Montana Operations Manual Policy
Download the Travel Mileage Rates Policy (PDF Version) (Revised 12/20/2018)
Mileage Reimbursement Rates
This policy provides the current mileage reinbursement rates for official state travel allowed under 2-18-503, MCA.
This policy applies to all state agencies and instituions, excluding community colleges
III. Reimbursement Rates for Private Vehicle Travel
Allowable mileage rates are based on the annual standard mileage rate published by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The standard IRS mileage rate is updated every January 1st and Montana's mileage rates for the coming calendar year are updated at the same time. Specific mileage reimbursement rates are dependent on:
- The traveler's employment status with the State of Montana
- The availability of a government vehicle
- Total mileage driven in a calendar month.
A. Traveler is a State Employee
If a state employee, with their supervisor's prior approval chooses to use a private vehicle when a government vehicle is available, the employee is reimbursed at 48.15% of the current standard IRS mileage rate. The reduced standard IRS mileage rate is referred to as the "Standard Rate."
For calendar year 2019, the Montana standard rate is 27.9 cents per mile, based on the IRS standard mileage rate of 58.0 cents per mile
To be eligible to receive mileage reimbursement for use of a private vehicle for official state business, the Personal Vehicle use Authorization Form must be completed and approved prior to travel. The form is available on the Employee Travel webpage and must accompany a travel claim.
B. Travel with Sepcial Approvals
When a private vehicle is used because a government vehicle is not available, or it is in the best interest of the state not to use a government vehicle, AND either a Notice of Vehicle Unavailabilityy from the State Motor Pool or a speicfic exemption is attached to the travel claim, the standard IRS mileage rate of 58.0 cents per mile is paid for the first 1,000 miles driven in a calendar month. This is referred to as the "High Rate."
A Notice of Vehicle Unavailability is provided by the State Motor Pool if they are unable to fill a reservation request. To obtain this notice the emplloyee must have contacted the State Motor Pool in an attempt to reserve a Motor Pool vehicle for their travel.
Specific exemptions are allowed for:
- Employees who serve on a state board, commission, committee, or advisory council unrelated to their state employment
- Cases where the agency director, or designated approving authority, has provided written notice that use of a private vehicle is in the best interest of the state
- Cases where an employee travels 25 miles or less in any calendar day while conducting state business. Mileage claims where specific reimbursement exemptions exist still require completion and approval of the Personal Vehicle Use Authorization Form prior to using a private vehicle for official business, and must accompany a travel claim
An employee may claim mileage expense at the appropriate rate if they use their personal vehicle for transport between different daily work sites. Mileage claims are not allowed for commuting between home and headquarters at the beginning or end of a work day, or for a non-compensated break in the employee's work day.
For each mile driven over 1,000 miles in a calendar month, the standard IRS rate is reduced to 55.0 cents per mile. This is referred to as the "Low Rate."
C. Traveler is Not a State Employee
A traveler who is a member of the legislature, juror, witness, county agent, or any person except a state employee, is entitled to collect mileage at the standard IRS rate of 58.0 cents per mile for the first 1,000 miles traveled in a calendar month (High Rate). For each mile driven over 1,000 miles in a calendar month they are entitled to 55.0 cents per mile (Low Rate).
IV. Reimbursement Rate for Private Airplane Travel
Section 2-18-503(4), MCA, establishes the mileage rate to be used for reimbursing legislators, state officers and employeees, jurors, witnesses, county agents, and all other persons for use of their own airplane when performing official duties. For actual nautical air miles traveled, the rate is twice the "High Rate" allowed for personal vehicle use. Effective January 1, 2019, the reimbursement rate for private airplane use is $1.16 per nautical mile. Prior authorization for reimbursement must be made by a responsible agency manager and must accompany a mileage reimbursement claim.