Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a TA (Travel Authorization)?

Anytime you are traveling non-locally on University related business, even if you are not requesting reimbursement. All travel needing reimbursement, even local travel, requires a Travel Authorization.

For local official business travel that will not result in a reimbursement, divisions and/or departments should implement their own approval requirements that should include, at a minimum, verbal pre-approval of the travel by a traveler’s supervisor. A travel authorization in TEM is not required for this.

Travelers who do not obtain prior approval as required may be responsible for any unauthorized expenses and may jeopardize other support provided by the state for travelers in official travel status.

What is a Blanket TA and how do I get one?

A Blanket TA Form may be used for frequent regular travel, such as travel from Bellingham to Everett for frequent meetings. One-time travel incidents, such as a conference, will require a separate Travel Authorization.

We are required by the state to limit the Blanket TA’s we allow. To that end, we require an exception request webform to be approved before we can approve a blanket TA in TEM. So:

Step 1: Please fill out a TEM Blanket Travel Authorization Exception Request

Step 2: When the Exception request is approved, please Create a new TA (Travel Authorization) in TEM but mirror the dates and information from the webform.

Where can I find travel webforms?

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

Original receipts are required for reimbursement of

  • lodging (hotel),
  • rental cars, and
  • fuel (when actual fuel expenses will be reimbursed rather than privately owned vehicle mileage).
  • miscellaneous expenses over $50

Receipts are not required for reimbursement of

  • privately owned vehicle mileage,
  • per diem meals,
  • taxi, or
  • ferry fares.

Contact the Travel Desk if you have a question regarding a type of expense not listed here.

If an original receipt is lost, please complete an Affidavit of Lost Receipt.

What expenses can be reimbursed before travel?

Original receipts are required for reimbursement of

  • Registration expenses
  • Airfare expenses that have been purchased on a WWU Corporate Travel Visa

Contact the Travel Desk if you have a question regarding a type of expense not listed here.

Would you claim per diem for breakfast when your motel provided Continental Breakfast or for meals provided on airlines?

Yes. SAAM 10.40.20 states “Meal payments are not required to be reduced or eliminated due to meals served on airlines. Similarly, meal payments are not required to be reduced for continental breakfasts which may be included in the lodging rate or registration fee of a meeting, conference, convention, or formal training session. Agencies should review IRS tax regulations regarding the taxation of these payments.”

“Continental Breakfast” is defined as: Either (1) a breakfast generally consisting of juice, bread, fruit and a hot beverage (typically coffee or tea), or (2) a light meal defined in agency policy.

What if I don't need reimbursement?

Please add one reimbursable $0 Miscellaneous Expense with funding to prevent TEM errors.

What if my receipt has someone else’s name on it?

Receipts must be in the name of the person seeking reimbursement. If you will be splitting an expense, please try to obtain a receipt for your half of the purchase. If that is not possible, obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt. The memo needs to indicate that you (the payee) covered a specific dollar amount for a specific item/service and that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from WWU for the expense. The memo should be signed by the named person.

What if there are no estimated expenses?

If there is not any estimated expenses, please include a $0 Miscellaneous Expense with funding and note in the description that there are no expected expenses. This prevents TEM errors.

What if I am only needing to be reimbursed for Registration for a Conference?

A TA will be required to travel to a conference. Reimbursements for any travel-related expenses would be done via TEM.

Can I use air miles for my airfare and receive reimbursement?

WWU will reimburse you for actual dollars spent on your airfare. If you use air miles you may not be reimbursed for them.

Page Updated 03.09.2015