Moving and Relocation Expences - UCI

Moving boxes and a moving truck

New employees staff and academics accepting positions at UC Irvine may be eligible upon advance approval for reimbursement of moving expenses, and removal expenses. To avoid confusion and delays it is important for departments to follow proper relocation procedures and to communicate these procedures accurately to applicable employees. There are multiple policies for Move & Relocation trips based on the employee’s title.

Reimbursable Move/Relocation Expenses

Relocation expenses generally will fall into one of these two types:

  1. Moving Household and Personal Move Expenses
    The reasonable costs of moving household goods and personal effects to a new residence. This includes the cost of travel to the new location for the eligible employee and immediate family members. Personal move expense is taxable/reportable to the employee and reimbursement is processed through the payroll department.
  2. Removal Library or Lab Expenses
    The cost of shipping a new faculty member's library and/or laboratory equipment to the Irvine campus. The library and/or laboratory equipment must be moved directly to the University and generally made available for use by faculty, staff, and students. Shipping a new faculty member's library and/or laboratory equipment to the Irvine campus is not taxable/reportable to the employee and considered a business expense.
General Guidelines

Removal expenses may be provided for certain new academic appointees (see APM-560-14) to academic positions.

  • Allows for 50% reimbursement of moving expenses.
  • More than 50% reimbursement requires written exceptional approval from the department dean.
  • Allows for 100% reimbursement of a personal library belonging to a newly hired faculty member, if such library is to be made generally available to students and faculty.
  • Deans have the authority to approve payments for moving expenses that are in accordance with University and campus policy.  The following policies may apply for academics. Refer to policy for additional information.
    • AMP-540, Travel Expenses 
    • APM-560, Removal Expenses/General  
    • APM-550, Moving Expenses for Intercampus Transfers
    • APM-561, Removal Expenses/Assistants
  • Academic titles not listed in the APM-560-14 will require exceptional approval from the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel. Examples: postdoc, clinical positions.

University's Managers & Senior Professionals (MSP), or Professional and Support (PSS) personnel may also be eligible for a relocation allowance. The policy applies for MSP and PSS personnel. Refer to the UC G-13 policy for additional information.

Claiming expenses that are not reimbursable per the job title will delay the reimbursement process.

A transferring employee relocating to a new UC location may be eligible for reimbursement of moving expenses. It is the responsibility of the department head to approve the payment of moving expenses that are in accordance with University and Campus policies for nonacademic employees.

Criteria for Reimbursement

The new employee's appointment must be covered by one of the following policies:

The reimbursement must also meet these criteria:

  • Related to the start of employment. Moving expenses must be incurred within one year of the start date.
  • Employee must be full-time for at least 39 weeks during the 12-month period immediately following the move. Should the employee voluntarily separate from the position prior to completing one year of service, the university may require repayment of moving and relocation expenses.
  • The distance between the former principal residence and new job location must be at least 50 miles or more than the distance between the employee's previous work location and the former principal residence.
  • Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 60 days of the move and must include supporting documentation, such as receipts, quotes, cost comparisons, invoices, currency conversions, and corresponding approvals.
  • All costs must be normal and reasonable, and all payments are based on actual expenses incurred.
Moving Expenses – Allowable Expenses

The new employee may be reimbursed for their actual out of pocket expenses.  Payment directly to one of UCI's preferred moving companies may be arranged in advance – visit Procurement Services website for more information.

  • One household move for goods and personal effects from the former primary residence to the new primary residence.
  • Packing, crating, transporting, unpacking, and uncrating household goods and personal effects.
  • Actual and reasonable expenses related to moving two personal motor vehicles per household.
    • Vehicles may be shipped or driven.
    • If driven the appointee/ employee will be reimbursed at the mileage rate published in UC Policy, G-28, Travel Regulations, the most direct route.
    • Insurance for household goods while in transit for up to 30 days.
    • Storage costs for up to 30 days after removal from former residence.
      • For the University's Managers and Senior Professionals (MSP) and Professional and Support Staff (PSS) personnel, Policy UC G-13 applies.
      • Academic appointees require exceptional approval from the dean.
Lab, Library, or Office Move

Shipping a new faculty member's library and/or laboratory equipment to the Irvine campus is not taxable/reportable to the employee and considered a business expense. The moving company must quote and invoice separately from household goods.

Other Moving Expenses for Managers and Senior Professionals (MSP) and Professional and Support Staff (PSS) personnel, Policy UC G-13 applies.

UC reimburses actual and reasonable housing-related expenses, if provided in the offer letter, as follows:

  • Up to 30 days furnished temporary lodging.
  • Groceries for up to 30 days for meals or up to 30 days of meal reimbursements if temporary lodging does not have cooking facilities.
    • Actual meal expenses capped at $79 per day per person. This is not a per diem.
    • Funding source may restrict reimbursement for alcohol.
Travel – Allowable Expenses

UC reimburses travel expenses for the new employee and members of their household in accordance with UC Policy G-28 Travel Regulations:

  • One-way air travel must be coach/economy class, no upgrades or higher cost services allowed for new employee and immediate family members.
    • Excess baggage fees are allowed with an explanation.
  • If driving a personal vehicle, mileage is based on the IRS rates, mileage reimbursed is based on most direct route from former residence to new residence.
    • Provide either a Google map or MapQuest printout for the mileage reimbursement.
  • Lodging while en route.
    • Room rate not to exceed $275 per night, before taxes and fees.
    • Must drive at least 300 miles per day.
  • Meals while en route are capped at $79 per day per person based on actual expenses.
    • This is not a per diem.
    • Must drive at least 300 miles per day.
  • If personal vehicle is shipped, rental car is limited to mid-size/intermediate size and fuel/gas is reimbursed.
  • Costs to transport household pets are allowable, not kenneling, or boarding expenses.
House-Hunting Trips
  • Not allowed for academic appointees and MSP/PSS staff.
  • For academic appointees, the trip would be considered a recruitment expenses for prospective faculty member, covered under the APM-540 and UC Policy G-28 Travel Regulations.
  • Senior Management Group SMG (SMG) appointees please refer to the policy – UC Regents Policy 7710
Non-Reimbursable Expenses
  • Assembly, disassembly, removal, and installation of unusual items.
  • Transport of non-domesticated animals, except those normally permitted in a residence.
  • Kenneling/boarding pets or other animals.
  • Motorized recreational vehicles.
  • Moving building supplies, farm equipment, firewood, plants, or foodstuffs (canned, frozen, or bulk).
  • Airfare, rental car, or lodging expenses paid with vouchers, gift cards, points, or rewards.
  • Moving costs associated with secondary (not primary) residence.
  • Travel costs or service compensation for non-professional moving help, family members or friends.
  • Repair or enhancements to the former or new residence.
Move & Relocation Reimbursement Process

Create a KFS Move and Relocation Reimbursement eDoc for:

  • Move/Relo travel expenses for the new employee and members of their household for final move in accordance with UC Policy G-28 Travel Regulations.
  • Personal move expenses based on the policy.
  • Lab or library move to UCI Campus.
  • House-hunting trip for SMG appointees.

Required documents in scanned images, upload only in the KFS Move/Relocations eDoc Image Scanning tab only.  Do not upload documents in the Notes & Attachments tab. All documents and receipts should be in Scanned Images.

The Image Scanning tab of a KFS document. The

  • UCI Relocation Expense Form
  • Copy of offer letter, includes name, and title of the new employee and start date.
  • Copy of signed exception memos.
    • For Academic Appointments the department may agree to pay 100% of these costs which will require an exceptional approval letter.
    • Postdoc and Clinical titles require the Vice Provost of Academic Personnel for exceptional approval.
  • Itemized receipts and invoice with proof of payment.
  • Proof of payment; copy of credit card statement showing the move expense, copy of cancelled bank check (front and back).
  • Airfare: must include the ticket number and proof of payment.
  • Lodging: must include the hotel folio or similar receipt with dates of stay, room charge and taxes, and proof of payment.
  • Meals while en route are capped at $79 per day per person, based on actual expenses. May not be treated as a per diem.
  • Driving a personal vehicle, provide a copy of Google Map or MapQuest, the most direct route from former residence to new residence.
  • Driving a rental vehicle, provide itemized rental agreement with proof of payment.
    • Fuel/gasoline receipts for rental vehicle.
Moving Expenses Reported as Imputed Income Subject to Tax Withholding

Employees should be aware all moving household and personal removal expense reimbursements are taxable/reportable. Taxes will be automatically deducted from the payment and reported on the employee's current year W-2. Amounts will be treated as taxable whether they are reimbursed to an employee or paid directly to a vendor. 

Move/Relocation Questions?

Contact your department for requirements and the proper procedure to request move/relocation reimbursement.

Tax Related Questions?

Please contact the Tax Compliance Analyst, Frank Say, email:

Payment/Reimbursement Questions?

The reimbursement to the employee is processed through the Payroll Department.  If there is a question on the status of the reimbursement, please create an EEC (Employee Experience Center) ticket. Go to: Employee Experience Center Self-Service and Help.