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Official College Travel

ESF follows New York State and Research Foundation guidelines to apply IRS rates for personal vehicle use, daily meals and lodging.

Important Forms and Documents

Important Vehicle Reservation Information

To reserve a vehicle, please email VehicleReservations@esf.edu and include the following information:

  • Vehicle use and destination
  • Reservation dates/times
  • Desired vehicle type (car, van or truck)
  • Driver name for each vehicle being requested
    • ***Drivers MUST be entered and approved through the NYS DMV License Event Notification Service (LENS) Program before reservations can be confirmed. Visit UPD, located at 16 Bray, with your Driver's License at your earliest convenience if you have not already been entered in to LENS.

This email will be checked daily and you will receive a confirmation email with relevant information once your request is approved.


Domestic Per Diem Rates

Maximum travel per diem rates for current and prior years for the continental United States are available at the following website. Please be sure to choose the correct fiscal year.

Meal Eligibility

State Travel

Travelers may be reimbursed for breakfast if they must depart at least one hour before their normal work start time, and/or for dinner if they return at least two hours later than their normal work ending time.

Research Travel

Allowance/reimbursement for breakfast and/or dinner is determined by times of departure from and return to the traveler’s official station or home, according to the following table:

On departure day, traveler is eligible for... if travel begins before...
Breakfast 7:00 a.m.
Dinner 6:00 p.m.
On day of return, traveler is eligible for... if trip ends after...
Breakfast 8:00 a.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m.

Meal Allowance

One meal allowance is a combination of one breakfast and one dinner (or vice versa).

Lunches cannot be reimbursed.

Overnight Meal AllowancesRates starting 10/1/2018

Meal Rate Allowed for breakfast: Allowed for dinner:
$76 $15 $61
$71 $14 $57
$66 $13 $53
$61 $12 $49
$56 $11 $45
$55 $11 $44

Non-overnight Meal Allowances

Location Breakfast Dinner
All locations $5 $12

Overnight Meal AllowancesRates through 9/30/2018

Meal Rate Allowed for breakfast: Allowed for dinner:
$74 $15 $59
$69 $14 $55
$64 $13 $51
$59 $12 $47
$54 $11 $43
$51 $10 $41

Unreceipted Per Diem Rates

This flat rate per diem allowance for meals, lodging and incidentals may be used regardless of where lodging was obtained, even if you stay with a relative or friend. No receipts are required. “Method I – Unreceipted Lodging” should be claimed on travel documents. Per diem rates will be pro-rated based on the traveler’s overnight travel status and eligibility for both breakfast and dinner.

Unreceipted per diem reimbursement rates for meals, lodging and incidental expenses:

Location Per Diem
New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties $50.00
Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and their respective surrounding metropolitan areas $40.00
All other locations in New York State $35.00
Out of State (this includes any out of state tax on lodging) $50.00


Please send completed Vehicle Request, 15 Passenger Van Request and Bus Request Forms to VehicleReservations@esf.edu. Next day vehicle requests must be made before 2:00pm the day before your desired reservation.

Federal Mileage Allowance Inclusions

Charges for gasoline, accessories, repairs, depreciation, anti-freeze, towing, insurance, auto club memberships and other expenditures may be included.

What Can Be Claimed?

  • If you travel from home to another location and then continue to your primary work location during the day, only the additional mileage incurred beyond the normal commute is reimbursable.

  • You can claim only the mileage incurred during the course of daily business for the distance greater than your normal commute to your official work station. You can only have one official work station.

  • Travel Office will round down mileage totals when reimbursements are calculated.

Mileage Rates for Official College Travel

You may use a personal vehicle for official travel when an ESF owned vehicle or common carrier is not available, not cost effective, or otherwise not appropriate. Before a trip, justification may be required for use of a personal vehicle.

Mileage Rates

  • 2020: $0.575 per mile (effective 1/1/2020 )
  • 2019: $0.580 per mile
  • 2018: $0.545 per mile
  • 2017: $0.535 per mile
  • 2016: $0.540 per mile
  • 2015: $0.575 per mile

International Travel

Foreign Per Diem Rates
(Includes Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. Possessions)

Foreign Meal Allowance Breakdown

The foreign meal allowance schedule lists the meal allowance as a lump sum. The meal allowance is broken down as follows:

  • 80% for dinner
  • 20% for breakfast

Check these links for travel advisories prior to booking international travel.

For further information on international travel contact the office of International Education at oie@esf.edu