Pesticide Applicator Licensing
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. For more information, see the Licenses and Inspections Locator.
Acquiring a Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License
How to Schedule an Exam
Pesticide Applicator Exams will be given at the Le Sueur County Environmental Services Building in Le Center by appointment only at 9:00am on select days. To avoid scheduling conflicts, please call to set up your exam at least one week in advance by contacting County Agriculture Inspector Tyler Luethje at 507-357-8201.
How to Apply for a Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License
Apply for and pay for your license online with the Minnesota Department of Agricultureby selecting your appropriate license option.
- Print off your receipt that looks like the following, MDA Example Receipt, and lists the Item #, Name, Description, Amount Paid, Effective Period, and Categories.
- You must bring this receipt in with you when you test for proof of payment and categories that you will be testing in.
Paying for a Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator Exam
Le Sueur County charges a $25 exam fee in addition to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s exam fees. When arriving for your exam, you must have a check or exact cash (no credit cards) made out to "Le Sueur County" for $25. If you have to retake any exams, you will be charged the $25 exam fee each time you come back in to retest. If you cancel your exam within 72 business hours of your scheduled exam time or fail to show up for your exam, you will still be charged your $25 exam fee.
Preparing for the Exam
Every person must pass the Core Exam (Category A) and at least one additional category exam. It is up to you to know which tests you must take. Study Materials for the exams may be ordered from the University of Minnesota Bookstores Extension Publications by calling 612-627-0108. The University of Minnesota Extension also offers study material and manuals, which can be found and purchased online at the University of Minnesota Bookstore Pesticide Manuals.
For more information on preparing for the exam or to recertify your license, visit the University of Minnesota Extension Website.
Other Testing Locations
You may take the test with any county or with the MDA Office in St. Paul, regardless of where you live or work. You may view a full list of alternative exam locations outside of Le Sueur County online.
Day of the Exam
Please arrive on time for your scheduled exam time. If you are late, you may have to reschedule your exam for a future day.
Le Sueur County Environmental Services
515 S Maple Avenue
Le Center, MN 56057
When you enter through the first door of Environmental Services, go to the conference room immediately on your left.
Le Sueur County offers electronic (computer) exams which allow you to get your test results back immediately. However, you are not officially licensed until your license is available for lookup on the MDA website in approximately 1-2 weeks. MDA License Lookup
What to Bring
You will need to bring with you:
- Proof of payment receipt from MDA Website that looks like this, MDA Example Receipt
- Check or cash to "Le Sueur County" for $25. Credit Cards are not accepted.
- Drivers license or proof of identity
Taking the Exam
- Exams are taken on a lap top computer
- Scratch paper and writing utensil is provided. A basic calculator may also be provided, but it is recommended to bring your own.
- Exam questions are primarily multiple choice.
- Exams are closed book and require at least 70% correct answers to pass.
- Exams are not timed.
- No talking is allowed during the exam.
- Questions and answers will not be explained.
- Reference materials may not be used during the examination and cell phone use is prohibited.
- Testers are monitored and the testing session will be ended if tester fails to follow directions
Which Exams to Take
It is the testers responsibility to know which exams to take. All new Commercial and Non-Commercial applicants are required to take Category A (Core) plus their additional exam(s) in their field of work. Private Applicators (Farmers) with a grain or soil fumigation endorsement must take Category N or O.
Additional Exams are:
- B (General Aerial)
- C (Field Crops Pest Management)
- E (Turf and Ornamentals)
- F (Aquatic)
- H (Seed Treatment)
- I (Anti-Microbial)
- J (National Areas, Forestry, Rights of Way)
- K (Ag Pest Control - Animals)
- L (Mosquito Control)
- N (Stored grain and Fumigation)
- O (Soil Fumigation)
- P (Vertebrate Pest Control)
- Q (Wood Preservatives)
- R (Sewer Root Control)
The following categories are only available to Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicators:
- M (Food Processing Pest Control)
- S (Non-Commercial Structure)
After the Exam
If you took an electronic exam you will get your results immediately, however, you still have to wait for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to mail you your license before you are valid. If you took the paper test, the answer sheets are mailed to the St. Paul office to be scored and testers will be notified of results by mail.
MDA mails a license ID card to successful applicants. Successful applicants will see their valid license online as soon as it is approved.
A Fail Letter with test scores will be sent to unsuccessful applicants.
If you failed your exams, you will get 2 more attempts to retake the exams in the calendar year. If you do not pass the exam during your 3 attempts, you must wait until January 1st of the following year before you can apply to take the exams again.
If you passed one of your two exams, the passed exam will remain successful for one year from the date of the exam before you would also need to retake that exam with your failed exam. For example, if you pass Category A on September 1, 2017, and fail an Additional Category, you would only have to take the Additional Category Exam when re-testing through September 1, 2018. After that date, you would then also have to retake the Category A Exam.
If you already have a current Pesticide Applicator License but need to add an additional license or certification:
You will follow most of the steps for a normal new applicator license, except you will need to fill out the Duplicate Applicator License / Certification (PDF) and bring it with you on your test day, along with your payment made out to "Minnesota Department of Agriculture" for the amount found on your application ($10 for Commercial and Non-Commercial License Holders, $5 for Private License Holders). You will also need to bring $25 cash or check made out to "Le Sueur County."
If your license is up to date, you will not have to take Category A (Core) Exam, only the exam for the license/certification you are applying for.
Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) Licensing
Minnesota law requires companies, site managers and applicators that manage or apply manure for hire to obtain a Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Read more information on CAWT licensing.
Le Sueur County offers in-person exams for CAWT Site Managers. CAWT Site Managers must:
- Be currently employed by a licensed CAWT Company
- Complete and submit the CAWT Site Manager Application Form (PDF) or apply online
- Meet MDA requirements for financial responsibilities
- Pay the appropriate $50 fee
- Recertify or retest every 2 years
- Renew and pay license fee annually
- Take and pass (80%) a multiple choice exam
- Take and pass exam for liquid and/or solid