Travel Basics

The following is a list of College of Liberal Arts travel policies for all employees. Please review them carefully and share this information with staff, students and faculty. 


Prior authorization is required for faculty, staff and students for all university travel. The authorization also ensures faculty accountability for missed classes and academic responsibilities. Authorization may require multiple steps based on the destination and specific needs for the trip. Any time an UT Employee is away from the office for four hours or more for UT business, authorization is required. 

Travel Authorization Request (TAR)- Travel authorization system through the Request System in UT Direct that allows UT personnel to submit travel authorization requests outside of DEFINE (mainframe). Information will export from this system to DEFINE for final processing. To begin the request, please visit the Request System webpage. Training resource: a detailed guide for the TAR system can be found here

Request for Authorization to Travel (VE5)- Travel authorization processed directly in the DEFINE (mainframe) system. The VE5 is the document used to process this, and the Request for Travel Authorization number (RTA Number) is used for arrangements, payments and reimbursements related to the specific trip. For more information on the Travel Authorization Process, please visit the Travel Management Services webpage. Training resources: Travel Authorizations VE5 (51min) webcast, VE5 slides used in the webcast, and a VE5 example video will walk you through how to create and submit a VE5.

Travel Authorization Corrections (VE6)- Once a travel authorization has been approved, changes can be made to the VE5 using a VE6 document. For example, you need to add an additional account number. Training resources:  Travel Authorization Corrections VE6 (27min) webcast and VE6 Slides used in the webcast training.

Faculty Travel Grant (FTG)- The Faculty Travel Grant program allows eligible faculty to apply for funding to cover travel expenses to present original papers at scholarly and professional meetings. For more information, please visit the Faculty Travel Grant wiki.

Texas Global- Additional authorization steps may be required for international travel. For more information on international travel authorization, please see the Texas Global International Travel Process webpage. Training resource: Texas Global hosts frequent Q&A sessions on the international travel process via zoom.

Foreign Travel on State Funds- International travel using state funds requires pre-approval from the dean. The approval request for foreign travel on state funds, is to DocuSign Powerform that automatically routes to the Dean and requests approval. A copy is sent to the Office of Accounting to be scanned as part of the DocuSign routing. The VE5/VE6 should be completed prior to submitting this form, and the approval to be indicated in the voucher notes.

Non-Employee Travel Authorization- This form allows for payment of direct billed travel expenses for a visitor. This does not allow for reimbursement of individual expenses or payment for service. (Please refer to HBP 11.5.5)



The university has specific rules pertaining to booking travel. Please review all travel guidance noted above prior to making arrangements. 

Please note that any University of Texas at Austin employee, prospective employee, student, or independent contractor is entitled to reimbursement for their own travel expenses (not for any other individual) incurred while conducting official university business, regardless of who paid the travel expense. HBP Part 11.5.A. For example, a partner accompanies a UT employee on a business trip and the hotel folio indicates double occupancy. Only half of the daily rate would be reimbursed if the rate differs from single occupancy. 

Only travel related to university business may be reimbursed. For each destination, a business reason is required. For example, if a UT employees flies to New York City to visit family prior to flying to London to deliver a paper at a conference, no expenses related to New York City would be reimbursable. In this case, a comparison showing the cost of a direct flight to London vs a flight with layover in New York City would be required. 

The university has three preferred travel agencies for booking airfare: Concur, Anthony Travel, Corporate Travel Planners. For contact information on each, please visit the Travel Management Services Travel Planning website. For car rentals, the university has five allowable companies to use: Avis/Budget, Enterprise/National, Hertz. This request form is for use only when requesting an exception to use a rental car agency outside of the 5 allowable companies. Please note this form should be completed prior to travel to ensure reimbursement is allowable. Travelers can provide a Hotel Tax Exemption Form to the hotel to have Texas hotel occupancy taxes removed from the bill. UT does not pay this tax because we are a state institution. 

Payments and Reimbursements

Travel-related payments to third-party vendors are made using a VP2 voucher in DEFINE. For example, a visitor stays at a local hotel and the expenses are direct billed to the university. This payment would be made to the hotel using a VP2. Training resources: videos and handouts on VP2s are on the payment voucher wiki page

Individual travel reimbursements are made using a VP5 voucher in DEFINE. This voucher requires the previously created RTA Number to process the reimbursement. The voucher may include hotel expenses, airfare, ground transportation, and other allowable travel expenses. Additional information on Travel Reimbursements can be found at HBP Part 11.5. Receipts should be processed for reimbursement within sixty days of return date.  Training resources: a VP5 example video will walk you through how to submit a VP5 in Define, a webcast Travel Vouchers VP5 (47min), and VP5 Slides used in the webcast training.

The travel reimbursement exception request form should be used to request an exception to reimburse a traveler beyond the 60 days post travel rule. Please note receipts beyond this may not be reimbursed per college guidelines. 


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