Financial Administration

UW System Travel Regulations


  1. All lodging claims must be supported by an original, itemized receipt. Photocopies or faxed copies may be acceptable in exceptional circumstances when properly justified in writing.

  2. Reimbursement is limited to the single rate for a standard single room. Employees of the same sex traveling together are encouraged, whenever feasible, to share lodging accommodations. If a room is shared by employees, the reimbursement may be divided equally. If the claim is paid by one person, the name of the other individual(s) sharing the room must be provided.

  3. With the exception of Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties where the lodging maximum is $80, the maximum amount reimbursable per day for in-state lodging shall be $70, excluding tax. Domestic lodging rates are available in the UW TravelWIse portal.

  4. Any amount in excess of the maximums must be accompanied by a receipt and an explanation of the reasonableness of such expense. Maximums may be exceeded when unavoidable additional expenses, i.e., additional ground transportation costs, would be incurred by trying to adhere to the maximum resulting in a higher cost.

  5. An employee may stay at the conference site where lodging exceeds the maximum on the basis that it enables the employee to gain professional benefits due to interaction with other attendees. In such situations, documentation corroborating that the site selected is the conference hotel is required. The employee's selection of a hotel from a menu of properties recommended by the conference organizer is not in itself sufficient justification for exceeding the lodging maximum.

  6. Corporate, educational, and government rates are available at many domestic lodging properties. Travelers and those that arrange University sponsored travel should request these rates to minimize costs.

  7. Except in unusual circumstances, which must be justified in writing, an employee will be held personally responsible for additional costs for failure to cancel a guaranteed reservation or comply with posted checkout hours.

  8. UW employees traveling in-state on official business are exempt from payment of state and local taxes on meals and lodging. Employees should avoid the tax on hotel/motel rooms by providing the hotel/motel clerk with the Department of Revenue approved tax exempt wallet card or a copy of the Wisconsin Sales & Use Tax Exempt Certificate. It is not recommended this procedure be used for individual meal expenditures.

  9. An employee who is required to remain in one location for an extended period is expected to find lodging at reasonable weekly/monthly rates. Consideration should be given to use of apartments or private homes if the cost is more economical. In those situations, the cost of normal utilities, i.e., gas, heat, electricity, monthly local phone service including installation, etc., are reimbursable.

  10. Employees are expected to commute during the same day when the site of UW business is within 50 miles of their home or headquarters. Lodging costs within 50 miles may be reimbursed only for extenuating circumstances and with proper written justification and approval of the employee's supervisor.

  11. Lodging for UW-organized meetings and conferences held primarily for participation by UW employees shall not exceed the lodging maximum. A contracted hotel or a state/UW owned or leased facility should be used whenever possible for meetings and conference needs. Reference the HQ City/UW Sponsored Events policy for additional guidance.

  12. Expenses for lodging at facilities which are not licensed as a hotel, motel, campground or tourist rooming house are generally not reimbursable. Exceptions may be granted by the supervisor when there is a substantial cost benefit to the UW. A receipt for a nominal amount and an explanation should be attached to the TER.

  13. The State purchasing card must be used for payment of lodging costs. If they so choose, employees have the option of utilizing the state-provided personal liability U.S. Bank travel card instead of, or in addition to, the purchasing card. When using the purchasing card, only the room cost and any applicable taxes may be charged. A one-night lodging deposit can be charged when required and documented by the lodging property. No other pre-payment for lodging is allowed. Charges for room service, meals, telephone calls, movies, etc. must not be charged to the purchasing card. Adequate controls must be in place to prevent charges for no-shows, personal items and duplicate claims. Tax exemption information is available in the UW TravelWIse portal.

  14. Tips and gratuities to hotel employees are reimbursable up to $2.00 on the day of arrival, $2.00 on the day of departure, and $2.00 per night of stay. Claims for higher amounts must be justified and supported by receipts.