Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) – Overview, Applicability and Summary of Requirements

  • By: Staff Editor
  • Date: September 09, 2011
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The FTR is contained in 41 CFR Chapters 300-304. These implement statutory requirements and Executive branch policies for travel by federal civilian employees and others authorized to travel at government expense.

The Administrator of General Services promulgates the FTR to:

  1. Interpret statutory and other policy requirements in a manner that balances the need to assure that official travel is conducted in a responsible manner with the need to minimize administrative costs, and
  2. Communicate the resulting policies in a clear manner to federal agencies and employees.

Summary of Chapters

The five chapters that form the FTR include:


41 CFR 300 General
41 CFR 301 Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances
41 CFR 302 Relocation Allowances
41 CFR 303 Payment of expenses connected with the death of certain employees
41 CFR 304 Payment from a non-federal source for travel expenses



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Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances


According to the FTR, for the purposes of the TDY, an employee is an individual who:

  • is employed by an agency regardless of status or rank
  • is employed intermittently in Government service as an expert or consultant and paid on a daily when-actually-employed (WAE) basis
  • is serving without pay or at $1 a year (also referred to as “invitational traveler”)

The TDY covers the following individuals:

  1. Employees traveling on official business;
  2. Interviewees performing pre-employment interview travel;
  3. Employees who must interrupt official business travel to perform emergency travel as a result of an incapacitating illness or injury or a personal emergency situation; and
  4. Threatened law enforcement/investigative employees and members of their family temporarily relocated to safeguard their lives because of a threat resulting from the employee’s assigned duties.

Allowable travel allowances under TDY

The TDY chapter covers the allowable travel allowances (specifically transportation expenses) for the following:

  • Common carriers
  • Airline accommodations
  • Use of US flag air carriers
  • Train
  • Ship
  • Transit systems
  • Government vehicles
  • Privately owned vehicles
  • Special vehicles including taxis and rented automobiles

Relocation Allowances


The relocation allowance can be claimed by an individual if he/she is:

  • A new appointee to the official station
  • An employee transferred in the interest of the government from one agency or duty station to another for permanent duty. The new location has to be more than 50 miles distant from the old one
  • US Postal Services employee transferred for permanent duty
  • An employee performing overseas travel in accordance with overseas tour renewal agreement
  • An employee returning to place of residence after finishing a tour of duty
  • A student trainee assigned to any position upon completion of college work
  • An employee eligible for a “last move home” benefit upon separation from the Government
  • A Department of Defense overseas dependents school system teacher
  • A career appointee to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and prior SES appointee returning to official residence after separation
  • An employee assigned to a temporary duty station in connection with a long term assignment

Types of relocation allowances

According to the FTR, Relocation Allowances can be of the following types:

  • New appointee
  • Transferred employees
  • Types of transfers
  • Relocation of two or more employed immediate family members
  • Reduction in force location
  • Overseas assignment and return
  • Overseas tour renewal agreement
  • Prior return of immediate family members

Payment of Expenses Connected with the Death of Certain Employees
Chapter 303 of the FTR deals with the payment of expenses related to an employees’ death. The General Policies subpart of this chapter details when the expenses will be met.

Payment of expenses will be authorized if at the time of death an employee was:

  • On official travel
  • Performing official duties outside the Continental United States (CONUS)
  • On leave
  • Reassigned away from his/her official residence under a mandatory mobility agreement.

Subpart G of this chapter, dealing with the escort of remains of the deceased employee, states that travel expenses for only two persons escorting the remains will be authorized.

Escort of the remains will only be authorized if the employee’s death occurs:

  • When traveling away from his or her duty station in the US
  • While performing official duties outside the US or in transit

Payment of Travel Expenses from A Non-Federal Source

Chapter 304 of the FTR, Payment of Travel Expenses from A Non-Federal Source, aims to establish policy and guidance regarding when and how the government and federal agencies can accept travel expenses from non-federal sources for employees to attend meetings. This chapter also details the following requirements:

  • Prior agency approval is required before such payments can be accepted for an employee’s travel expenses.
  • Payments cannot be taken in the form of cash.
  • Employees cannot solicit payments from non-federal sources to attend meetings.
  • Violations of this part of the FTR can lead to financial penalties on the employee.

Additional Resources

Read the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) chapters in full.


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