cancel a “super saver” ticket and pay the cancellation
penalty, Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses must
be submitted for payment of the cancellation penalty detailing the circumstances
necessitating payment of the penalty from State funds even if there are no other
travel expenditures. Verification that the unused ticket has been submitted to
the Department must also be included in the payment request information.
Exchange fees will be treated in the same manner as cancellation penalties.
The traveler is responsible for requesting a refund directly from the airline or
travel agency whenever a portion of the ticket is not used. A copy of the
amended ticket and/or credit should be submitted with Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
ELECTRONIC AIRLINE TICKETS — Travelers who purchase “electronic”
airline tickets must submit the following in addition to Form DEP 53-203, Voucher
for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses:
♦ Documentation identifying the purchase of the airline ticket and a paid
receipt for the airline ticket.
PAPER AIRLINE TICKETS — Travelers who purchase paper airline tickets
must submit the passenger receipt portion of the airline ticket with Form DEP
53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. Itineraries are not
HOW TO PAY — Airline tickets should be purchased using the State of Florida
Purchasing Card, however, a personal credit card or cash may be used if a
Purchasing Card is not available.
COACH OR TOURIST CLASS — A traveler is required to travel at coach or
tourist class rate unless tourist or coach class seats are not available and it is to
the advantage of the Department not to delay the trip. Justification must be
provided on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses,
when other than coach or tourist class was used.
LOST TICKET CHARGES — Generally, the State does not reimburse
employees for charges imposed by airlines for lost tickets. However, if the
ticket was lost due to circumstances other than negligence of the employee,
reimbursement may be processed after a thorough review of each case.
Travelers should be very careful with airline tickets since these tickets are
generally transferable and redeemable.
OVERBOOKING OR OTHER ACTION BY A COMMON CARRIER — If
additional costs are incurred by a traveler due to overbooking or any other
action of an airline or other common carrier and the traveler chooses to have
such cost paid directly or indirectly by the State, then any compensation, in
whatever form, received by the traveler from the common carrier for the
traveler’s inconvenience, shall accrue to the benefit of the State. In such
instances, if the traveler is allowed to elect the form of compensation, the
decision shall be based on the best interest of the State. In determining if
additional costs are incurred in such situations, the compensation to the traveler
(overtime pay, etc.), if applicable, as well as travel costs (additional per diem,
meals, lodging, etc.) must be taken into consideration. If no additional costs are
incurred or the additional costs are borne by the traveler, then any
compensation from the common carrier for the traveler’s inconvenience shall
accrue to the traveler.
FREQUENT FLYER MILES EARNED THROUGH STATE-REIMBURSED
TRAVEL — Employees may sometimes be required to travel on State business,
requiring them to spend evenings and weekends away from their homes and
families. Per-diem reimbursements often do not fully reimburse the employee
for out-of pocket travel expenses. As a matter of general policy, any frequent-
flyer miles and/or bonus miles awarded to an employee as a result of State-
reimbursed travel may be used for personal use by the employee. (See
DEP Directive 202 - Code of Ethics.)
EXCESS LUGGAGE CHARGES — Charges for excess luggage may be allowed
when the luggage is required for the performance of the duties of the job. A
brief note of justification on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of
Travel Expenses is sufficient.
FLIGHT INSURANCE — A traveler cannot be reimbursed for the purchase of
flight insurance. If a credit card or travel agency is used to purchase the airline
ticket, flight insurance may be provided at no cost.
PRIVATE AIRCRAFT — The use of a private aircraft in lieu of public
transportation may be authorized. If a traveler is piloting his/her own aircraft,
the traveler may claim either the mileage rate specified in s. 112.061(7), F.S., or
the lesser of the State contract fare and the most economical commercial direct
airfare available for the same trip. Reimbursement for maintenance and
expenses related to the private aircraft will not be allowed.
A passenger on a private aircraft may be reimbursed for the actual amount
charged and paid up to the mileage rate specified in s. 112.061(7), F.S., or the
lesser of the State contract fare or the cost of the most economical direct
commercial airfare available for the trip. If no direct commercial flight is
available the most economical commercial airfare closest to the point of origin
and the point of destination may be used.
CHARTERED PLANES — Transportation by chartered planes when traveling on
State business may be authorized. If a rented aircraft is used, the reimburse-
ment claimed by any traveler on the aircraft may not exceed a pro rata share of
the actual cost of renting the aircraft and the reimbursement is subject to
limitations contained in s. 112.061(7), F.S. A list of travelers must be provided
and a comparison of costs furnished as justification.
AIRPORT PARKING — When it is necessary to park a vehicle at an airport,
the most economical parking area should be used, which is generally the long
term (pay-by-day) parking area. The traveler is responsible for paying any
additional expense for parking in the short term (pay-by-hour) lot, unless
V. ALL VEHICLES
A State owned vehicle is the most efficient and economical mode of travel for
roundtrips of less than 600 miles. However, other costs to be considered include
tolls, parking, per diem and salary. These vehicles have restrictions on use (see
DEP Directive 620). If a State vehicle is not available a rental vehicle may be
used. When a State term contract for rental vehicles is in effect the contract
must be used unless the use of a non-contract carrier is justified. Pursuant to
Comptroller's Memorandum #2(1999-00) if the class of travel is other than the
most economical method of travel, the agency head must authorize the expense
in writing and describe the circumstances requiring such travel. This
documentation shall be attached to the travel voucher.
The following applies to all Department authorized travel using a vehicle:
Valid Drivers License — All drivers must have a valid driver’s license.
Common Itineraries — Joint utilization of vehicles is recommended for
employees with common itineraries.
Reporting Accidents — The procedure for reporting accidents in a State
vehicle and related activities is covered in DEP Directive 630. The State
rental contract includes 100% coverage for all collision damage to vehicles.
Promptly report all vehicle accidents to the vendor.
Illegal Acts — A traveler will not be reimbursed for fines, tickets, towing
charges or any cost associated with an illegal act. Travelers are required to
drive within the posted speed limits and observe all traffic laws.
Parking Violations — Parking violations are the responsibility of the
traveler and the State of Florida will not be liable. The traveler will be
reported or contacted for unpaid violations.
Lost Keys — Expenses related to lost keys or keys locked in a vehicle due
to employee negligence are not reimbursable from public funds.
Mandatory Use of Seat Belts — Employees have an ethical responsibility
to obey all traffic laws, including wearing a seat belt and operating State
vehicles safely. All seated occupants of State-owned, leased or rented
vehicles and of all personal vehicles operated on State business are required
to wear seat belts. Failure to wear seat belts shall be considered improper
use of a vehicle and shall subject employees to disciplinary
action. If an accident resulting in injury to an employee occurs and the
employee is not wearing a seat belt and the failure to use the seat belt
contributes to injuries received, the employee's workers' compensation
benefits may be reduced under the provisions of s. 440.09(5), F.S.
Employees are responsible for reviewing and being familiar with DEP
Directive 620 concerning automobile safety.
VI. RENTAL VEHICLES
CONTRACT VENDOR RENTALS — A State term contract vendor should be
used whenever possible, and must be in accordance with the State contract in
effect at the time of use. Be sure to initial the decline insurance box on the
rental agreement when using the contract vendor. (Also see INSURANCE
COVERAGE in this section.)
Rental vehicles may be equipped with an automated toll pass feature often
referred to as “PlatePass”. This allows vehicle renters to by-pass manual/cash
toll lanes and use automated (SUNPASS) lanes. When the rental vehicle passes
through an automated lane, the PlatePass system records the vehicle’s license
plate number and bills the vehicle renter’s credit card by the amount of tolls plus
a service fee. The PlatePass system is not activated for vehicles using the cash
The PlatePass service is provided by a third party vendor which adds a service
fee for each rental day if PlatePass is used at any time during the rental period.
The Department of Financial Services has advised Agencies that the service
provided by PlatePass is outside of the scope of a State Vehicle Contract and that
PlatePass service fee is not an allowable expense for State Reimbursement.
To obtain State reimbursement for toll fees when using a rental vehicle, DEP
travelers should use a cash toll lane, stop and pay toll charges, obtain a paper
receipt when available, and request reimbursement through the usual travel
COMPACT CARS (CLASS B) — It is the policy of the State of Florida to use
Class B, compact cars, except when the number of passengers or the amount of
materials to be transported make use of a compact class vehicle impractical.
Exceptions will be allowed only when fully justified. Any cost in excess of State
term contracts that is not fully justified will be borne by the traveler. Travelers
will not be reimbursed for use of a car larger than the B-car class for reasons
relating to the size, stature or medical conditions of the individual, unless the
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act are met.
To be sure that Class B vehicles are reserved, request a vehicle by class rather
than by model. When a vehicle larger than Class B is used, a statement of
justification must appear on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of
Travel Expenses. In the absence of proper justification, the traveler will be
reimbursed at the Class B rates.
HYBRID VEHICLES - When it is necessary to rent a car, a Hybrid car may be
rented for state business when it is determined that the Hybrid vehicle is more
economical than the rental of a standard Class B compact car. To make this
determination an analysis must be completed comparing the cost of using a
State Contract Compact Sized Vehicle –vs. – a State Contract Hybrid Vehicle.
The person who approves the travel should authorize expenses for the
most economical mode of travel (lowest cost) as determined by the
analysis. The lowest cost as determined by the analysis should also
be requested by the traveler for reimbursement on Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
BUSINESS RENTAL — Most rental car companies have strict guidelines
regarding renting to drivers under the age of 25. A State employee or eligible
customer under the age of 25 renting a vehicle for business purposes using the
State Term Contract for Rental Vehicles (a) must have their rental billed directly
to the Department or State Purchasing Card (authorized signer of the credit card
presented for rental payment) and (b) must be the name of the party renting
♦ Primary Insurance Coverage — This coverage is provided from the
contract vendor in the following amounts: $100,000/$300,000 bodily
injury and $50,000 property damage insurance. The vendor assumes all
fire, accident and collision losses. Collision damage is assumed by the
vendor and payment of the daily Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), or Loss
Damage Waiver (LDW), fee will not be reimbursed. Travelers should
initial the decline insurance box on the rental agreement when using the
contract vendor, or make personal payment at the time of the rental.
♦ Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) — State employees are not
authorized to secure PAI coverage at State expense, but they may secure
the coverage personally by making payment at the time of the rental.
Travelers will not be reimbursed for this type of coverage.
PERSONAL RENTAL — Rental rates have been extended to State employees
for personal/leisure travel, in addition to the customary business travel. For
business travel purposes, the rates provided in the contract include insurance
coverage and are tax exempt. Employees are reminded that if a vehicle is
rented using a State issued Purchasing Card and the employee wishes to
continue the rental for personal use once the business use is completed, the
employee must return to the local rental location and update the rental
agreement, switching payment to a personal credit card. All insurance costs
and taxes related to personal use of a rental vehicle are the responsibility of the
employee. Employees are prohibited from using the State Purchasing
Card for the entire rental and then reimbursing the State.
Please refer to the current State term contract for rental vehicles for additional
information regarding personal rentals.
NON-CONTRACT VENDOR VEHICLE RENTALS — The occasion for renting
vehicles from non-contract vendors should be rare and should always be
properly justified on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel
Expenses. The Department does not prohibit the use of rental vehicles that
have lower net rates including primary insurance coverage, payment of the
collision damage waiver fee, and cost of fuel; or when the contract vendor
cannot provide vehicles. If using other than the contract vendor, you should
purchase collision damage insurance. Vehicles provided by other companies
must include primary insurance coverage. (Refer to INSURANCE COVERAGE
in Section VI of this travel manual.) Inquire prior to rental to verify that
primary insurance coverage is provided. All major rental companies provide
primary insurance coverage, and include an insurance override agreement that
covers licensed drivers other than the individual that rented the vehicle, with the
same coverage as the renter of the vehicle, when used/driven with the
permission of the renter of the vehicle. Many rental agreements do not provide
full coverage if someone other than the renter is operating the vehicle.
It is especially hard to compete with contract rates inside Florida, and due to the
complexity of determining the insurance coverage and the other considerations
listed above, it is advisable to use the contract vendor whenever possible.
If the State term contract for rental vehicles is not used for the vehicle rental
one of the two following statements must appear on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher
for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses: “VEHICLE WITH LOWER NET RATE
RENTED” or “VEHICLE NOT AVAILABLE FROM CONTRACT VENDOR.”
GIFTS, REBATES AND COUPONS — Promotional gifts, rebates and coupons
received by employees from rental companies are considered State property.
Such items should be turned in to the Program Area Office for proper
determination of use.
REIMBURSEMENT FOR FUEL PURCHASE — Fuel for rental vehicles for in-
State and out-of-State travel should be purchased by the traveler and the original
receipts submitted to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting for reimbursement
with Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
Amounts for fuel purchased should be included on the incidentals column of
Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. At no time
should fuel for rental vehicles be purchased with a Purchasing Card.
DROP OFF CHARGES — Car rental companies sometimes assess drop off
charges when a vehicle is rented in one city and returned in another. The State
contract vendor will not assess drop off charges between cities in Florida where
the vendor has rental locations. Drop off charges do apply to out-of-State
rentals. The traveler must justify any drop off charges on Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
VII. STATE AND PERSONAL VEHICLES
USE OF STATE OWNED VEHICLES
It is the policy of the Department to use State owned vehicles when practical and
available. The use of a State vehicle should be reported on Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. Travel as a passenger in a
State owned vehicle that is complimentary should be shown on Form DEP 53-
203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
Persons not employed by the Department may be allowed to travel in State
owned vehicles only in specific circumstances. Refer to DEP Directive 620 for
these limitations and for pre-approval.
♦ Personal Use of State Owned Vehicles — Personal use of a State
owned vehicle is prohibited. However, when traveling on official business, a
State vehicle may be used to travel a reasonable distance to secure meals
♦ Fuel For State Owned Vehicles — The State sponsored fuel card should
be used to purchase fuel for State vehicles. If traveler purchases fuel with
other than the State fuel credit card, a receipt must accompany the travel
reimbursement along with justification. If an employee is not in travel
status, a request for reimbursement should be submitted on Form DEP 53-
205, Voucher for Reimbursement of Expenses Other Than Travel.
USE OF PERSONAL VEHICLES
The use of privately owned/personal vehicles for official travel in lieu of agency
owned vehicles or common carriers may be authorized. When authorizing such
use, factors to be considered include airport parking, transportation at
destination, per diem, salary costs and travel to/from airport. Personnel
assigned a State vehicle shall not be reimbursed for the use of a privately
owned vehicle without written justification and authorization. Check your
Delegation of Authority to see who may approve the travel and the use of a
privately owned vehicle. Personal vehicle usage must be pre-approved on Form
DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses and noted on the comment
line regardless of whether or not the traveler is claiming mileage
reimbursement. If using personal vehicle at no cost to the State, please
indicate this by utilizing the drop down menu in the “justify car” field on Form
DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
♦ Reimbursement For Use of a Personal Vehicle — Authorized
reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle at the established mileage
rate of $.445 is permitted for all travel, but such authorization should only
be given for Class A, B and C Travel after an analysis has been completed
and a determination has been made that the personal vehicle is the most
economical mode of transportation.
The person who approves the travel should authorize expenses
for the most economical mode of travel (lowest cost) as
determined by the analysis. The lowest cost as determined by
the analysis should also be requested by the traveler for
reimbursement on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
Reimbursement for expenditures related to the operation, maintenance,
and ownership of a vehicle will not be allowed when privately owned
vehicles are used on public business.
♦ Mileage from Point of Origin to Point of Destination — Mileage
must be shown from point of origin to point of destination, and when
possible, based on the mileage shown on the official Florida Department
of Transportation (FDOT) highway map, or provided on the FDOT website.
If cities are not shown on the map or website, keep a record of your
odometer reading. Additional mileage incurred as a result of the traveler
using an indirect route for the convenience of the traveler is not
reimbursable. At times, however, mileage for travel on a usually traveled
route may be in excess of the mileage on the FDOT mileage chart. In
these cases, the traveler should include the additional mileage in the
vicinity mileage column on the travel voucher.
♦ Vicinity Mileage — Vicinity mileage necessary to conduct State business
must be shown separately. Vicinity miles in excess of 50 miles per
day will require justification on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. Travelers shall not be paid a mileage
allowance for travel between their residence and their headquarters or
regular work location (See AGO 082-34). If travel begins more than one
hour before or one hour after the traveler's regular work hours, the point
of origin may be the traveler's residence, provided that miles claimed may
not exceed the miles actually driven.
♦ Allowable Reimbursement Amount for Mileage — When using a
personal vehicle for authorized travel, travelers must calculate out to the
third decimal point and round down to the nearest cent when calculating
the allowable amount for mileage. Example: 15 miles at $.445 would
calculate out to $6.675 and the amount to be paid to the traveler would
be $6.67. The electronic travel Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses, will automatically calculate the
amount. Travelers shall not be paid a mileage allowance for travel
between their residence and their headquarters or regular work location.
NOTE: Employees shall not be required to drive personal
vehicles for State business.
VIII. PER DIEM AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES
DEP travelers are encouraged to use a DEP designated Green Lodging hotel for
all routine travel overnight stays, including meetings and conferences hosted by
other organizations. In determining if a designated Green Lodging will be used
consideration should include costs associated with: transportation, parking, per
diem, and salary. Consideration should also be given to the impact on the time
and productivity of the traveler.
See the following website for additional information regarding the DEP Green
Lodging Program and for a list of Green Lodging designated hotels:
CLASS A TRAVEL — Class A travel is continuous travel of 24 hours or more
away from official headquarters. Class A travel shall include any assignment on
official business outside of regular office hours and away from regular places of
employment when it is reasonable and necessary to stay overnight and for which
travel expenses are approved. The travel day for Class A travel is a calendar day
(midnight to midnight). For the purpose of computing fractional day reimburse-
ments, the calendar day is divided into four six-hour segments referred to as
quarters. The traveler is reimbursed one fourth of the daily per diem rate for
each quarter or portion thereof.
Quarter 1 — 12:01 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Quarter 2 — 6:01 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Quarter 3 — 12:01 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Quarter 4 — 6:01 p.m. to 12:00 a.m
A traveler in Class A status may claim reimbursement pursuant to s. 112.061(6)
(a) 1., F.S., (per diem) for some periods and pursuant to s. 112.061(6) (a) 2.,
F.S., (lodging cost at the single occupancy rate plus the standard meal
allowances) for other periods while on the same trip. A traveler in Class A status
must select a method of calculating the amount of the reimbursement
commencing from the beginning of the travel period (day of departure). Any
subsequent change or changes in the method of calculating the reimbursement
must be effective at the beginning of the travel day (midnight). A traveler
claiming less than the full meal allowance or per diem authorized by
s. 112.061(6), F.S., shall include on the travel voucher a statement that it is
understood that the traveler is entitled to these allowances provided by law but
has voluntarily chosen to claim a lesser amount.
CLASS B TRAVEL — Class B travel is continuous travel of less than 24 hours,
but including an overnight period. Class B travel shall include any assignment on
official business away from regular places of employment when it is considered
reasonable and necessary to stay overnight and for which travel expenses have
The travel day for Class B travel begins at the time of departure and is measured
in six-hour cycles from that time. For example, if a traveler departed from
official headquarters at 6:30 p.m. and returned the following afternoon at 6:20
p.m. the travel will have occurred under the Class B travel rules. Reimburse-
ment would be for only four quarters since the six-hour cycles began at 6:30
p.m. If the return time had been 6:35 p.m., just 15 minutes later, the traveler
would have been on Class A travel status and would be reimbursed for five
quarters. Using the Class A travel rules, the six hour cycles would have been
measured from 6:00 p.m.
Travelers on Class B status may claim reimbursement under s. 112.061(6)(a)1.,
F.S., (per diem) or s. 112.061(6)(a)2., F.S., (lodging cost at the single occupancy
rate plus the standard meal allowances). Since Class B travel is defined as
continuous travel of less than 24 hours, only one method of calculating the
amount of reimbursement may be used on any one trip. A traveler claiming less
than the full meal allowance or per diem authorized by s. 112.061(6), F.S., shall
include a statement on the travel voucher that it is understood that the traveler
is entitled to the full meal allowance provided by law but has voluntarily chosen
to claim a lesser amount.
CLASS C TRAVEL — Class C travel is travel not requiring an overnight absence.
Pursuant to s. 112.061 (15), F.S., a traveler cannot be reimbursed for
per diem or meals related to Class C travel.
Employees can be reimbursed for incidental travel expenses such as
transportation related costs. No allowance will be made when travel is confined
to the city or town of official headquarters, residence or immediate vicinity.
PER DIEM OR SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE – MILEAGE LIMITS — A
traveler may not claim per diem or lodging reimbursement for overnight travel
within 50 miles (one-way) of the traveler’s headquarters or residence unless the
circumstances necessitating the overnight stay are fully explained by the traveler
and approved by the agency head.
ACTUAL EXPENSES — When actual reasonable lodging expenses plus the meal
allowances exceed the maximum daily per diem rate, Florida Statutes allow
travelers to request reimbursement for actual expenses. In order to claim actual
expenses, the traveler must provide a paid lodging receipt, which itemizes all
charges and reflects a zero balance due. A credit card charge slip is not
sufficient documentation. Travelers will be reimbursed at the single occupancy
Travelers are required to use the State of Florida Purchasing Card if provided and
except as noted in Section X MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL INFORMATION –
STATE OF FLORIDA PURCHASING CARD, to pay for lodging expense. If a
Purchasing Card is not provided and a personal credit card or cash is used,
travelers are required to pay all applicable taxes (which will be reimbursed).
While justification will not be required by the DFS, Chief Financial Officer, Bureau
of Auditing in all cases where hotel expenses for in-State travel exceeds $150 per
night (room rate only), authorized travelers are reminded that the most
economical use of hotel is required (both in-State and out-of-State travel).
Travelers should be prepared to justify situations where hotel costs appear
excessive for the area in which the traveler is staying.
NOTE: In determining whether a hotel rate is excessive,
consideration should be given to geographic area and seasonal
In the case where a complimentary meal is provided by the hotel the traveler will
still be allowed to claim the meal allowance provided by law.
HOTEL COSTS SHARED BY MULTIPLE TRAVELERS — When multiple
travelers share a hotel room and the hotel bill is paid by one of the travelers, the
traveler paying the bill shall request reimbursement for the total amount of the
bill. When multiple travelers have separate rooms and one traveler pays the
hotel bill for all, the traveler paying the hotel bill shall request reimbursement for
the total amount on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel
Expenses. The traveler whose hotel bill is being paid must file a Form DEP 53-
203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses which includes the following
statement: “hotel room compliments of payer’s name”.
If two travelers share a hotel room and split the bill, then each traveler may
claim one-half of the hotel bill on the respective Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
In each of the above situations, all travelers shall provide an explanation of the
circumstances and submit with Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of
Travel Expenses to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting and provide copies of
the approved Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses
of the other travelers. The travelers shall be on the same method of travel for
reimbursement purposes. Payment for lodging expenses with another
employee’s Purchasing Card is only allowed in the instance that the employee
has traveled to the same destination.
COMPLIMENTARY ROOMS — When an employee is given a complimentary
room, the employee may request reimbursement only for meals on those days
that the complimentary room was received. Reimbursement cannot be claimed
at the per diem rate under this circumstance. A declaration that lodging was
complimentary should be made in the column for lodging expenses on Form DEP
53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
IX. INCIDENTAL TRAVEL EXPENSES
Pursuant to Rule 69I-42 F.A.C., the following information is required with the
traveler’s reimbursement request when claiming reimbursement for incidental
1. Receipts for taxi fares in excess of $25 on a per fare basis. Limousine service
should not be used instead of a taxi unless it can be shown that it is the more
2. Receipts for storage, parking fees or tolls in excess of $25 on a per
transaction basis. Such fees are not allowed on a weekly or monthly basis
unless it can be established that such method results in a savings to the
3. A statement that communication expenses being claimed are business
related. This includes FAX charges. Please note that personal telephone calls
made to a traveler’s family are not a reimbursable communication expense
(See AGO 75-7).
4. Receipts for actual dry-cleaning, laundry and pressing expenses when official
travel extends beyond seven days and such expenses are necessarily incurred
to complete the official business portion of the trip.
5. Receipts for actual passport and visa fees required for official travel.
6. Receipts for actual and necessary fees charged to purchase traveler’s checks
for official travel expenses.
7. Receipts for actual fees charged to exchange currency necessary to pay
official travel expenses.
8. Receipts for actual costs of maps necessary for conducting official business.
9. Miscellaneous hotel charges (safe usage, amenity fees, etc.) are reimbursable
by State funds only if the charges are mandatory by the hotel.
The following incidental expenses do not require a receipt:
1. Tips paid to taxi drivers that do not exceed fifteen percent of the taxi fare.
2. Tips paid for mandatory valet parking not to exceed $1 per incident.
3. Actual portage paid not to exceed $1 per bag or $5 per incident. Portage
charges exceeding $5 per incident will require additional justification. The
number of bags must be included on Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
4. Photocopy charges which are business related.
NOTE: Traveler must indicate what kind of tip and the number of
incidents being claimed on the travel reimbursement voucher in
order to be reimbursed.
X. MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL INFORMATION
STATE OF FLORIDA PURCHASING CARD — Effective July 1, 2001, except as
noted for infrequent travelers or when taking personal leave when traveling and
incurring expenses for which a portion is personal (see PERSONAL LEAVE
WHILE TRAVELING in this Section), all allowable expenses incurred while
traveling on behalf of the Department must be paid with the State of Florida
Purchasing Card. Allowable expenses include airfare, rental cars, parking,
lodging and registration fees. Employees who travel infrequently (less than twice
a year) may continue to request reimbursement for all their expenses. Consult
the Purchasing Card and Travel Training on the Administrative Services website
for further information.
CHARGE CARDS — AMEX — Upon the approval of the Program Area Director,
an employee may apply for an agency-sponsored charge card (Corporate
American Express) for use when traveling on official State business. AMEX cards
can be used for meals or for other reimbursable expenses when the Purchasing
Card is not accepted. AMEX CARDS CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PERSONAL
NON-TRAVEL RELATED EXPENSES. The charge card bill will be sent directly to
the employee. The employee has the obligation to pay the amount owed on a
timely basis. To request a charge card contact the Division of Administrative
Services Procurement Section at (850) 245-2358.
The Department or the credit card company may cancel the employee’s charge
card for any valid reason, including non-payment of charges or non-official-State
business use. Should the employee’s charge card be canceled for any valid
reason it will not be reissued without the written approval of the Program Area
Upon separation from the agency the employee must surrender the card to the
employing Program Area. The Program Area is responsible for ensuring that the
card is promptly cancelled. The employee will be responsible for any outstanding
charges on the account
DIRECT PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES TO A THIRD PARTY FOR
LODGING — Pursuant to s. 112.061(13) F.S., direct payment of travel expenses
may be made in situations that result in a cost savings to the State. Avoidance
of State sales tax shall not be considered a cost savings to the State. Evidence
of prior approval granted by the Bureau Chief of Finance and Accounting or
designee and a detailed account of the cost savings shall be included with the
payment request. Examples of criteria for cost savings include discount for
earlier payment, documented savings in processing costs or free use of a hotel
meeting room if the Department has a need for such room. The payment shall
be vouchered and processed as a “pay and charge” voucher. Copies of
employees’ travel vouchers (or authorization, if no additional travel expenses
were incurred) related to the payment must be provided as backup
DIRECT PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES TO A THIRD PARTY FOR
MEALS — Direct payment to vendors for food, non-alcoholic beverages and food
preparation will be allowed under the following conditions:
Any meeting of authorized personnel provided that;
♦ The time, place of the meeting and decision to take meals “on site” is
determined to be in the best interest of the State and not for the
convenience of the employee.
♦ The total cost of subsistence under this policy will not exceed that
provided in s. 112.061, F.S.
♦ No subsistence will be allowed for any personnel while at their official
Request for payment should be by MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP) Purchase
Order. Evidence of prior approval granted by the Bureau Chief of Finance and
Accounting or designee and a detailed account of the cost savings shall be
included with the payment request. A list of all people who participated will be
required. Travelers who received meals as a result of a direct vendor payment
must deduct the appropriate meal allowance from their travel expenses.
Food purchases for a conference or convention or in connection with the rental
of a meeting room for agency workshops or meetings are prohibited unless
expressly provided by law. Also, the negotiated price for the rental of a room
should not include food and beverages.
EMERGENCY SITUATIONS — When a public officer, employee or authorized
person is away from his or her official headquarters on personal time and is
required to travel because of an emergency situation, the following shall apply:
1. The traveler may be reimbursed travel expenses incurred while traveling from
the actual point of origin to the point of destination, which may be the official
2. If personal circumstances necessitate that the traveler return to the actual
point of origin after the emergency situation has ended rather than returning
to or staying at the official headquarters, the traveler may be reimbursed for
travel expenses to return. For example, an individual on personal time in
California whose official headquarters is in Tallahassee is required to travel
back to Tallahassee because of an emergency situation. If due to personal
circumstances the individual is required to travel back to California after the
emergency has ended instead of remaining in Tallahassee, then travel
expenses for the return to California may be reimbursed.
3. If the traveler is able to return to or remain at the traveler’s official
headquarters, the traveler may only be reimbursed the excess of necessary
travel expenses for the emergency situation over what would have been
incurred for the traveler’s own personal convenience. Detail of the cost shall
be provided showing the net cost of what would have been incurred against
the actual cost of returning.
4. The traveler’s reimbursement request of travel expenses claimed from an
actual point of origin rather than the official headquarters shall contain an
explanation of the emergency, which necessitated travel from such point.
5. If an authorized traveler has incurred certain unrecoverable costs associated
with personal plans and is unable to carry out such plans due to a work
related emergency situation, such costs that are not recoverable may be
reimbursed by the agency. Requests for reimbursement must provide the
circumstances of the emergency situation.
6. When written pre-authorization to travel is not possible due to the emergency
situation, written after-the-fact approval shall be secured immediately upon
completion of the emergency travel.
Direct payment to vendors for the meals and lodging of an employee required to
travel on emergency notice must be vouchered payable to the vendor with the
traveler as sub-vendor listing the traveler's name, social security number and
cost. Any required receipts along with a copy of the travel voucher must be
included with the original voucher maintained by the Department. The payment
information should clearly state that payments to vendors are requested due to
the employee being required to travel on emergency notice.
Requests for reimbursement of the emergency situations stated above must be
presented in writing to the Chief, Bureau of Finance and Accounting, MS #75,
prior to being vouchered for payment.
JOB INTERVIEWS AND EXAMINATIONS — Upon prior written approval by a
manager at the Senior Management Service level, candidates for executive or
professional positions may be allowed traveling expenses. The written approval
should be provided with the reimbursement request. The recruiting position title
should also be indicated on the reimbursement request.
OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS — The official headquarters of an officer or
employee assigned to an office shall be the city or town in which the office is
located except that:
(a) The official headquarters of a person located in the field shall be the city or
town nearest to the area where the majority of the person's work is performed,
or such other city, town, or area as may be designated by the agency head
provided that in all cases such designation must be in the best interest of the
agency and not for the convenience of the person.
(b) When any State employee is stationed in any city or town for a period of
over 30 continuous workdays, such city or town shall be deemed to be the
employee's official headquarters, and he or she shall not be allowed per diem or
subsistence, as provided in this section, after the said period of 30 continuous
workdays has elapsed, unless this period of time is extended by the express
approval of the agency head.
(c) A traveler may leave his or her assigned post to return home overnight, over
a weekend, or during a holiday, but any time lost from regular duties shall be
taken as annual leave and authorized in the usual manner. The traveler shall not
be reimbursed for travel expenses in excess of the established rate for per diem
allowable had he or she remained at his or her assigned post. However, when a
traveler has been temporarily assigned away from his or her official headquarters
for an approved period extending beyond 30 days, he or she shall be entitled to
reimbursement for travel expenses at the established rate of one round trip for
each 30-day period actually taken to his or her home in addition to pay and
allowances otherwise provided.
PERSONAL LEAVE WHILE TRAVELING — A person who wishes to take
personal leave while traveling may do so when the following is observed:
1. There are no additional costs to the State.
2. Personal and business periods (beginning and ending) are documented and
approved on both the authorization to incur travel and Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
3. Transportation is by the most direct route and the most economical and
efficient mode, without regard to plans for personal time. A Program Area
Director may pre-authorize a deviation from the most direct route and mode
of transportation. However, the traveler cannot claim or be paid for costs in
excess of that which would have been incurred had travel been by the most
direct route and economical/efficient mode.
♦ When a private/personal vehicle is used, the Department will be billed for the
miles driven for State business only.
♦ When a rental vehicle is used refer to Section VI– RENTAL VEHICLES - in
this Travel Manual.
♦ A State vehicle shall be used for State business only, except that a traveler
may drive a reasonable distance in a State vehicle to secure lodging and
meals. Personnel taking personal time off when traveling are required to
arrange for other transportation during the time off. Parking fees or other
costs associated with leaving the State vehicle during such personal time shall
be the responsibility of the traveler.
♦ When air travel is used, the traveler shall be responsible for any additional
costs incurred as a result of taking personal leave, including stopovers,
indirect routes, early/late departures and returns, and airport parking fees.
4. If the traveler incurs expenses for which a portion is personal, the personal
expenses cannot be paid with the Purchasing Card.
SICKNESS WHILE TRAVELING — A person who is sick or is injured while
away from official headquarters and is unable to perform the official business of
the agency may continue to receive subsistence during the period of illness or
injury until such time as the person is able to perform the official business of the
agency or return to official headquarters, whichever is earlier.
TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT AT STATE OWNED FACILITIES —
When lodging or meals are provided at a State owned facility, the traveler shall
be reimbursed only for the actual cost incurred for such lodging or meals, not to
exceed the maximums provided herein.
VOLUNTEER TRAVEL ALLOWANCE — In accordance with s. 110.504, F.S.,
meals and lodging may be provided to regular service volunteers. Transportation
reimbursement (including reimbursement for travel from home to the office) may
also be made for those volunteers whose presence is determined to be necessary
to the agency. Volunteers may use State vehicles in the performance of agency-
related duties. When meals are paid directly by the agency for volunteers,
procurement must be made by MFMP Purchase Order. The names of volunteers
attending must be provided with calculations showing that the allowance amount
per volunteer is in accordance with the amounts provided in s. 112.061(6)(b),
XI. OUT-OF-STATE AND FOREIGN TRAVEL
WHO CAN PERFORM OUT-OF-STATE AND FOREIGN TRAVEL — Any
person authorized to travel on behalf of the Department for a legitimate purpose
may be authorized to travel out of the State or the country when such travel is
necessary and directly benefits the State of Florida. All policies and procedures
outlined in this manual are also applicable to out-of-State and foreign travel.
Out-of-State travel and foreign travel must be authorized by the Secretary or
Deputy Secretary. Signatures of the appropriate authorizers must be evident on
Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses and Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
OUT-OF-STATE RATES — Per-diem rates for out-of-State travel are the same
as in State rates.
FOREIGN TRAVEL RATES — The traveler may elect to receive either actual
expenses (lodging, plus meals at State rates), State per diem or foreign per diem
when on foreign travel. If claiming foreign per diem, travel costs of authorized
travelers for foreign travel should be reimbursed at the current rates as specified
in the U.S. Department of State, Office of Allowances’ federal publication “Per
Diem Allowances for Travel in Foreign Areas” and must comply with Office of
Allowances’ “Standardized Regulations (DSSR)” and GSA’s Office of Government-
wide Policy “Federal Travel Regulations”. Incidentals may be claimed only as set
forth in Section IX - INCIDENTAL TRAVEL EXPENSES of this manual. The
incidental allowances must be deducted from the foreign per diem rate.
XII. CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION TRAVEL
Green Lodging Program - Pursuant to s. 286.29, F.S., Effective July 1,
2008, state agencies shall contract for meeting and conference space only
with hotels or conference facilities that have received the “Green Lodging”
designation from DEP for best practices in water, energy and waste
efficiency standards, unless the responsible state agency head makes a
determination that no other viable alternative exists.
DEP travelers are encouraged to use a DEP designated Green Lodging
hotel for all routine travel overnight stays, including meetings and
conferences hosted by other organizations. In determining if a
designated Green Lodging will be used consideration should include costs
associated with: transportation, parking, per diem, and salary.
Consideration should also be given to the impact on the time and
productivity of the traveler.
Please see the following website for additional guidance regarding the DEP
Green Lodging Program and for a list of Green Lodging designated hotels:
REGISTRATION FEES — If a Program Area engages an instructor to perform
training sessions for its employees, the fee will be a contractual service.
However, if an employee enrolls in a workshop/seminar, etc., which is routinely
offered to the public, the fee will be a registration fee.
Registration fees will not be paid for intra-agency or interagency meetings,
seminars and workshops. All expenses related to such gatherings must be
processed as a regular expenditure of the appropriate Program Area. However,
registration fees may be paid to universities, the Department of Management
Services or other agencies for routine training classes conducted for employees
of other agencies.
WHO CAN ATTEND? — Any person authorized to travel on behalf of the
Department for a legitimate purpose, may be authorized to attend a conference
or convention when such participation directly benefits the State of Florida.
Expenses related to attendance at a conference or convention can be authorized
♦ The main purpose of the conference or convention is directly related to the
statutory duties and responsibilities of the agency;
♦ The duties and responsibilities of the traveler are related to the objectives of
the conference or convention; and
♦ The activity provides a direct benefit supporting the work and public purpose
of the person attending.
HOW CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED — All
conference and convention travel must be authorized in advance by the
completion and approval of Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel
Expenses and must be submitted to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting with
Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. All
conference and convention travel must be approved by a Bureau Chief or higher.
The section of the form that details the benefits to the State of Florida
must be completed.
AGENDA REQUIRED — Attach two copies of the Agenda for any conference,
convention or similar meeting to the reimbursement voucher. Workshops or
meetings conducted for DEP employees only do not require agendas. Speaker
biographies, maps and detail of subjects presented are not required to be
submitted to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting. However, the agenda and
registration form must be submitted.
ACCOMMODATIONS/LODGING — It is the policy of the Department that
when a conference or convention is being held in a hotel, motel or other facility
offering lodging, the traveler may stay in the facility, so long as the costs are
reasonable, considering transportation and time requirements. If the costs
appear to be excessive, a written explanation is required on Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.
ACRONYMS — The DFS requires that the name of the convention or conference
be spelled out at least once on the travel reimbursement form. It may be
referred to afterwards using the acronym, as long as the meaning is clear.
HOSTING A CONFERENCE OR CONVENTION — Check with the Bureau of
Finance and Accounting and the Bureau of General Services for assistance when
you are considering hosting a conference or convention. Competitive bidding for
facilities may be required.
XIII. PAYMENT OF REGISTRATION FEES
OBJECT CODE— Effective July 1, 2001, the following object code was
established for processing registration fees with no associated travel expenses.
461800 — Registration Fee with No Travel Expenses
The object code should be used for all registration fees when no travel expenses
will be incurred. If travel expenses will be incurred in addition to the registration
fee, the travel object code, 261800 (in-State) or 262800 (out-of-State), must be
used for the registration fee and the travel expenses.
PURCHASING CARD —The Purchasing Card can be utilized for payment of
registration fees for a conference, convention, seminar, or training course.
Multiple registrations can be charged on the same Purchasing Card if employees
are attending the same class or event on the same date.
Registration forms and agendas should be submitted to the Bureau of Finance
and Accounting as supporting documentation. Additionally, if the traveler
registers on-line, a copy of the electronic registration must be submitted with the
request for reimbursement. If additional travel expenses will be incurred, an
authorization will be required for all attendees. A copy of the travel voucher will
be necessary if the travel has taken place. If there is no additional travel
expense, an authorization will not be required. However, justification for the
employee’s attendance at the conference or training course must be provided.
PREPAYMENT BY DEP DIRECTLY— If the Department is requested to prepay
the registration fee for a conference, convention, seminar, or training course the
original and two copies of the completed registration form and agenda should be
sent to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting. If travel expenses will be
incurred, two copies of the fully completed and approved Form DEP 53-201,
Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses, must also be submitted. A registration
fee can only be prepaid up to 30 days in advance unless it can be shown where
there is a cost savings to the State or there is a special justification (e.g., limited
space) for paying earlier. If a Program Area has a high priority request, which
requires a quick turnaround, contact the Bureau of Finance and Accounting.
When prepaying a registration fee with no additional travel expenses, a payment
stamp must be put on the invoice/registration form as evidence of approval to
pay along with justification for attendance.
PAYMENT OF REGISTRATION FEE BY PURCHASE ORDER— If there is not
enough time allowed to process a pre-payment of a registration fee, or a
Purchasing Card is not accepted, a MFMP purchase order can be initiated to a
vendor for a conference, convention, seminar or training course.
PAYMENT OF REGISTRATION BY TRAVELER — If the traveler pays the
registration fee, and requests reimbursement, the fee should be listed in the
Incidental Column of Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel
Expenses. The original and one copy of the paid itemized receipt; two copies of
the completed and approved Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel
Expenses; and two copies of the registration form should be attached to support
the charge. If the registration fee was paid by the traveler it is still considered
paid by the State and must be indicated by checking the appropriate box on the
travel reimbursement form.
If no additional travel expenses were incurred, Form DEP 53-205, a Voucher for
Reimbursement for Expenses other than Travel should be completed using object
code 461800. A travel authorization will not be necessary, but justification for
attendance should be provided.
PAYMENT TO VENDOR AFTER-THE-FACT — In order for the Department to
pay the registration fee directly to the vendor after the event occurs, submit the
original and two copies of the vendor invoice with a payment stamp and two
copies of the agenda, registration form, and Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to
Incur Travel Expenses. If travel expenses were incurred, two copies of the
employees travel voucher are required. If no additional travel expenses were
incurred, a travel authorization is not required, and the registration fee will be
charged to object code 461800. Justification for attendance should be provided.
DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS AND LODGING — When a meal is included in a
registration fee, the meal allowance must be deducted from the reimbursement
claim, even if the traveler decides for personal reasons not to eat the meal. The
State will not pay for the same meal twice.
As provided by Attorney General Opinion (AGO) 081-53, continental breakfast is
considered a meal and must be deducted if included in the registration fee.
Similarly, lodging cost included in the registration fee should be deducted.
In the case where a complimentary meal is provided by a hotel the traveler will
be allowed to claim the meal allowance provided by law.
SPECIAL EVENT REGISTRATION — Reimbursement may be made of actual
and necessary fees for attendance at a special event which are not included in
the basic registration fee, but that directly enhance the public purpose of the
participation of the agency in the conference. Such expenses may include, but
are not limited to banquets, other meal functions, field trips or tours. It is the
responsibility of the traveler to have such fees pre-approved and properly
REQUESTING PAYMENT OF AN ADVANCE — It is the policy of the
Department that travel advances are restricted to exceptional circumstances as
approved by the Secretary or designee and shall only be issued to Department
employees, OPS personnel and volunteers. Advances will not be processed for a
traveler if an agency sponsored credit card or State of Florida Purchasing Card
has been previously offered, issued or canceled, unless approved by the
program area director or their designee. Travel advances shall not exceed 80
percent of the estimated travel expenses that will ultimately be reimbursed to the
traveler. An exception may be made to this 80 percent restriction in order to
take advantage of a substantially discounted common carrier ticket. In the event
such arrangements are made, the travel advance may be an amount equal to
100 percent of the cost of the substantially discounted common carrier ticket
plus 80 percent of the remaining estimated travel expenses. Each traveler
requesting an advance needs to complete the DFS Form DBF-AA 25, Application
for Advance on Travel Expenses, and submit it to the Bureau of Finance and
Accounting two weeks prior to the beginning of the travel period. This will allow
for proper processing time by the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, as well as
the DFS. The approved Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel
Expenses, must accompany the completed DFS form DBF-AA-25, Application for
Advance on Travel Expenses to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting.
When the travel period has ended, the traveler must complete the Form DEP 53-
203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses for the travel period for
which the traveler received an advance. The traveler must complete the portion
of the travel voucher relating to travel advances and attach a copy of the DFS
form DBF-AA-25, Application for Advance on Travel Expenses to the
SETTLEMENT OF TRAVEL ADVANCE — A travel advance must be settled as
1. Travel costs in excess of or equal to advance — The settlement travel voucher
and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Bureau of Finance
and Accounting immediately after completion of the trip for which the funds
2. Travel costs less than advance — A refund of the excess along with the
settlement voucher and supporting documentation must be received in the
Bureau of Finance and Accounting immediately after completion of the trip for
which the funds were advanced. Checks should be made payable to “Florida
Department of Environmental Protection.”
A traveler cannot have more than one travel advance outstanding at any time
without written justification from the delegated authority including
circumstances that necessitate an exception to this restriction.
XV. PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES
HOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES IS REQUESTED —
The traveler must complete Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of
Travel Expenses. Submit the completed form along with the previously approved
Form DEP 53-201, Authorization to Incur Travel Expenses, and all necessary
backup documentation to the person having delegated authority to authorize the
travel expenses. Obtain the appropriate approval signatures and dates and
submit the travel reimbursement and travel authorization forms with backup
documentation to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting for processing.
If there is no amount due the traveler because all expenses were charged to the
Purchasing Card, the traveler is still required to complete Form DEP 53-203,
Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. It must be scanned and
retained to support the Purchasing Card charges. It is not necessary to send the
reimbursement request separately to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting.
No one has the authority to sign for the traveler, only the traveler’s
original signature is acceptable. No one has authority to sign on behalf
of the supervisor or authorizer unless delegated such authority. No
electronic or rubber stamp signatures are allowed.
COPIES OF RECEIPTS AND OTHER REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION —
Original of Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses is
required for all Class A and B travel. Original copy of the travel authorization (if
applicable), all receipts, agenda (if applicable), and other documentation are
required to be submitted with travel voucher Form DEP 53-203, Voucher for
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting.
If using the State of Florida Purchasing Card, submit copies of your receipts for
Receipts smaller than 5x7 should be taped, not stapled to an 8-1/2x11
sheet of paper.
TIME TO FILE REIMBURSEMENT REQUESTS — Form DEP 53-203, Voucher
for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses should be submitted immediately upon
the traveler’s return. Employees on extended travel status should submit
reimbursement requests at least monthly.
AUTOMATIC DEPOSIT OF TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT — All employees who
have their payroll check automatically deposited in their financial institution will
also receive their travel reimbursement in the same manner. Travel must be
submitted with the exact name and social security number as it appears on the
W-4 form in order to receive the reimbursement electronically.
CHECKLIST FOR SUBMITTING A TRAVEL VOUCHER
The following information should be verified on each travel voucher before submitting
to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting for processing:
• Employee name/social security number (must agree exactly with W-4 form, only full
legal name should be used).
• Official headquarters, city of residence, preparer's name and contact number, check
distribution instructions to include complete mailing address or mail station number.
• Organization codes and expansion options are valid. Correct modules/OCA, grant
numbers, project IDs, and categories are indicated where applicable.
• Dates of travel are correct and match the receipts submitted.
• Purpose or reason of travel is sufficient and clearly stated for all destinations.
• Mode of travel is indicated for all destinations.
• Departure and return times are indicated.
• Personal time taken is properly documented with off and on times indicated.
• Appropriate meal allowances are claimed deducting meals provided by conference or
paid for by the Department.
• Per diem amounts claimed are correct.
• Mileage claimed is correct based on official mileage chart. Excessive mileage must
be justified. Map vs. vicinity mileage must be broken out into separate columns.
• Incidental expenses are appropriate travel expenses and properly justified if
• Compliance with current airfare contract, ensuring ticket matches employee’s
itinerary and providing justification for contract exceptions.
• Compliance with current rental car contract, ensuring all charges are correct and
providing justification for contract exceptions.
• Authorization is attached for all conference/convention, out-of-State, foreign and
non-employee travel with benefits to the State indicated. Authorization should be
completely filled out, approved and dated.
• Original receipts are submitted for all expenses and must match amounts claimed.
Copies of Purchasing Card receipts should be submitted in lieu of originals.
• Travel advances are deducted as necessary and Purchasing Card charges are
• Payee and supervisor have submitted original signatures. All necessary approvals
are dated with employees’ titles indicated.
Original copy of travel voucher is required for travel. Original and travel authorization
(if required), receipts, agenda, other documentation and justification memos are
required. Receipts smaller than 5 by 7 should be taped, not stapled, to an 8 1/2 by
11 sheet of paper. Submit copies of receipts for those expenses paid by the
Purchasing Card. Original receipts should be scanned into OCULUS and retained by
the program area.
• Staple together all paperwork for each travel voucher to avoid losing documentation.
Do not staple travel vouchers for different employees together. Submit requests for
registration fee payments separate from travel voucher.