14 FAM 500 

14 FAM 510


(CT:LOG-319;   05-24-2021)
(Office of Origin:  A/LM)


14 FAM 511.1  Policy

14 FAM 511.1-1  Authorization and Pay for Official Travel and Related Expenses

(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

It is Department of State policy, as authorized by section 901 of the Foreign Service Act (22 U.S.C. 4081) that the Secretary authorize and pay for the official travel and related expenses of members of the Foreign Service and their families, including costs or expenses incurred for:

(1)  Proceeding to and returning from assigned posts of duty;

(2)  Authorized or required home leave;

(3)  Family members to accompany, precede, or follow a member of the Service to a place of temporary duty;

(4)  Representational travel;

(5)  Medical travel (other than for routine follow-up care);

(6)  Rest and recuperation travel;

(7)  Evacuation travel;

(8)  Visitation travel;

(9)  Return remains of member of the Service or of a family member of the Service who dies abroad or while assigned within the United States; and

(10) Other travel as authorized and necessary to accomplish the Department's mission.

14 FAM 511.1-2  Transitional Provisions

(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

Foreign Service travel, transportation, and related expenses under travel orders issued prior to the effective date of these regulations, but incurred after the effective date, are payable:

(1)  Under these regulations; or

(2)  Under regulations in effect at the time the travel order was issued.

14 FAM 511.2  Applicability

14 FAM 511.2-1  In General

(CT:LOG-195;   06-03-2015)
(Foreign Service)

a. Except as provided in 14 FAM 531.4 and 14 FAM 531.7, these regulations cover travel of Foreign Service (FS) employees and the members of their families, storage and shipment of their effects and motor vehicles, and apply to travel and transportation within the United States as well as abroad.

b. Except where indicated otherwise in the section heading, the travel and transportation regulations for Civil Service (CS) employees are contained in the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) at 41 CFR 300 through 41 CFR 304.  The FTR is issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5701 through 5 U.S.C. 5709, and 31 U.S.C. 1353.

c.  For USAID, these regulations also cover Foreign Compensation (FC) Schedule employees of participating agencies, including commissioned officers of the Uniformed Services assigned to USAID programs abroad.  These regulations do not apply to USAID third-country national employees as defined in pertinent USAID handbooks.  Expenses are allowed in accordance with the regulations in effect at the time expenses are actually incurred, except as provided by 14 FAM 511.1-2.

14 FAM 511.2-2  Relation to Federal Travel Regulation

(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

The Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) does not apply to travel authorized under the Foreign Service Act except as specifically referenced by Department regulations.

14 FAM 511.3  Definitions

(CT:LOG-319;   05-24-2021)
(Foreign Service)

Actual expense:  Payment of authorized actual expenses incurred, up to the limit prescribed by the agency.  Entitlement to reimbursement is contingent upon entitlement to per diem, and is subject to the same definitions and rules governing per diem.  This expense is sometimes called "actual subsistence expense."

Agency:  For the purpose of this regulation, Agency means the Department of State, USAID, Department of Commerce and/or Department of Agriculture.

Air gateway:  The point at which an air shipment enters the United States.

Approval:  Written approval for travel performed and related expenses incurred without prior authorization.

Authorization:  Written authority for travel and related expenses issued prior to commencement of travel.

Authorizing officer:  Any officer who has been delegated the authority to approve travel.

Baggage:  See luggage. Official and/or personal property needed by the traveler for use en route or immediately upon arrival at destination.  (See 14 FAM 568.)

Blanket travel authorization:  A travel authorization (open authorization) that allows for travel over an extended period of time and/or for multiple trips.  (See 14 FAM 521.3)

Bulkhead seating:  A seat at the front of the coach class cabin that is separated from business and/or first class by a wall or curtain.

Business class air accommodations:  A premium class of accommodations offered by airlines that is higher than coach and lower than first-class, in both cost and amenities.  This class of accommodation may be referred to as “business," "business elite," "business first," "world business," "connoisseur,” or “envoy,” depending on the airline.

Calendar day:  The 24-hour period beginning at one second after midnight (12:00:01 a.m.) and ending at midnight.

Charter flight:  The rental of an aircraft to transport passengers or freight, rather than purchasing individual airline tickets or freight space.  Charters are handled as a transportation matter, rather than as a procurement action.  See Chapter 10 of the Overseas Contracting and Simplified Acquisition Guidebook.

Chief of mission:  Chiefs of mission as defined by the Foreign Service Act (22 U.S.C. 3902), and principal officers at posts not subject to the administrative jurisdiction of another post.

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA):  The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), formerly the GSA Board of Contract Appeals.  The CBCA was established to hear and decide contract disputes between government contractors and executive agencies.  The CBCA also hears and decides various other classes of cases, including claims by Federal employees under 31 U.S.C. 3702 for reimbursement of expenses incurred while on official temporary duty travel or in connection with relocation to a new duty station; and claims by carriers of freight forwarders under 31 U.S.C. 3726(i)(1) involving actions of the General Services Administration regarding payment for  transportation services.  Typically employees may appeal decisions of the Exceptions Committee (see 14 FAM 514) of the Department or other foreign affairs agency to the CBCA.

Coach-class air accommodations:  The basic class of accommodations offered by an air carrier to passengers that includes a level of service available to all passengers regardless of the fare paid.  The terms "tourist” or “economy class” are used sometimes for this class of accommodation.

Coach-class train accommodations:  The basic class of train accommodations offered by rail carriers to passengers that includes a level of service that is available to all passengers regardless of fare paid.  The term "coach-class train accommodations" includes reserved coach accommodations, as well as slumber coach accommodations, when overnight travel is involved.

Code-share flight:  A U.S.-flag air carrier service resulting from an agreement between a U.S. carrier and a foreign carrier which allows the U.S. carrier to lease seating space on an aircraft belonging to (and operated by) a foreign carrier.  A code-share flight qualifies as a U.S.-certificated service and complies with the Fly America Act, 49 U.S.C. 40118, and the FTR at 41 CFR 301-10.134, provided the ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, identifies the U.S. carrier’s code and flight number.

Common carrier:  Private-sector supplier of air, rail or bus transportation for passengers, and air, rail, surface (overland or over ocean) or a combination thereof for freight and/or personal effects shipments.

Construction materials:  Items of a nature and in volumes that would normally be used to construct or renovate a portion of a dwelling, or to construct a product exceeding the size of an ordinary item of furniture for personal use.  Examples of construction materials include:  wooden planks, boards, ceiling tiles, floor tiles or flooring, roofing materials, windows or doors or framing thereof, masonry, bricks, blocks, cement, sand, paneling, drywall boards, or hardware (e.g., nails) in volumes greater than would normally be used in an ordinary household workshop.  Those materials that are part of artwork or crafts in total weight of less than 200 pounds may be regarded as household effects as determined by inspection as required.  Construction materials are not authorized for transport or storage as part of an employee’s household effects (HHE) shipment.  (See 14 FAM 611.5.)  Employees or GSOs who are in doubt whether items qualify as HHE should contact the Office of Logistics Management (A/LM) in advance of making the shipment.

Constructive cost:  A cost that reflects the total amount of per diem, travel, transportation, and incidental expenses the U.S. Government would pay for an employee’s direct travel.  For cost constructing purposes, only the travel and transportation costs may be used as a basis for the cost construct.

Continental United States (CONUS):  The contiguous 48 States and the District of Columbia.  See also the definition for United States.

Continuous storage:  The permanent storage of household effects while an employee is assigned to or is at an official station or duty post to which the employee is not authorized to take a portion of the regulatory HHE weight entitlement due to post specific weight or other post specific restrictions, or which is authorized in the public interest.  (This term has the same meaning as non-temporary storage.)

CONUS:  The continental United States consisting of the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia.

Contract carriers:  U.S. certified air carriers that are under contract with the Government to furnish Federal employees and other persons authorized to travel at Government expense with passenger transportation service.  This also includes General Services Administration’s (GSA's) scheduled airline passenger service between selected U.S. cities/airports and between selected U.S. and international cities/airports at reduced fares.

Cost-constructed travel:  Travel based on a cost comparison between the cost of official (i.e., direct) travel and the cost of personal (i.e., indirect) travel.  When cost constructing travel, the traveler can only claim the cost of the fare(s) the U.S. Government would have paid to the contract and/or common carrier or the cost of the commercial fare(s) the traveler actually paid to common carriers, whichever is less.  Cost-constructed travel is subject to the provisions of 14 FAM 546, 14 FAM 585.2, and other Department travel regulations and policies.

Cruise vessel:  Any ocean vessel that provides accommodations for passenger travel.  The term "steamer" does not include local commuter launches.  (See 14 FAM 567.1 regarding class of accommodations).

Department:  When used alone with no other modifier, refers to the Department of State.

Destination rate:  The per diem rate applicable to the next location where the employee will perform temporary duty or where the employee makes an en route stopover to obtain overnight lodging.

Direct route:  The usually traveled route consistent with the most expeditious mode of transportation and the established scheduled services of contract and other common carriers.  A direct route takes into consideration the provisions of 14 FAM 585.1, and other provisions of the Department travel regulations.  It is also known as a usually traveled route.

Direct travel:  Official travel from authorized origin to authorized destination that uses the mode of travel authorized in the orders and consistent with the established scheduled services of contract and other common carriers.  Direct travel is subject to the provisions of 14 FAM 585.1 as well as other provisions of Department travel regulations.

DOC:  Department of Commerce, a foreign affairs agency.

DOS:  Department of State, a foreign affairs agency.

Duty station:  The station to which an employee is officially assigned.  Also, see definitions of official station and post in this section.

Educational Allowance Travel:  Travel authorized for EFM children to attend elementary or secondary school away from post.  Periodic roundtrip travel is allowed to coincide with school breaks and holidays as long as there is sufficient funding in the allowance grant (see DSSR 277.2(c)).

Educational Travel:  An allowance to provide EFM children roundtrip transportation to and from post when attending full-time post-secondary school away from post.  Educational travel is managed and funded at post and is for one round-trip within a 12 month period.  It is permissible up to the EFM's 23rd birthday, except when the education is delayed by military service.  Travel must begin or end at post and is based on the anniversary date of the first leg of travel (see DSSR 280).

Effects:  See definition of household effects in this section.

Eligible family members (EFM):

(1)  Children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age or, regardless of age, are unmarried and due to mental and/or physical limitations are incapable of self support.  The term “children” must include natural offspring, step-children, adopted children, and those under permanent legal guardianship (at least until age 18), or comparable permanent custody arrangement, of the employee or spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 when dependent upon and normally residing with the guardian or custodial party, and U.S. citizen children placed for adoption if a U.S. court grants temporary guardianship of the child to the employee and specifically authorizes the child to reside with the employee in the country of assignment before the adoption is finalized;

(2)  Parents (including stepparents and legally adoptive parents) of the employee or of the spouse or of the domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610, under the following conditions and when the employee provides such documentation as the Department may require (parents do not receive benefits under the Department's Medical Program as outlined in 16 FAM 211.1):

(a)  The parent has resided with the employee for at least 6 of the 12 months immediately preceding the date when the employee applies for EFM status for such parent, except that:

(i)     When an employee completes an assignment, as defined in 3 FAH-1 H-2423, paragraph c, to an unaccompanied post and is then re-assigned on a post-to-post transfer overseas, the 12-month figure in subparagraph (2)(a) of this definition will be extended by the length of the employee’s actual service at the unaccompanied post;

(ii)    For purposes of computing ISMA (DSSR Section 260), in cases where an employee is assigned to an unaccompanied post, the 12-month figure in subparagraph (2)(a) of this definition will be extended by the length of the employee’s tour of duty at the post; and

(iii)    The Director General (DG) may waive this co-residence requirement, upon application by an employee, in cases in which a parent was not residing with the employee for the period required in subparagraph (2)(a) of this definition, and [1] has experienced an unexpected and sudden deterioration in his or her physical or mental health during this same period and is no longer able to perform at least two activities of assisted daily living (ADL) or requires supervision due to severe cognitive impairment.  Activities of Daily Living from the FSA/FEDS Glossary are the basic activities of caring for oneself by eating; dressing; bathing; toileting (using the bathroom); transferring (moving back and forth from a bed to a chair); and continence (the ability of the body to control urination or bowel movements or both).  Insurance companies use the inability to perform a specified number of these ADLs to help determine eligibility for long-term care insurance benefits.  MED must confirm to the Director General that such deterioration has been satisfactorily documented by an accredited medical professional or [2] has been widowed during this same period;

(b)  Necessary living expenses and gross income:

(i)     The employee and/or spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 provide at least 51 percent of the parent’s necessary living expenses calculated against the parent’s gross income, and have done so for at least 12 months prior to the date when the employee applies for EFM status for such parent; and

(ii)    The parent’s own gross income, as defined in subparagraph (2)(c)(ii) of this definition, does not exceed a threshold amount as determined by the Director General on an annual basis.  For purposes of this subsection only, the calculation of gross income excludes the contributions made by an employee and/or spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 to the parent’s gross income as well as subparagraph (2)(c)(ii), item [3], and subparagraph (2)(c)(ii), item [4], of this definition;

(c)  For purposes of subparagraph (2)(b) of this definition:

(i)     “Necessary living expenses,” means the parent’s total expenditure for food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; and

(ii)    “Gross income" means the sum of [1] all wages, earnings, payments in the form of dividends, capital gains, U.S. Government and private pensions, and similar payments from foreign governments' annuities, and similar income from whatever source, as the Department may specify, but excluding Social Security Disability Income Benefits (U.S. and foreign government equivalent), life insurance proceeds, and inheritances; [2] potential income, calculated according to a formula determined by the Department, from assets that the parent has voluntarily elected to make nonincome producing; [3] cash, or direct payments to a provider, for necessary living expenses, that an employee or spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 provides to the parent; or [4] the imputed value of housing, as may be defined by the Department, provided to the parent by the employee and spouse;

(d)  The sole purpose of allowing EFM status is so they may reside abroad with the employee.  The Department’s approval of EFM status for a parent is valid for only a single tour of duty abroad (3 FAH-1 H-2425.5 (2)).  The Department must reauthorize such status for a parent when an employee is assigned from one post to another without an intervening domestic assignment.  EFM status for a parent automatically terminates once an employee returns to the United States to assume a domestic assignment or if the parent voluntarily departs post and that departure has exceeded or will exceed a total of 90 days during one 12 month period.  Any departure by a parent is considered to be voluntary except as ordered by the post or the Department;

(e)  EFM status for a qualified parent may continue when the employee is assigned from an accompanied post to an unaccompanied post and the parent resided with the employee at the accompanied and would reside at the new post if not prevented from doing so by Department rules and regulations;

(f)   For purposes of this section, the Department will consider an application submitted by an employee for EFM status during a tour of duty, as defined in subparagraph (2)(d) of this definition, for up to but not more than two parents for any employee and up to but not more than two parents-in-law for an employee’s spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610; and

(g)  This definition must apply to all EFM determinations made subsequent to its effective date.  It must not, however, apply in cases of existing assignments, including assignments for which the Department has already approved EFM status for a parent but the employee has not yet departed for post;

(3)  Sisters and brothers (including stepsisters or stepbrothers, or adoptive sisters or brothers) of the employee, or of the spouse when such sisters and brothers are at least 51 percent dependent on the employee for support, unmarried and under 21 years of age, or regardless of age, are physically and/or mentally incapable of self-support (these sisters and brothers are not authorized medical travel; see 16 FAM 312); and

(4)  Spouse.

ELSO (European Logistical Support Office)—Antwerp:  Located in Antwerp, Belgium, ELSO provides for the handling of household effects (HHE) to specified posts abroad.

Emergency Visitation Travel:  A benefit to an eligible employee or family member to travel at U.S. Government expense from post to the United States or other location in certain situations of family emergency.  For EVT policy and eligibility, see 3 FAM 3740 and 3 FAH-1 H-3740.

Employee:  A U.S. citizen appointed in any one of the categories listed in section 103 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 3903), or appointed pursuant to other statute deriving employment authority from the Act, but excluding USAID third-country national employees.

Employee with a disability:  See also special needs.  An employee who has a disability as defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 701 through 29 U.S.C. 796(l) and implementing regulations.

Exceptions Committee (EC):  A committee established to review requests from employees for relief from costs incurred due to travel, transportation, or storage of effects that are truly exceptional in nature.  For EC policy and requirements, see 14 FAM 514.

Excess luggage:  The extra weight or number of pieces of accompanied baggage (luggage) that exceed the checked luggage allowance outlined in 14 FAM 568.1.

Extra-fare train:  A train that operates at an increased fare due to the extra performance of the train (i.e., faster speed or fewer stops).  The term "extra-fare train" does not mean first-class train accommodations, even though an extra-fare train may offer first-class accommodations (see 14 FAM 567.1-4 for rules governing extra-fare service).

FAS:  Foreign Agricultural Service, the foreign affairs arm of the Department of Agriculture.

FCS:  Foreign Commercial Service, the foreign affairs arm of the Department of Commerce.

First-class air accommodations:  Generally, the highest class of accommodations offered by the airlines in terms of both cost and amenities.  It is termed “first-class” by the airlines and by any reservation system.

First-class cruise vessel accommodations:  Includes all accommodation classes above the lowest class, including, but not limited to, suites.

First-class train accommodations:  Includes bedroom, roomettes, club service, parlor car accommodations, business-class, or other premium accommodations.

Foreign air carrier:  An air carrier that is not holding a certificate issued by the United States under 49 U.S.C. 41102.

Foreign area:  Any area, including the Trust Territories of the Pacific islands, situated both outside CONUS and outside the nonforeign areas.  See also nonforeign area.

Foreign-flag vessel:  Vessel registered under the laws of a foreign country.

Global distribution system (GDS):  A worldwide computerized travel reservation network used as a single point of access for reserving airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items by travel agents, online reservation sites, and large corporations.

Government contractor-issued individually-billed account (IBA) charge card for travel:  A Government contractor-issued charge card, also known as a travel card, issued to an employee to pay for official travel and transportation related expenses, such as meals, lodging, and rental cars while on official travel.  The contractor bills the employee for use of the travel card and the Department reimburses the employee for authorized official travel-related expenses.

Government Transportation Request (GTR) (SF- or OF-1169):  A Government procurement form used to procure common carrier transportation services when no other option (i.e., centrally billed account (CBA) or individually billed account (IBA) charge cards can be used.  This purchase form may be used to procure directly from either a Travel Management Center (TMC) or a travel agent, and obligates the Government to pay for travel and transportation services provided.

Gross weight:  Obtained by adding to the net weight the weight of lift vans, outside shipping containers, and the weight of dunnage or bracing material used to secure articles in such vans or containers.

Head of an executive department or agency:  Means the Secretary of State, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Agriculture, or USAID Administrator, or a person exercising authority delegated by the agency or executive department head.

Heads of agency at establishments abroad:  The highest ranking person at an agency establishment abroad authorized to make determinations on behalf of the agency.  Includes, but is not limited to, the USAID mission director or USAID representative; officers in charge of radio relay stations or radio program centers; and officers in charge of regional service centers.

Household effects (HHE):  Property, unless specifically excluded, associated with the home and all personal effects belonging to an employee and immediate family members that legally may be accepted and transported by a commercial carrier.  (See 14 FAM 611.5 for a representative list of what is included in and excluded from HHE.)

Incidental expenses:  See the definition of per diem.

Indirect route:  The portion of any journey that deviates from a usually traveled route.

Indirect travel:  Personal travel done on a cost-constructive basis against official (i.e., direct) travel.  Indirect travel is subject to the provisions of 14 FAM 585.2 as well as other Department travel regulations and policies.

Inherited personal effects:  Personal effects that come into an employee’s possession upon the death of a family member of the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610, or when the family member is placed into a custodial care facility.

Innovative Mobility Technology Company (IMTC):  An entity, other than a TNC, that applies technology to expand and enhance available transportation choices and better manage demand for transportation services.  Examples of IMTCs include ZipCar, Car2Go, bike-share programs, and scooter-share programs.

Layover:  The period of time between connecting flights during travel.  Per diem including lodging may be authorized for layovers that encompass any hours of darkness during which it could normally be expected that the traveler would need to sleep between flights.  Per diem including lodging may be authorized for extended daytime layovers in circumstances during which it could normally be expected that the traveler would need bed-rest; for example, travelers with special needs or families with infants.  (See the definition of per diem.)

Locality rates:  The maximum per diem rates prescribed for specific localities.

Lodging:  See the definition of per diem.

Lodging-plus per diem system:  A single worldwide computation system that includes two components:

(1)  A fixed maximum rate for commercial or other lodging as prescribed by the appropriate agency's regulations (the authorizing officer may specify a lesser rate under certain circumstances); and

(2)  A fixed locality rate for meals and incidental expenses that requires no receipts or traveler certification.  These rates are prescribed by the appropriate agency's regulations (the authorizing officer may specify a lesser rate under certain circumstances).

Lowest-class cruise vessel accommodations:  The least expensive class of reserved accommodations available on a steamer.

Luggage:  Official and/or personal property needed by the traveler for use en route or immediately upon arrival at destination.  See 14 FAM 568.

Meals:  See the definition of per diem.

Mobile home:  Any type of house trailer or mobile dwelling constructed for use as a residence and designed to be moved overland, either by self-propulsion or towing.  (See 14 FAM 632.1 (d) regarding transportation of mobile homes during domestic transfers.)

myData:  Previously, eForms.  The Department's online form repository providing access to Department DS travel forms (previously DS, JF, and SF forms).

Net weight:  Consists of actual effects plus cartons, barrels, fiber drums, crates and boxes, as well the necessary wrapping and cushioning material, used to pack small or fragile articles for shipment or storage.  Such articles include clothing, linens, books, pictures, mirrors, lampshades and bases, bric-a-brac, glassware, chinaware, and other small articles that normally require preliminary packing before removal from the residence.

New appointees:  Includes not only individuals when first appointed to U.S. Government service but also individuals appointed after a break in service except that employees separated as a result of reduction-in-force or transfer of function may be treated as transferees instead of new appointees.  New appointees do not include individuals who transfer from one Federal Government personnel system to another Federal Government personnel system where there is no break in service.  (See 14 FAM 571.2 (c) for per diem for new appointees.)

Non-foreign area:  The States of Alaska and Hawaii, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories and possessions of the United States (excludes the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands).

Nontemporary storage:  The permanent storage of household effects while an employee is assigned to or is at an official station or duty post to which the employee is not authorized to take a portion of the regulatory HHE weight entitlement due to post specific weight or other post specific restrictions, or which is authorized in the public interest.  (This term has the same meaning as continuous storage.)

OCONUS:  Outside the continental United States (CONUS).

Official rest stop:  An official rest stop is defined as a U.S. Government-funded rest period, not to exceed 24 hours, plus necessary time to obtain the earliest transportation to the authorized destination.  Full per diem (lodging and miscellaneous and incidental expenses (M&IE)) at the official rest-stop location rate is authorized in these circumstances.  (See 14 FAM 584.4 and 14 FAM 567.2-4, for official rest-stop authorization criteria.)

Official station:  The official station of an employee is the location of the employee's permanent work assignment.  The geographic limits of the official station are:

(1)  The corporate limits of the city or town where stationed; or

(2)  If not in an incorporated city or town, the reservation, station, or other established area (including established subdivisions of large reservations) having definite boundaries where the employee is stationed.

Overnight:  The period during which lodging for sleeping facilities is authorized, usually during the hours of darkness between sunset and sunrise.

Per diem:  The per diem allowance (also referred to as subsistence allowance) is a daily payment instead of reimbursement for actual expenses for lodging, meals, and related incidental expenses.  (See 14 FAM 562 and 14 FAM 563.)  The per diem allowance is separate from transportation expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.  The per diem allowance covers all charges, including taxes and service charges where applicable for:

(1)  Lodging.  Includes expenses for overnight sleeping facilities, baths, personal use of the room during daytime, telephone access fee, and service charges for fans, air conditioners, heaters and fires furnished in the room when such charges are not included in the room rate.  Lodging does not include accommodations on airplanes, trains, buses, or ships.  Such cost is included in the transportation cost and is not considered a lodging expense.  (See definitions for layover and overnight);

(2)  Meals.  Expenses for breakfast, lunch, dinner and related tips and taxes (specifically excluded are alcoholic beverage and entertainment expenses, and any expenses incurred for other persons); and

(3)  Incidental expenses:

(a)  Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries;

(b)  Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, (except as specified in 14 FAM 562.2, subparargraph a(8)); and

(c)  Mailing cost associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of Government sponsored charge card billings.

Post of duty:  The duty station to which an employee is assigned, OCONUS or CONUS.

Privately owned motor vehicle (POV):  A privately owned motor vehicle is a motor vehicle owned by the employee or a member of the employee's family who is authorized to travel, and used by the employee and/or employee's immediate family for the primary purpose of providing personal transportation (see 14 FAM 615.7 for limitations at specific posts).

Proceed on or about:  The date indicated on the travel authorization that the official travel is expected to begin.  Official travel may begin as many as two (2) days before or two (2) days after the indicated proceed-to-travel date, but the length of the official travel must not exceed the total number of days of the temporary duty.  (See 4 FAH-3 H-465.3-3)

Seat selection policy:  Each official traveler, regardless of age, is entitled to occupy a seat on and airplane as listed in (14 FAM 567.2-1).  This policy does not include premium seating products (i.e., business or first-class seating).

Separate maintenance allowance (SMA):  An allowance intended to offset the additional expenses incurred by an employee who is compelled by the circumstances described in subparagraphs (1) through (3) of this definition, to maintain a separate household for the family or a member of the family:

(1)  Involuntary SMA (for the convenience of the U.S. Government):  When adverse, dangerous, or notably unhealthy conditions warrant the exclusion of members of family from an area or when the agency determines a need to exclude members of a family from accompanying an employee to an area;

(2)  Transitional SMA (following termination of an evacuation and conversion of a post to an unaccompanied status):  The purpose of transitional SMA is to assist an employee with additional costs incurred when eligible family members are required to occupy commercial housing while establishing permanent housing following an evacuation; and

(3)  Voluntary SMA (for special needs or hardship of an employee):  When an employee requests SMA for special needs or hardship prior to or after arrival at post for reasons including but not limited to career, health, education, or family considerations for the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610, children, or other family member (children, including sisters and brothers, unless attending secondary school must be under age 18 or incapable of self support).

Single-class air accommodations:  This term applies when an airline offers only one class of accommodation to all travelers.

Slumber coach:  Includes, in the United States, slumber coach accommodations on trains offering such accommodations, or, in general, the lowest level of economy sleeping accommodations available on a train.

Special needs:  Physical characteristics of a traveler that do not necessarily meet the definition of “disability” under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Such physical characteristics could include, but are not limited to, the weight or height of the traveler, or a temporary medical condition.  (See also employee with a disability.)

Standard CONUS rate:  Generally, the standard CONUS per diem rate is prescribed for any location within CONUS that is not included in one of the defined localities or areas for which a specific rate is prescribed in FTR, Chapter 301, Appendix A.

Temporary detail:  Temporary duty at a place other than the employee's official duty station or post of assignment.

Temporary duty (TDY) location:  A place, away from an employee's official station, where the employee is authorized to travel.

Temporary storage:  The storage of household effects for a limited period of time at place of origin, destination, or en route in connection with transportation to, from, or between official duty stations.  Also, see definitions of continuous storage and nontemporary storage in this section.

TMONE (travel message one):  Assignment notification by GTM/EX.

TMTWO (travel message two):  An employee's requested travel itinerary and allowances for permanent change of station travel.

TMTHREE (travel message three):  An employee's welcome to post message sent by GTM/EX and providing information regarding the employee's assigned post.

TMFOUR (travel message four):  Personnel action and travel authorization for Foreign Service appointment, PCS, home leave/return to post, and separation.

TMEIGHT (travel message eight):  Cable notification confirming employee arrival at post (Note:  TMSIX and TMSEVEN are no longer in use).

Transfer:  A permanent change of station (PCS) from one post of assignment to another.

Transportation expenses:  Includes commercial bus, air, rail, or vessel/steamship fares.  Other transportation expenses include local transit system, taxi fares, cost of commercial rental cars and other special conveyances; and mileage and other allowances to cover operating expenses for use of privately owned conveyances, including fees for parking, ferries, etc.

Transportation Network Company (TNC):  An entity that uses a digital network to connect riders to drivers affiliated with the entity in order for a driver to provide transportation services.  Examples of TNCs include Uber, Lyft, DiDi, and Grab.

Travel advance:  Prepayment of estimated travel expenses paid to an employee.  (See 4 FAM 463.)

Travel authorization (orders):  Written permission for an employee to travel away from his/her official duty station on official business.  (See 14 FAM 521.2 for types of travel authorizations.)

Travel claim (voucher):  A written request, supported by documentation and receipts where applicable, for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of official travel, including permanent change of station (PCS) travel (See 14 FAM 517).

Travel management center (TMC):  A commercial travel agent under joint contract with the General Services Administration (GSA), Department of State, and other Foreign Affairs agencies.

Unaccompanied air baggage (UAB):  See 14 FAM 613.3.

United States:  The several States, the District of Columbia, and the States and areas defined under the term, non-foreign area.

U.S. Government aircraftManned or unmanned aircraft operated for the use of the Department, including:

(1)  Federal aircraft - manned or unmanned aircraft that the Department owns (i.e., holds title to) or borrows for any length of time; or

(2)  Aircraft leased as Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), which include:

(a)  Leased aircraft for exclusive use for an agreed upon period of time;

(b)  Capital lease aircraft for which the Department holds an option to take title;

(c)  Charter aircraft for hire under a contractual agreement for one-time exclusive use that specifies performance;

(d)  Rental aircraft obtained commercially under an agreement in which the Department has exclusive use for an agreed upon period of time;

(e)  Contracting for full services (i.e., aircraft and related aviation services for exclusive use); or

(f)   Obtaining related aviation services (i.e. services but not aircraft) by commercial contract, except those services acquired to support a Federal aircraft.

USAGM:  United States Agency for Global Media, formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).

USAID:  United States Agency for International Development, a foreign affairs agency.

USDA:  United States Department of Agriculture, a foreign affairs agency.

Usually traveled route:  See definition for direct route in this section.

Worldwide:  Within and outside the United States.

14 FAM 511.4  Authorities

(CT:LOG-282;   1-27-2020)
(Foreign Service)

a. Travel and transportation regulations and policy, as set forth in this volume of the FAM, are carried out under the applicable laws of the United States, principally those contained in:

(1)  The Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended;

(2)  The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, the Foreign Affairs Act of 1980 and Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1977;

(3)  The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, Executive Order 12163 dated September 1979, as amended;

(4)  The State Department Basic Authorities Act (Public Law 84-885), Section 28 (22 U.S.C. 2700);

(5)  5 U.S.C. 5701 – 5709;

(6)  31 U.S.C. 1353 (home-to-work transportation);

(7)  The Federal Management Regulation, 41 CFR 102-117.5;

(8)  The Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) (41 CFR 301-1.1);

(9)  The Fly America Act at 49 U.S.C. 40118, and provisions regarding use of U.S. flag sea vessels;

(10) USAID Automated Directives System sections ADS 522, ADS 523, ADS 524, ADS 525, and Series 500 Interim Update 18;

(11) Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas);

(12) 5 U.S.C. 5742;

(13) The Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998;

(14) Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 and related agreements (as described in section 3(a) of the Panama Canal Act of 1979); and

(15) USAID Automated Directives System section ADS 251, International Disaster Assistance, and Series 200 Interim Update 01-06, USAID/BHR Office of U.S. Disaster Assistance's Guidance for Disaster Planning and Response - FY2002.

b. The Secretary of State's authority for use of first-class train or steamer accommodations has been delegated to the Under Secretary for Management (M) under State Department Delegation of Authority 462 dated January 9, 2019.


(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

Any Department or Agency covered by these regulations may authorize any emergency, unusual, or additional payment pertaining to travel and transportation that is necessary or expedient, if allowable under existing authority, notwithstanding anything in these regulations.  For the Department of State, exercise of this provision requires the approval of M.


(CT:LOG-282;   01-27-2020)
(Foreign Service)

In accordance with the provisions of law and these regulations, Foreign Service employees and the members of their families are entitled only to actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official travel.  Travelers are expected to make a conscientious effort to minimize costs of official travel and to assume costs of a personal nature and any additional expenses incurred for personal convenience.  No expenses should be incurred prior to the receipt of an official travel authorization that specifically authorizes the expenditure and/or entitlement.  Any expense incurred prior to the issuance of a travel authorization may be considered unauthorized and not reimbursable.


14 FAM 514.1  Considering Exception Requests

(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

a. Although employees are responsible for strict compliance with these regulations, there are instances in which entitlements are exceeded or excess costs are incurred for travel, transportation, or storage of effects, despite all reasonable precautions taken by the employee.

b. Requests eligible for consideration by the committees will include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Excess or increased limited shipment weight when total amount shipped and stored does not exceed the combined shipment and storage allowance under 14 FAM 613;

(2)  Emergency storage of effects and/or privately owned motor vehicles;

(3)  Increased limited shipment weight following reduction due to a previous shipment in connection with marital separation, divorce, or statement of dissolution of domestic partnership as defined in 3 FAM 1610 (in line with provisions of 14 FAM 618.1 and 14 FAM 627.6) when total amount shipped and stored does not exceed the combined shipment and storage allowance under 14 FAM 611.6-1;

(4)  When the limited shipment allowance will not be sufficient to permit an employee, whose official position has truly representational responsibilities, to ship an adequate amount of furnishings to carry out this phase of official duties in a satisfactory manner; and

(5)  Occasions when an employee has need of professional materials related to official responsibilities and/or career specialization that are not otherwise available at the post.  (For professional materials for medical specialists, see 14 FAM 514.4.)

14 FAM 514.2  Role of the Exceptions Committee

(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

a. The Department of State, USAID, Commerce, and FAS have established special committees or internal agency procedures (employees should refer to their transportation offices) for reviewing requests for relief and recommending appropriate action when it has been conclusively demonstrated that such excesses have occurred through no fault of the employee, or when an increase in the limited shipping allowance is fully justifiable.  Employees who have unavoidably incurred excess charges for travel, transportation, or storage of their effects, or who can justify an increase in their limited shipping allowance, may submit their requests for appropriate relief to the Department of State, USAID, or Commerce (as appropriate) for consideration by these committees or other established agency procedures.

b. The exceptions committees ensures that employee requests for an exception are reviewed impartially and objectively, and determines if the circumstances of individual cases are truly "exceptional" in nature; e.g., beyond the employee's control.  Employees must have a compelling reason for requesting an exception, especially if it results in additional cost to the Government.

c.  The committees have no authority to recommend approval of a request for an increase in an employee's combined shipping and storage allowance or any other request which would be in violation of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or any other law or statute, or decisions of the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), or Comptroller General (GAO).

d. Denial of a request for exception will not preclude any right an individual may have to seek a ruling from the CBCA either directly or through the finance office of the appropriate agency.  Requests must include complete justification for the desired action, and whenever possible, be supported by pertinent written statements, inventories, bills of lading, or other supporting documents.

e. For State employees only:  The Exceptions Committee (EC) has authority over regulations pertaining only to travel, transportation, or storage of effects which are in these regulations; i.e., those found in 14 FAM.  The scope of the EC does not include regulations that come under the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR).

14 FAM 514.3  Composition of the Exceptions Committee

(CT:LOG-293;   10-05-2020)
(State/Agriculture only)
(Foreign Service)

a. The State Department Exceptions Committee is chaired by A/LM.  There are 10 voting members including representatives from the six regional bureaus, the Office of Career Development and Assignment (GTM/CDA/AD), the Transportation Management Division (A/LM/OPS/TM), the Office of Budget Analysis (BP/OBA), and the Global Talent Management Executive Office (GTM/EX).  In the event of a tie, the A/LM senior advisor will make the determining vote.

b. The USDA/FAS Exception Committee is chaired by the assistant deputy administrator, Office of Foreign Service Operations (OFSO).  Other committee members include the appropriate area director and the director of the International Services Division.

c.  The Department of Commerce Exception Committee is chaired by the Office of Foreign Service Human Capital Budget and Operations deputy.  Other committee members include the appropriate regional director and the career development officer.

14 FAM 514.4  Procedures

(CT:LOG-285;   05-15-2020)
(Foreign Service)

a. For State:

(1)  Forward all requests for committee consideration by email or memorandum, subject:  "Exception to Foreign Service Travel Regulations," to the executive director of the regional or functional bureau having management over the post/office to which the employee is assigned.  In the case of separations or if new assignment is to the United States, submit requests to the regional or functional bureau of last assignment.  Requests shall include a full and complete justification for the desired action, and  be supported by pertinent written statements, inventories, bills of lading, or other supporting documents;

(2)  The regional bureau executive office reviews the exception request; if supported, the executive office forwards it with the bureau’s memorandum of support and agreement with the employee's request to A/LM/OPS/TMP.  If the bureau declines to support the employee’s request, the bureau will notify the employee of the bureau’s decision;

(3)  A/LM/OPS/TMP will review the request to determine if the employee can be accommodated without an exception.  If A/LM/OPS/TMP determines that an exception is not necessary, they will notify GTM/EX and GTM/CDA/AD with a request to amend the employee's orders if applicable to do so.  They will also notify the employee and the regional bureau;

(4)  If A/LM/OPS/TMP finds that, given applicable statutes and regulations, an exception is necessary to grant the employee's request, then A/LM/OPS/TMP forwards the request to the full Exceptions Committee (EC) for review and a decision.  As committee chair, A/LM oversees the process and coordinates responses in a timely manner.  Additional supporting documentation will not be accepted by the Committee after voting commences or after the decision is reached, unless such documentation is specifically requested by the Committee;

(5)  If the EC approves the exception, GTM/CDA/AD and GTM/EX amend the travel authorization if required, and notify the employee and the regional bureau of the decision;

(6)  If the EC disapproves the exception, the decision is final.  The EC will not reconsider a case.  However, denial of a request for exception will not preclude any right an individual may have to seek a ruling from the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA);

(7)  In cases where the EC disapproves the exception, the employee is not relieved of the financial obligation for the excess transportation or travel costs incurred as a result of the employee’s action.  Excess costs related to shipment of personal effects must be paid by the employee before shipments can be initiated, regardless of whether an employee has submitted a request for exception concerning the shipment.  If the EC request is approved, the employee will be reimbursed accordingly.  If the EC determines that an employee cannot be relieved of a cost that the employee has not yet paid, the employee must pay the amount owed within 30 days of the date of the EC’s written decision.  In accordance with the provisions of 4 FAM 321, at posts abroad, payment is to be made to the post cashier; in Washington, DC, payment is to be made to CGFS/DFS/T, HST Room 1258.  If a receipt of payment is not received by A/LM/OPS/TMP within the 30 day time limit, the case will be forwarded to CGFS for collection; and

(8)  Requests for an exception for the shipment of professional materials must be filed by the employee through his/her bureau in advance of shipment of effects and will be acted upon expeditiously by the bureau and the Exceptions Committee, and resolved, whenever possible, prior to departure of the effects shipment from the origin.

NOTE:  Medical specialists are authorized to ship professional materials by air prior to departing to or from post as part of the authorized household effects (HHE) shipment allowance without approval from the Exceptions Committee.  Eligible employees should contact their HR technicians to include the entitlement on their travel authorizations.  Weights for professional materials by air are set at 500 pounds for doctors and psychiatrists, and 100 pounds for nurses and medical technicians.

b. For USAID:

(1)  Foreign Service personnel who have unavoidably incurred what they consider to be excess charges for travel, transportation, or storage of their effects should first seek relief through the normal administrative process;

(2)  In the United States, employees should submit requests to the USAID Office of Personnel Management, M/PM/FSP or M/PM/EPM, as appropriate;

(3)  At a post abroad, the request should be submitted to the appropriate approving official; and

(4)  Employees who have exhausted the normal administrative process and have not received a satisfactory resolution of their problem may submit a request for committee consideration to the chairperson, Committee on Exceptions, Office of Administration and Services, Travel and Transportation Division (M/AS/TT).

c.  For Commerce:

(1)  Foreign Service personnel who have unavoidably incurred what they consider to be excess charges for travel, transportation, or storage of their effects should first seek relief through the normal administrative process; and

(2)  Foreign Service personnel who have exhausted the normal administrative process and have not received a satisfactory resolution of their problem may submit a request for committee consideration through an e-mail or memorandum, subject:  “Exception to Foreign Service Travel Regulations,” to the Director of the Office of Foreign Service Human Capital, OFSHC.  Requests are to include complete justification for the desired action, and whenever possible, be supported by pertinent written statements, inventories, bills of lading, or other supporting documents.

d. For USDA/FAS:  FAS Foreign Service personnel who have unavoidably incurred what they consider to be excess charges for travel, transportation, or storage of effects should send an e-mail or memorandum, subject:  Exception to Foreign Service Travel Regulations, to the Director of the International Services Division, OFSO.  Requests are to include complete justification for the desired action, and whenever possible, be supported by pertinent written statements, inventories, bills of lading, or other supporting documents.


(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

a. Employees and their eligible family members traveling under official travel authorizations are expected to use the most direct and expeditious routes consistent with economy and reasonable comfort and safety.  By the same token, employees are expected to exercise good judgment in the costs they incur for all official transportation expenses as if they were personally liable for payments.

b. Claims against the U.S. Government for travel costs incurred by an employee are audited and approved according to this philosophy.

c.  The traveler is responsible:

(1)  For the correct performance of official travel;

(2)  For the payment of any charges incurred through failure to comply with the governing regulations, regardless of who may have assisted the traveler in making travel arrangements; and

(3)  For the value of tickets in traveler's possession purchased with U.S. Government funds or through the exchange of transportation requests.  In cases where excess costs occur despite reasonable precautions, requests for relief may be made as set forth in 14 FAM 514.


(CT:LOG-279;   11-20-2019)
(Foreign Service)

Local transportation, including taxicabs and privately owned motor vehicles at the post of assignment abroad, may be used for the performance of official duties that do not require a travel authorization.  Such use must be in accordance with the policies and procedures as established by the authorizing officer at the post of assignment (see 4 FAM 460 and USAID ADS Series 500 Travel and Transportation chapter).


14 FAM 517.1  Prompt Submission of Vouchers

(CT:LOG-279;   11-20-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. Upon completion of travel, the traveler is required to submit an expense report (voucher claim) for reimbursement of expenses within:

(1)  Five (5) work days of completion of authorized temporary duty (TDY) travel;

(2)  Five (5) work days of completion of permanent change of station (PCS); and

(3)  Five (5) work days for each thirty (30) calendar-day period for extended travel, including long-term training and PCS travel.

b. Noncompliance on submission of voucher/claim may result in recovery action in accordance with 4 FAM 490.  EXCEPTION:  USAID and Commerce on PCS travel require five (5) work days for completion of travel voucher.

c.  Travelers should not postpone this submission until completion of delayed travel by the employee's family or delayed transportation of effects.

d. Administrative approval of the travel vouchers by approving officials must be completed within two (2) work days of submission by the traveler (for procedures, see 4 FAM 460 and USAID ADS Series 500 Travel and Transportation chapter).

e. For Commerce:  When travel authorization or advance is issued in Washington, DC, voucher submission must be filed in Washington, DC.

14 FAM 517.2  Submission of Unused Tickets or Carrier Refund Applications for Exchange Tickets

(CT:LOG-126;   06-01-2012)
(Foreign Service)

Travelers should turn in any unused tickets immediately upon arrival at post to the administrative officer (or the executive officer for USAID), or, upon arrival in Washington, DC, to the executive office of the managing bureau or office in accordance with 4 FAM 460.

14 FAM 517.3  Required Receipts

(CT:LOG-282;   01-27-2020)
(Foreign Service)

Receipts are required for each allowable cash expenditure in excess of $75, unless it is not practicable to obtain them or if the duties of the traveler are of a confidential nature.  All receipts for seat selection policy (SSP) (formerly listed as extended economy seating 14 FAM 567.2-1) are required regardless of the amount.

14 FAM 517.4  Accountability for Serially Numbered Forms OF-1169 and SF-1103

(CT:LOG-282;   01-27-2020)
(Foreign Service)

a. An accountable officer is designated at each post to control the procurement, stock, distribution, and accountability for Form OF-1169, U.S. Government Transportation Request (GTR), in accordance with 14 FAM 544.4.  Similar procedures are followed by the accountable officer for the control and accountability for Form SF-1103, U.S. Government Bill of Lading (GBL), in accordance with 14 FAM 619.

b. Travelers are held accountable for all serially numbered forms furnished to them including spoiled, canceled, unused, lost, or stolen forms.  When a GTR is lost or stolen, the traveler immediately notifies the appropriate accountable officer in writing of the loss or theft and includes a complete statement of attendant facts.

14 FAM 518  and 519 UNASSIGNED