The information and resources provided on this page are for persons wishing to obtain a license to apply pesticides in the state of Minnesota. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and other products intended to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a pest and substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant. 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) issues licenses to Commercial and Noncommercial Pesticide Applicators and Structural Pest Control Applicators.

The MDA administers closed-book and monitored exams as part of the certification and license process. The initial certification exam measures competency in specific use categories and determines if the person is eligible for a pesticide applicators license.

Determine Your License Type

Determine your license type:

  • Commercial: applicator makes pesticide applications for-hire (customers are billed or invoiced)
  • Noncommercial: applicator makes applications of Restricted Use Pesticides as part of his/her job on property owned or controlled by the employer
  • Structural: applicator makes pesticide applications in, on, or around structures 
  • Private Applicators (typically farmers)

How to Apply for a Commercial or Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator License

Structural Pest Control License Requirements

Renewal Requirements

  1. All pesticide applicator licenses expire on December 31st.
  2. Renewal application forms are mailed to the employer before your license expires at the end of the year.
  3. The license fee and surcharge are due at the time of renewal.
  4. Licenses can be renewed online, by mail or in-person at MDA.
  5. Applicators must meet recertification requirements per category listed
  6. Structural Pest Control Licenses have unique renewal requirements 

Other Requirements

  • Pesticide applicators may not apply pesticide UNTIL they have a valid license. This can be the license identification card they receive in the mail or printed proof of license from the License Lookup page.
    • Minnesota law requires pesticide applicators to carry a valid license identification card, either the electronic facsimile from our webpage or the plastic wallet card, whenever applying pesticides.
  • License applicants must answer the following question truthfully:  “Has applicant for license/certification ever had a license or certification denied, revoked or suspended by another state?”

Change in License

Conditions of Holding a License

  • Hold a valid card with valid dates
  • Proof of financial responsibility
  • Proof of workers’ compensation, if applicable
  • Card  shows correct employer. Notify MDA of any changes.
  • Certified in correct category for intended application. Notify MDA of any changes in categories.

Compliance Resources

Reciprocal License

MDA accepts certification (reciprocity) from some in place of testing in Minnesota for a Minnesota Pesticide Applicator License. Find out more about reciprocal licenses.