Public employees often drive designated vehicles for work purposes while on the job. For example, police officers drive squad cars and state workers often drive state-owned vehicles, In some instances, though, workers use their personal vehicles for work purposes. Minnesota state law dictates how public bodies in the state can compensate employees for their driving. State law allows employees to be reimbursed for their expenses, which include fuel costs, insurance costs and general maintenance and vehicle depreciation.
General Reimbursement Statute
Minnesota state law authorizes public entities in the state to reimburse employees for miles driven in personal vehicles. The law says that the miles must be driven for conducting official business. Entities affected include state employees of all agencies and departments, municipal police officers and firefighters, school district employees, and city, town and county employees and elected officials. Workers must use their own vehicles to be reimbursed.
Statute on Mileage Rate
Minnesota state law allows governing bodies in the state to set a mileage allowance rate. Alternatively, an agency can pay a monthly allowance. The law says only one of the two can be used, however. Therefore, an agency that pays a monthly allowance cannot compensate an individual for any extra mileage driven beyond what is covered by the monthly allowance. Instead, the allowance must be increased or the employee must forfeit a portion of the expense. The statute does not obligate the state governing body to pay mileage reimbursement. Minnesota’s state statute does not allow for different rates based on different types of driving. While each governing agency is allowed to set its own rate, the state law recommends that the rate be equal to or less than the federal Internal Revenue Service’s standard mileage rate. If an employee receives more than the IRS rate, the amount above the IRS rate is considered taxable income.
To receive compensation, Minnesota state law requires public workers to file a weekly or monthly log of their personal vehicle driving mileage. The mileage log serves as official documentation of all reimbursable mileage. The log must include an identification of the starting and ending point, the reason for the trip, the date of the trip and the mileage.
Mileage Reimbursement Limitations
Personal-use miles are not reimbursable. Additionally, agencies cannot reimburse employees for commuting miles between home and an office. However, the state can reimburse ileage from home to a destination other than the employee’s usual place of business. This includes mileage to an airport for a business trip. State law requires an agency to reimburse a public employee for medical mileage. This is mileage driven to a medical facility for treatment of an injury related to work performance. Minnesota state law also allows an agency to reimburse an employee for mileage driven while moving. The move must be from one workplace to another.