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FAQs for State of Illinois Travel


I have been asked to travel, what should I do?

Confirm travel preapproval with your agency. This process will vary from each agency. Many agencies have a written form that must be completed in advance and approved by a chain of authority. Check with your agency’s travel coordinator.

How do I decide the method of transportation that will be used?

Per section 300.300 of the Travel Regulation Council Rules, all travel must be by the most economical method. Section 3000 ( Use the trip cost calculator to determine the most economical method. Trip Cost Calculator (

The trip calculator determined that a rental car was the most economical, but I would like to use my personal car. Will I be reimbursed?

You can claim up to $32.00 per day if you choose to take your personal vehicle instead of the most economical rental option. You are not eligible to be reimbursed for mileage.

Is valet parking a covered expense?

Valet parking is not reimbursable except in the City of Chicago, valet parking is reimbursable up to $30.00. Any amount exceeding $30.00 is not reimbursable. Travel Update 15-04 (

Can I upgrade to Business Class while traveling on Amtrak for Official State of Illinois business?

Employees have the option of upgrading to Business Class if seats are available but are only allowed to claim reimbursement for the Coach portion of the ticket.

Can I use a State vehicle for Official State of Illinois business?

Yes, State cars are available on a limited basis. For information on State vehicles, please contact CMS Division of Vehicles (217) 782-2536. State Employee Business Transportation Policy Issued: March 2018 (


How do I know what hotels to contact if overnight lodging is needed?

You must first contact hotels that are on the State of Illinois preferred hotel listing that can be found on the Preferred Hotel Listing (

What happens if I cannot find a preferred hotel?

You need to follow the guidelines for lodging exceptions Lodging Exceptions ( You must stay at the hotel with the lowest rate available among the hotels you contacted. Documentation of the hotels called and the rates offered must be attached to your travel voucher. If this process is followed no formal exception is needed form the Governor’s Travel Control Board.

I made a reservation at a hotel and asked for the State rate. Upon check-in I noticed that the rate was higher than the rate listed on the preferred hotel listing. What should I do?

When booking the employee needs to make sure that they are aware of the allowable rates for that area. It is the employee’s responsibility to make sure that the rate offered is the correct rate, so you should request that the rate be adjusted. You will only be able to claim the maximum reimbursement amount plus tax for each area. Allowable lodging rates are available on the Travel Reimbursement Schedule (

I need to travel to a location in which there are no preferred hotels listed, what can I do?

The rate should not exceed the maximum allowable rate in the area. If that is not an option, you need to follow the guidelines for lodging exceptions Lodging Exceptions (


How do I determine if I qualify for per diem or meal allowance?

To qualify for a meal allowance an employee must be on travel status at least 10 consecutive hours and work at least two hours prior or two hours past their regular workday. The allowance would be breakfast and/or dinner. Lunch is not a reimbursable expense. An employee is entitled to per diem travel as long as they were on travel status for a minimum of 18 hours, or their travel included overnight lodging.

How are per diem quarters tallied?

The day is broken into four per diem quarters 12:00 AM-6:00 AM; 6:00 AM-12:00 PM; 12:00 PM-6:00 PM; 6:00 PM-12:00 AM. To qualify for a quarter, the employee must be on travel status within that quarter. For examples, see the Per Diem section of the Travel Guide online.

I am traveling overnight to attend a conference at which dinner and lunch will be provided. What do I need to deduct from my per diem?

You are required to deduct the meal reimbursement amount Travel Reimbursement Schedule ( for each meal provided at the conference from your claimed per diem amount. Section 2800 (


I need to travel out of State, what do I need to do to obtain approvals?

Each agency has their own internal procedure in place for obtaining initial approval for out of State travel. These requests need to be entered at least 30 days prior to registration deadlines or travel times. Approval needs to be obtained through the eTravel system; each agency should have a system in place for entering in those requests. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget must approve all out of State travel requests, even if there is no cost to the State of Illinois. The eTravel system will send the request through a chain of approvals that will consist of the Agency Travel Coordinator, Chief Fiscal Officer, the Agency Director and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. You will need to reach out to your agency’s travel coordinator for detailed procedures.