California Department of Transportation
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Travel Advances

References: SAM 8116 through 8116.3 and 8776.7, State Controller's Office Payroll Procedure Manual (PPM) Section N 120


With supervisor approval, a temporary travel advance may be issued to provide advance funding for lodging, meals, and incidental (per diem) expenses while traveling on official state business and may remain outstanding for a maximum of 30 calendar days.

All managers and supervisors approving travel advance requests are required to monitor their employees' use of the travel advances and ensure that travel expense claims and/or personal checks or money orders are submitted within the required time-frame.

For information on conference and tuition fees advances payable to a vendor, contact the Office of Commodity and Contract Payables, Service Payables Branch.


Employees must request travel advances online in AMS Advantage. The travel advance amount must be reasonably calculated not to exceed the estimated expenses to be paid or incurred on the trip. To ensure that the travel advance amount is not excessive, the supervisor approving the request should review the amount requested. Submit the travel advance via AMS Advantage to the Division of Accounting at least five (5) business days prior to travel. Please allow time for your supervisor to approve the travel advance in AMS Advantage.

  • On-Line instructions
  • If traveling multiple times in a 30-day period, travel advance amounts should be combined into one request.
  • If a balance remains outstanding from a prior travel advance, a new travel advance cannot be issued.

For more information, contact one of the following travel advance liaisons:

  • Leslie Skarshaug - (916) 227-9092
  • Kathy Huynh - (916) 227-5700


A travel advance may remain outstanding no more than 30 calendar days from the issue date of the travel advance check.

  • A properly prepared travel expense claim (TEC) must be submitted as soon as possible after completion of travel, or at least once a month.

  • If the substantiated expenses exceed the travel advance, the employee will be paid the difference with a revolving fund check.

  • If the travel advance exceeds the substantiated expenses, the employee must submit a check or money order, with the TEC, payable to the Department of Transportation. Note "Travel Advance" on the personal check or money order.

  • If a trip is cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the travel advance must be returned immediately, but no later than 30 calendar days from the issuance date of the revolving fund check for the travel advance. If the check has been deposited or cashed, a check or money order for the entire amount must be submitted to the Cashiering Services Office. Note "Travel Advance" on check or money order.

Submit TEC's to:

Division of Accounting, Office of Travel and Special Services, Travel Payments Section, MS#25
P.O. Box 168018
Sacramento, CA 95816-8018

Submit checks and money orders:

Division of Accounting
Office of Financial Accounting & Analysis, Cashiering, Deposits and Services, MS#58
P.O. Box 168019
Sacramento, CA 95816-8019


The State Administrative Manual (SAM) requires that a temporary travel advance be cleared (recovered) within 30 calendar days of the issuance date. Collection will begin for any travel advance that remains outstanding in excess of 30 days.

The employee will receive a memo with the travel advance check explaining the collection process. Thirty (30) days after the travel advance is issued, a statement is sent by e-mail, notifying the employee of the final date the advance must be cleared. The employee's supervisor and/or Regional Administrative Officer (RAO) will also receive this statement via e-mail.

  • If an employee does not submit a TEC(s) to substantiate the travel expenses within 15 calendar days of the statement date, the travel advance amount must be deducted from the next regular payroll warrant(s).

  • If an employee does submit a TEC(s) within 15 calendar days of the statement date, but does not return any excess travel advance amount within the same 15 calendar days, the excess travel advance amount must be deducted from the next regular payroll warrant(s).

  • If an employee has payroll direct deposit and the15 calendar day requirement is not satisfied, the direct deposit will be cancelled and the payroll warrant deduction will be processed. The employee is responsible for completing the STD. 699 form to reinstate his or her direct deposit.

For more information, please contact the Travel Advance Collection Liaison in the Travel Policy Section.


All travel advance balances not recovered within 120 days will be reported to the State Controller's Office as taxable income to the employee. If an employee substantiates and returns excess advances after employer has treated amounts as wages, the employer is not required to return any withholding or treat amounts as non-taxable.

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