Mileage Reimbursement Laws for Washington State

by Jennifer F. Bender

Currently, the price of gas in Washington state hovers around $4 per gallon. With this high price, it is important to remember to keep track of mileage. State employees follow guidelines for mileage reimbursement set forth by the Washington State Office of Financial Management. As of the time of publication, the rate is 51 cents per mile.

Vicinity Travel

Vicinity travel is one method of calculating mileage reimbursement for state employees. This occurs when an individual travels within a city or local area for work. This mileage reimbursement is determined by actual odometer readings which are then documented in a travel reimbursement form. The amount of reimbursement is determined by multiplying the miles driven as claimed by the employee by a state determined monetary rate per mile. The state determined monetary rate per mile is based on the Internal Revenue Service's schedule which, as of the time of publication, is 51 cents per mile.

Point to Point Travel

Point-to-point travel is a second method of calculating mileage reimbursement for state employees. This is when an individual travels from one city or town to another. For reimbursement, an individual must verify the mileage with results from a mapping website or the mileage listed on the Department of Transportation's website. This information should accompany the reimbursement form. The reimbursement for this type of mileage is determined by multiplying the most direct mileage between the two points by the state determined monetary rate per mile.

State Travel

The Washington State Office of Financial Management sets guidelines in Chapter 10.50 of the State Administrative & Accounting Manual regarding mileage reimbursement for state employees. Besides using the vicinity and point to point travel methods, the State also allows reimbursement for both in-state and out-of-state mileage based simply on odometer readings. State agencies can follow any of the methods in reimbursing employees. State employees are reimbursed based on the current Internal Revenue Service mileage rate.

Other Forms of Travel

Planes, motorcycles, trailers, and campers can also qualify for mileage reimbursement in Washington state. Planes are reimbursed at $1.07 per nautical mile. To qualify for reimbursement, the piloted aircraft must be authorized in advance by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Motorcyles are reimbursed at $.305 per mile. Trailers and campers are reimbursed at the actual cost of the rental space. This must be evidenced by a receipt and cannot exceed the daily maximum lodging rate which, as of the time of publication, is $77 per night plus tax.