Bureau of Compliance Monitoring
Pesticide Applicator Certification & Licensing
- RUP License Requirements
- License Types
- License Fees
- License Categories, Exams, and Study Materials
- Exam Sites
- License Renewal
- Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
- Aerial Applicator Information
- Out-of-State Requirements
- Reciprocal Certification
- Database Searches
- Forms and Documents
- Contact Us
All persons who apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs) to any outdoor area in Florida not associated with buildings or public health pest control must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the FDACS Bureau of Compliance Monitoring, Pesticide Certification Section. Any treatments made within 10 feet of a building are considered to be associated with buildings and an RUP license is not valid.
In Florida, restricted use pesticide (RUP) licenses are for pesticide applicators who treat agricultural and related sites, such as agricultural fields, plant nurseries, golf courses, industrial sites, highway right-of-ways, and other similar areas not associated with buildings. For a complete list of license categories available, go to License Categories, Exams, and Study Materials below.
Restricted use pesticide (RUP) licenses issued by the Bureau of Compliance Monitoring, Pesticide Certification Section are not valid for residential applications, structural pest control, public health pest control (mosquito control, etc.) or application within 10 feet of any buildings. If you need a license for these uses go to Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control.
For assistance determining the type of certification or license needed, see our Certification and License Requirements Chart (pdf) which indicates the type of certification or license needed based on pesticide use.
Three types of pesticide applicator licenses are available from the FDACS Bureau of Compliance Monitoring, Pesticide Certification Section - private, public, and commercial. Each license type is described below.
Private Applicator License - This license is for people who use restricted use pesticides to produce an agricultural commodity on property they own or rent, or on property owned or rented by their employer. Examples of sites that qualify for a private license are farms, ranches, groves, nurseries, gardens, aquaculture operations, and livestock production operations. This license is valid for application of restricted use pesticides for ornamental and turf production (at a nursery, sod farm, etc.), but not for maintenance of ornamentals or turf, such as at a golf course, park, or zoo.
A commercial applicator license may substitute for a private applicator license for uses (categories) covered by the commercial license.
Public Applicator License - This license is for people employed by a government entity (federal, state, county, city, etc.) who use restricted use pesticides on the job for agricultural or related applications. This license is valid only for work performed for the government agency during the course of employment. Examples of qualified individuals are employees of municipal electric companies, city and county parks, government owned railways, state and federal highway departments, and state universities. A commercial applicator license may substitute for a public applicator license if desired. However, liability issues should be taken into consideration and discussed with the employer before making this decision.
Commercial Applicator License - This license is for people who use restricted use pesticides on any agricultural or related area not associated with buildings for any purpose other than as given above for private and public applicator licenses. This includes the following uses: 1) contract applications for other people to outdoor sites not associated with buildings, and 2) any other outdoor use not associated with buildings that is not involved in agricultural production and is not for a government employer. Examples of commercial applications are golf course turf maintenance, contract aerial application services, aquatic weed control service, park or cemetery maintenance, highway right-of-way maintenance by contract application, and custom application of pesticide/fertilizer blends to agricultural lands.
Any site within 10 feet of a building is considered "associated with buildings" and requires a license or certification from the Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control for any pesticide - general or restricted use - applied to the site. This includes applications to turf, ornamentals, and grounds for ant control, etc. within 10 feet of a building.
Applications for public health pest control (mosquito control, etc.) also require a license from the Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control.
Restricted use pesticide (RUP) licenses issued by the FDACS Pesticide Certification Section are valid for four years and expire at the end of the month four years from issue date.
License fees (new licenses or renewals) are as follows for a 4-year license:
- Private Applicator License $100
- Public Applicator License $100
- Commercial Applicator License $250
Licenses based on reciprocal certification with other states, agencies, or other FDACS pesticide licenses may be issued for a time period shorter than four years to coincide with the expiration date of the reciprocal license or certification period. License fees are prorated on an annual basis for licenses valid for less than three years (based on reciprocal licensing agreements or unusual circumstances).
Renewed licenses generally expire four years from the previous expiration date, regardless of the date renewed. Exceptions may be necessary based on reciprocal agreements or unusual circumstances.
The following tables list the restricted use pesticide (RUP) applicator license types and categories for Florida, exams required for certification and licensing, study or reference materials recommended for each exam, and sources for the reference materials. This information is also available as a stand alone chart on "License Categories, Exams, and Study Manuals" (pdf).
License Type: Private
|Category||Exams Required||Study Materials||Source|
|Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Private Application Agriculture||Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control (SM 053)||UF/IFAS|
License Type: Commercial and Public
|Category||Exams Required||Study Materials||Source|
|Aerial Application (Note 1)||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Aerial Application||Aerial Application (SM 041)||UF/IFAS|
|Agricultural Animal Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Agricultural Animal Pest Control||Agricultural Pest Control: Animals (SM 002)||UF/IFAS|
|Agricultural Row Crop Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Agricultural Pest Control: Row Crops||1. Agricultural Row Crop Pest Control (SM 005)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Spray Equipment & Calibration (SM 038)||UF/IFAS|
|Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control||Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control (SM 063)||UF/IFAS|
|Aquatic Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Aquatic Pest Control||Aquatic Pest Control Training Manual (SM 003)||UF/IFAS|
|Chlorine Gas Infusion||Chlorine Gas||Chlorine Gas Category Study Guide for Commercial Applicators||FDACS/AES|
|Demonstration and Research (note 2)||Demonstration and Research||Demonstration and Research Manual (SM 359)||UF/IFAS|
|Forest Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Forestry Pest Control||Pest and Pesticide Management on Southern Forests (SM 043)||UF/IFAS|
|Natural Areas Weed Management||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Natural Areas Weed Management||1. Natural Areas Weed Management (SP 295)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Control of Non-Native Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)||UF/IFAS|
|3. Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants Found in Florida's Natural Areas (SP 257)||UF/IFAS|
|Organotin Antifouling Paint||Organotin Antifouling Paint||Antifouling Paint Pest Control (SM 042)||UF/IFAS|
|Ornamental and Turf Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Ornamental and Turf||1. Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management (SM 007)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Spray Equipment & Calibration (SM 038)||UF/IFAS|
|Raw Agricultural Commodity Fumigation||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Raw Agricultural Commodity Fumigation||Raw Agricultural Commodity Fumigation (SM 066)||UF/IFAS|
|Regulatory Inspection and Sampling||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Regulatory Inspection and Sampling||1. Pesticide Sampling Manual||FDACS/AES|
|2. Pesticide Field Inspection Manual||FDACS/AES|
|Regulatory Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Regulatory Pest Control||Public Applicator Training Manual - Regulatory Pest Control||FDACS/DPI|
|Right-of-Way Pest Control||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Right-of-Way||Right-of-Way Pest Control (SM 009)||UF/IFAS|
|Seed Treatment||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Seed Treatment||Seed Treatment Manual||UF/IFAS/PIO|
|Sewer Root Control||Sewer Root Control||Sewer Line Root Control||Cornell|
|Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation||Soil Fumigation (SM 061)||UF/IFAS|
|Wood Treatment||1. General Standards (Core)||Applying Pesticides Correctly (SM 001)||UF/IFAS|
|2. Wood Treatment||The Preservation of Wood (SM 032)||UF/IFAS|
|WPS Crop Advisor Exemption||WPS Crop Advisor||WPS Crop Advisory (SM 054)||UF/IFAS|
Note 1: Certification and licensing in the aerial category is required for application of any pesticide (restricted use or general use) in Florida. Licensing in the aerial category alone authorizes aerial application only. Ground application of restricted use pesticides (RUPs) requires licensing in the appropriate ground application category (agricultural row crop, forestry, etc.). Aerial applicators who do not make determinations of when to treat or which pesticide(s) to apply, but only apply pesticides aerially on contract for or according to the directions of another individual who has made these determinations, are required to be licensed in the aerial category only. Aerial applicators who make their own determinations of when to treat and/or which pesticide(s) to apply must be licensed in all appropriate work-related categories (agricultural row crop, agricultural tree crop, forestry, etc.) in addition to the aerial category.
Cornell = Cornell University Pesticide Management Education Program. Telephone (607) 255-7282. Order Form (pdf).
FDACS/AES = Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Division of Agricultural Environmental Services/Bureau of Compliance Monitoring/Pesticide Certification Section. Telephone: (850) 617-7870. The Training Manual for the Chlorine Gas Infusion Category is also available online at: Chlorine Gas Manual 06-95 (pdf)
FDACS/DPI = Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Division of Plant Industry/Bureau of Methods Development and Biological Control. Telephone: (352) 395-4739.
UF/IFAS = University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/Extension Book Store. Telephone: 1 (800) 226-1764. Web site: http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/
UF/IFAS/PIO = University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/Pesticide Information Office. Telephone: (352) 392-4721.
Most of the certification exams for restricted use pesticide (RUP) applicator licenses are administered by the Cooperative Extension Service in local county offices statewide, and some exams are administered by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) personnel.
Exams Administered by the Cooperative Extension Service - A chart of Exams Given in Each County (pdf) shows which exams are offered by each Cooperative Extension Office. Individuals who need to take the exams should check with local Cooperative Extension Office(s) for training and exam schedules and to find out if registration or appointments are required. A Florida map with links to the County Extension Office web sites allows users to find contact information for each county office.
- Chlorine Gas Infusion Exam
- Regulatory Inspection and Sampling Exam
- Sewer Root Control Exam
- Regulatory Pest Control Exam
To make arrangements for testing in the first three categories listed above, call the FDACS Pesticide Certification Section at (850) 617-7870. These exams are administered in Tallahassee and possibly other locations upon prior arrangement.
The Regulatory Pest Control Exam is administered by the FDACS Division of Plant Industry to division employees. To make arrangements for testing, contact the Bureau of Methods Development and Biological Control at (352) 395-4739.
To renew a pesticide applicator license, applicators must first become recertified. Recertification is accomplished by either retaking the certification exams or accumulating Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Approximately 60 days before a license expires, a renewal notice is sent to the applicator. It is important that licensees notify the Department of any address change so renewal notices will be properly delivered. To update an address on file, applicators should submit a Change of Information (pdf) form or a written, signed request. These submissions may be faxed, mailed, or emailed to the Pesticide Certification Section. All submissions must be signed. Emailed submissions must include a scanned signature.
When a licensee receives a renewal notice, he/she should review and update the personal information so everything is current sign and date the renewal notice. The licensee should also indicate whether the license will be renewed by reexamination or by CEUs. If the licensee is going to renew by CEUs, they should review each Record of Attendance Form to ensure the CEUs were obtained during the current License Certification period, that they have the appropriate number of CEUs in the appropriate categories, and that they have signed each Record of Attendance form. Copies of all of the CEU Record of Attendance forms should be mailed with the Renewal notice.
If desired, some categories may be renewed by reexamination and other categories may be renewed with CEUs. The licensee should select the method of renewal and return the renewal form along with the required license fee and copies of the CEU attendance forms if renewing by CEUs. If renewing by reexamination, the applicator should take the exams before returning the renewal notice. Exam answer sheets are automatically forwarded from the exam site to the Pesticide Certification Section. The license can be renewed when the licensee passes the required exams and submits the required paperwork and license fee.
Applicator licenses may be renewed for up to one year after the expiration date. For renewal by reexamination, the exams must be passed within 12 months of license expiration date (from 12 months before license expiration until 12 months after license expiration), giving a two year period to pass the exams. All renewal paperwork and the license renewal fee must be received by the Department and the license must be reissued no later than one year after license expiration date. The required renewal paperwork includes the updated and signed renewal notice including the statement concerning restricted use pesticide use, CEU attendance records (if using CEUs to renew), or indication of exams retaken (if using exams to renew).
If a license is not renewed before it expires, no restricted use pesticides may be purchased or applied until the license is renewed. If a license is renewed after the expiration date, the applicator must submit a signed and notarized affidavit stating that he or she has not purchased or applied any restricted use pesticides since the license has expired. If a license is renewed more than 60 days after it expired, a $50 late fee is required in addition to the affidavit. Affidavit forms are mailed out with the renewal notices.
Licenses that have been expired for more than one year cannot be renewed. However, a new license can be obtained at any time by taking the certification exams again.
There are some situations when reexamination is mandatory for license renewal. Reexamination is required when the license has been revoked or suspended for six months or longer or when it is deemed by the Department that new information concerning pesticide use, application techniques, or impact on health or environment makes reexamination essential for continued competency. The Department will give adequate notice to all applicators affected in this situation.
License Requirements - Anyone who applies any pesticide (restricted use or general use) by aerial delivery in Florida for any purpose other than public health pest control must have a pesticide applicator license including the aerial category issued by the FDACS Bureau of Compliance Monitoring, Pesticide Certification Section, under the authority of Chapter 487, F.S. The license type may be commercial (for hired or contract applications) or public (for work-related applications made by government employees). Aerial application is not authorized for private applicators.
Aerial applications for public health pest control (mosquito control, dog fly control, etc.) require a Public Health Aerial Pest Control License issued by the FDACS Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, Mosquito Control Section.
Category Requirements - The agricultural aerial category is a primary category and is the only category required for aerial applicators who do not make pest management decisions (determining when to treat and which pesticides to apply). Aerial applicators licensed in the aerial category alone are licensed only to apply pesticides aerially according to the directions of another person who has made the pest management decisions. Aerial applicators who make determinations of when treatments are needed and which pesticides to apply must be licensed in all work related categories (agricultural row crop, agricultural tree crop, forestry, etc.) in addition to the aerial category.
Aerial applicators licensed in the agricultural aerial category only are not authorized to make ground application of restricted use pesticides. Applicators must be licensed in the appropriate ground categories (agricultural row crop, agricultural tree crop, forestry, etc.) to make ground application of restricted use pesticides to these sites.
Aircraft Registration - All aircraft used to apply pesticides, fertilizer, or seed must be registered with the Department and proof of insurance or surety bond must be provided for each aircraft used to apply agricultural pesticides. Go to Aerial Security for more information.
Recordkeeping - During times when an emergency declaration has been issued by the Florida Governor or Commissioner of Agriculture, aerial applicators must keep records relating to the aerial application of all pesticides, fertilizers, and seed. For details of the recordkeeping requirements, go to Aerial Security.
Applicators who are not Florida residents must file a Designation of Registered Agent (pdf) form with the Florida Department of State before a Florida pesticide applicator license will be issued under Chapter 487, F.S. The purpose of this form is to designate a responsible party upon whom legal process may be served in the event a law suit is filed against the applicator for violation of Florida laws or regulations. An applicator may designate a Florida resident individual as the responsible party, provided the individual signs to accept the responsibility, or the applicator may designate the Florida Secretary of State as the responsible party.
A filing fee of $87.50 is required by the Florida Department of State and must accompany the Designation of Registered Agent form. The Florida Department of State sends confirmation and a certified copy of each form filed to the FDACS Pesticide Certification Section, so pesticide applicators do not need to send these forms to the Pesticide Certification Section.
Once filed, a Designation of Registered Agent form remains in effect until changed or revoked. It is not necessary to file another form when a pesticide applicator license is renewed unless a change is needed.
Under the Authority of Chapter 487, Florida Statutes, Florida has developed reciprocal agreements with six other states to allow applicators licensed or certified in those states to obtain a Florida license without being retested. These agreements were developed based on frequency of applicator request for reciprocity and similar competency standards between states. For information on how to obtain a License under the Authority of Chapter 482, The Structural Pest Control Statutes, which includes Certified Pest Control Operators and Landscape Companies, this link will take you to their portion of the website: http://www.flaes.org/aes-ent/index.html.
Reciprocal agreements waive the requirement for applicators certified in reciprocal states, agencies, and tribes to take the Florida certification exams. However, the license requirement is not waived. All individuals who apply restricted use pesticides in Florida or who apply any pesticide in Florida by aerial delivery must have a Florida license issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Following is a summary of the categories of certification covered by each agreement.
Reciprocal Agreement Summary
|Aerial Application - Agricultural||yes||yes||no||yes||yes||no|
|Agricultural Plant/Agricultural Row Crop||yes /
|Aquatic Pest Control||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Demonstration & Research||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||no|
|Forest Pest Control||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Ornamental & Turf||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||no|
|Private Applicator Agriculture||no||no||yes||no||no||no|
|Regulatory Pest Control||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||no|
|Soil & Greenhouse Fumigation||no||no||yes||no||no||no|
FDACS may also be able to reciprocate on a case by case basis with other states, federal agencies, and tribal governments with EPA-approved pesticide certification programs, depending on the type of certification and categories held. When an individual requests a Florida license based on a certification or license issued by another state, federal agency, or tribe, the Pesticide Certification Section contacts the issuing agency to verify the type of certification and categories held. If the certification and categories held correspond with Florida categories and competency standards are similar, reciprocal certification may be granted.
FDACS will not reciprocate with Applicators licensed by another state, federal agency or tribe whose license was obtained through reciprocation. Florida will only consider reciprocity based on a license obtained through examination in that state. Each Applicant must provide documentation from the other states, agencies, or tribes as proof of certification or license from the issuing agency. Applicators must have taken the certification exams provided by the reciprocal state agency or tribe rather than having obtained certification there by reciprocity with another agency.
A Florida license based on reciprocal certification will expire at the same time as the reciprocal license or certification, or no more than four years from month of issue.
Points to Remember about using reciprocal certification to get a Florida license:
Reciprocal certification does not waive the requirement for a Florida license.
Reciprocal certification may be possible with states, agencies, and tribes without a reciprocal agreement in place, on a case by case basis.
Non-Florida residents must comply with out-of-state requirements.
Florida licenses can be issued for a term of no more than 4 years, so the expiration date on the Florida license may not be the same as the expiration date on the reciprocal license.
3125 Conner Blvd., Bldg. 8 (L-29)
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
(850) 617-7870 (telephone)
(850) 617-7895 (fax)
For questions, concerns, complaints or compliments please email us at AESCares@FreshFromFlorida.com