State Licensing Contact Information

Contact Person: Antonio Castro-Escobar
Phone: (517)284-5659
Email: escobara@michigan.gov
Web: Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

What pesticide application activities require a license in Michigan?

The state of Michigan requires individuals to be either a certified pesticide applicator or registered applicator to apply a pesticide for a commercial purpose or in the course of his or her employment. 

What classifications of pesticide applicator's certification does Michigan have?

  • Commercial Pesticide Applicator
  • Private Pesticide Applicator
  • Registered Pesticide Applicator

What are the recognized categories for Michigan pesticide licensing?

  • 1A Field Crops
  • 1B Vegetable Crops
  • 1C Fruit Crops
  • 1D Livestock Pest Management
  • 2 Forest Pest Management
  • 2A Wood Preservation
  • 3A Turfgrass Pest Management
  • 3B Ornamental Pest Management
  • 4 Seed Treatment
  • 5 Aquatic Pest Management
  • 5A Swimming Pools
  • 5B Microbial Pest Management
  • 5C Sewer Line Pest Management
  • 6 Right-of-Way Pest Management
  • 7A General Pest Management
  • 7B Wood Destroying Pest Management
  • 7D Vertebrate Pest Management
  • 7E Interior Plant Pest Management
  • 7F Mosquito Management
  • 7G Domestic Animal Pest Management
  • 8 Public Health Pest Management
  • 9 Regulator Pest Management
  • 10 Demonstration and Research pest Management
  • AE Aerial
  • FUM Fumigation

A description of each category may be found here.

Does my company need a separate Michigan pesticide applicator's license?

Before a business holds themselves out to the public as being in the business of applying pesticides for hire, the business must first obtain a commercial pesticide applicator business license. Contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development Central Licensing Unit at 800-292-3939 to start the process or visit the Pesticide Application Business License webpage.

Does the state of Michigan offer pesticide applicator reciprocity with other states?

Michigan offers reciprocity with Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Commercial and private applicators who are residents of these states may be granted reciprocal certification without examination. To obtain Michigan certification credentials as part of a reciprocal agreement, submit an application and the prescribed fee (payable to State of Michigan) to MDARD at the address listed on the application.


What are the requirements to become a Michigan certified pesticide applicator?

Commercial Pesticide Applicator

  • Individuals must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Individuals must pass a minimum of two exams.
  1. The general standard exam (CORE); and
    b.  A minimum of one category and/or subcategory exam in the applicant's area of pesticide application. Additional standards are required for individuals who   use fumigant pesticides or apply pesticides by aircraft.

Submit the completed application and appropriate fee.

Private Pesticide Applicator

Owned or rented by an individual or his/her employer; or
On property of another for no compensation other than trading of personal services between producers.

  • Individuals must be 18 years of age or older.
    •  Individuals must pass the private general standard exam (CORE).
    •  An additional standard exam is required for individuals who use fumigant pesticides or apply pesticides by aircraft.
    •  Submit the completed application and appropriate fee.

Registered Pesticide Applicator

Registered applicators must pass the general standard exam (CORE) and complete a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development approved training program coordinated by an MDARD Approved Trainer.  The training program must be verifiable and category-specific. (Note, the registered applicator must be under direct supervision while making any pesticide applications during the training program. A pesticide applicator is considered to be under direct supervision of a certified applicator when the certified applicator is physically present at the time and place the pesticide is being applied.)

Once the training program is completed, registered applicators making a general use pesticide application only need to be supervised by a certified applicator when employed by a commercial pesticide application business.  The certified applicator does not have to be physically present at the time of the general use pesticide application. As non-certified applicators, registered applicators may not purchase or use restricted use pesticides (RUP's).

The applicant may complete the training requirement before or after taking the exam.  After the applicant has completed training, the approved trainer must complete the "Registered Applicator Verifiable Training Form"  and either have the applicant turn it in with his or her application at an MDARD paper-based exam site or mail it to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, Michigan  48909.

Individuals must be 18 years of age or older.

Submit the completed application and appropriate fee.

Who administers the Michigan pesticide exams?

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

How do I schedule my Michigan pesticide exam?

To schedule a paper-based exams click here.

To schedule computer-based exams go here. Note, computer-based exams require an additional $55 fee per test.

Visit the MDARD Examination Process page for further details.

Where can I find reference materials for the Michigan pesticide exam?

Certified Training Institute offers a comprehensive exam prep package for Michigan applicators.

To find category specific training manuals visit either:
Michigan State University Pesticide Education Web Site
Michigan State University County Extension Offices

Is the Michigan pesticide exam open book?


What fees are associated with Michigan pesticide applicator certification?

Commercial Pesticide Applicator
Exam Fees: $75
License Fees: $75
Renewal Fees: $75

Private Pesticide Applicator
Exam Fees: $50
License Fees: $50
Renewal Fees: $50

Registered Pesticide Applicator

Exam Fees: $45
License Fees: $45
Renewal Fees: $45

If the applicant elects to test at a computer-based testing location, there is an additional fee of $55 per test. There are no additional fees for any categories added to the examination.


What continuing education is required to renew a Michigan pesticide applicator's certification?

Private Core Applicators – 16 credits

Commercial Core Applicators – 8 credits

Commercial Category (each) – 8 credits

Registered Core Applicators – 8 credits

Registered Category (each) – 8 credits

Standards (Arial/Fumigation)(each) – 2 credits

Are all of your Michigan pesticide applicator's continuing education courses state approved?

Yes, all of our Michigan pesticide applicator continuing education courses are approved by the state of Michigan.

Who submits my continuing education to the state?

Our in house submission specialist will submit your completed CE credits to the state for you.

How do I renew my Michigan pesticide applicator's certification?

Renewal by examination:

Once the renewal application is received, the applicator may take it and the appropriate fee with him or her to a paper-based exam site and take the tests that he or she needs. If the applicator chooses to attend a computer-based exam session, the applicator will need to mail the application with the appropriate fee (made payable to the “State of Michigan”) to: The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, P.O. Box 30776, Lansing, Michigan  48909.

Exams are given by appointment only.  Schedule online at www.Michigan.gov/pestexam for paper-based exams or call 1-800-292-3939. Schedule online at www.Metrosignup.com for computer-based exams. (Note, computer-based exams have an additional $55 fee per test). For more detailed information about our exam options, check out the Examination Process.

Renewal by seminar credits:

During the 3-year certification/registration period, pesticide applicators may obtain credits towards their renewal certification by attending eligible pre-approved seminars. Our website has a list of seminars approved for recertification credits that is arranged by month.

Seminar credits must be category-specific. At the end of the 3-year certification/registration period, if the applicator has earned the proper number of credits, he or she can renew his or her credentials without taking an exam(s).  It is the pesticide applicator's responsibility to keep track of the number of credits earned during the 3-year certification/registration period. The applicator may choose to keep track of the number of credits earned by utilizing the Seminar Attendance Record (also lists credit requirements).

For further details, visit these pages:

Commercial Applicators

Private Applicators

Registered Applicators

How long is my Michigan pesticide applicator's certification valid?

Certifications expire on December 31st every third year.

My Pesticide Applicator Certification expired, how do I get it reinstated?

Is there a grace period for renewing my Michigan pesticide applicator's certification?

There is no grace period for purchasing restricted use pesticides or applying pesticides as part of your work duties after a credential expires.


What is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA)?

The CCA certification was established by the American Society of Agronomy in 1992 to provide a benchmark for practicing agronomy professionals in the United States and Canada.

Who should become a Certified Crop Adviser?

Any adviser/consultant that spends the majority of their time advising growers or farm managers/operators on agronomic practices and can meet the standards of the program. Being certified adds credibility and shows that you are serious about what you do.

How do I become a Certified Crop Adviser?

  1. Pass two exams (International and Local Board)
  2. Meet the experience requirements
  3. Apply for the CCA Credential

What are the minimum experience requirements for becoming a Certified Crop Adviser?

  • Have at least two years of experience with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in an agronomy related field
    (Please keep in mind that University degrees and transcripts must be in English and based on the United States educational standard. If you need assistance in the translation process, you may use Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. or World Education Services)
    *The number of CCAs with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree is greater than 70%

  • Have at least three years of experience with an Associates Degree in an agronomy related field
  • Have at least four years of experience with no degree

How do I apply to become a Certified Crop Adviser?

  1. Document education and crop advising experience (Including transcripts and supporting references)
  2. Sign and agree to uphold the CCA Code of Ethics (Included in application)

Once I become a Certified Crop Adviser, how do I maintain my certification?

  1. Earn 40 hours of continuing education units every 2 years
  2. Pay an annual renewal fee

Are your continuing education courses approved for CCA CEU Credit by the American Society of Agronomy?

Yes, many of our courses are approved by the American Society of Agronomy Board. On the state pages, the approved courses description will say “Approved for Certified Crop Adviser Credit”.

As a Certified Crop Adviser, am I required to take continuing education units in certain areas or topics?

Yes, the continuing education units you complete must fall within certain topic guidelines. The topic breakdown is as follows:

In each two year cycle, a CCA must complete a minimum of 5 CEUs in each of the 4 categories. The categories are Nutrient Management, Soil and Water Management, Pest Management, and Crop Management.

At least 20 of the 40 total CEUs must be board approved.

Can I use your courses for credit for CCA continuing education requirements as well as my state licensing re-certification requirements?

Yes, absolutely! Any course that is approved for Certified Crop Adviser Credit can also be used for state pesticide applicator continuing education credits.