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 Apply for a Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License
Applicants must fill out a New Pesticide Applicator License Application. You may either:
- Print off the New Pesticide Applicator License Application (PDF) and fill it out, then bring it with you when you take the exam or
- You may fill it out online and pay online via the Licenses and Inspections Locator by selecting your appropriate license option.
Paying for a Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator Exam
Effective January 1, 2019: Le Sueur County will be charging a $20 exam fee in addition to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) exam fee. When arriving for your exam, you must have a separate check made out to "Le Sueur County" for $20. If you have to retake any exams, you will be charged the $20 exam fee each time you retest.
If you will be paying for the exam in person on the day of your test, please arrive with a check made out to "Minnesota Department of Agriculture" for the amount of your exam. The amounts can be found on your New Pesticide Applicator License Application.
- Commercial Pesticide Applicator: $64
- Non-Commercial Government Pesticide Applicator: $10
- Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator: $64
If you paid for your exam online in advance of your testing day, then you need to print out the confirmation page to bring as proof the day you take the test.
Scheduling an Exam
Pesticide Applicator Exams will be taken at the Le Sueur County Highway Department in Le Center on an as needed basis during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To set up an exam, please contact County Agriculture Inspector Tyler Luethje at 507-357-8201.
Preparing for the Exam
Every person must pass the Core Exam (Category A) and at least one additional category exam. 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 courses, which can be found online at 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.
Le Sueur County Highway Department, offices and the testing location is upstairs at:
515 S Maple Avenue
Le Center, MN 56057
Le Sueur County now offers electronic (computer) exams which allow you to get your test results back immediately.
What to Bring
You will need to bring with you:
- Check for the appropriate amount to "Minnesota Department of Agriculture"
- Check to "Le Sueur County" for $20.
- Drivers license or proof of identity
- New Pesticide Applicator License Application if paying in person or the printed out confirmation page if you paid online
If you would like, please bring a calculator. It is also your responsibility to know which exams you need to be taking.
Taking the Exam
Exams are taken on a computer unless the tester requests a paper copy (paper test results will not be known for up to several weeks, the computer offers immediate test results).
- A calculator, scratch paper and a Number 2 pencil is provided for use during the exam.
- 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 a $20 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