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

How to Schedule an Exam

Pesticide Applicator Exams will be given at the Le Sueur County Environmental Services Building in Le Center on select days and times.

To schedule and to view days and times, please use the following link: Exam Sign Up

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
  • Calculator

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)
  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 $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.