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

  1. Exam
  2. Results


If you are still looking to test during this time, please contact one of the following:

  • St. Paul: Schedule by calling 651-201-6633 or emailing Current testing appointments at the St. Paul Office are: Monday through Thursday 
  • MDA St Cloud (located in DOT building 3725 12st North St Cloud MN 56303) Schedule by emailing or calling 320-223-6606. Current testing appointments at the St Cloud office are Monday Wednesday at Noon and Friday
  • MDA Mankato (located in MDA office 422 Belgrade Ave Ste 104 North Mankato MN 56003 Nicollet County) Schedule by calling 507-344-3204 or email Current testing appointments at the Mankato office are Thursday and Friday

How to Schedule an Exam

Pesticide Applicator Exams will be given at the Le Sueur County Highway Department in Le Center at 8:00am, Monday through Friday.  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

Applicants must fill out a New Pesticide Applicator License Application. You may either:

  • Apply for and pay for your license online with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by 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.
  • It is preferred that you apply for your license online in advance of the test.  If you cannot do that, you may print off the New Pesticide Applicator License Application (PDF) and fill it out, then bring it with you when you take the exam and pay MDA via a check.

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 exam fees. When arriving for your exam, you must have a 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.

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 Highway Department, testing location is upstairs at:
515 S Maple Avenue
Le Center, MN 56057

Le Sueur County offers electronic (computer) exams which allow you to get your test results back immediately.

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 $20.
  • Drivers license or proof of identity
  • New Pesticide Applicator License Application if paying in person, along with check or cash payment for appropriate amount to "MInnesota Department of Agriculture."
  • Calculator

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)
  1. Additional Licenses
  2. Animal Waste Technician

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.