Individual Commercial and Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicators

The following section explains the steps required to obtain and maintain an Individual Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License.


Step 1

One must take and pass the Basic Core Exam and the category specific exams required for the type license you need.  Training is not required before taking the exams but is available and recommended.  The Extension Pesticide Assessment Specialist conducts approximately four training sessions per year (in Fayetteville, Little Rock, Jonesboro, and Monticello) for individuals needing to take the exams.  The dates for these meetings vary from year to year, but they normally are conducted in March.  The dates for any given year will be set in January. 

 Call your County Extension Agent or the Pesticide Assessment Specialist (501-671-2234) for more information on these meetings.  Note: Extension Agents do not provide the training for Commercial and Non-Commercial Applicators, but they can provide the dates for the training.  If you cannot, or do not want to attend a training session before taking the exams, examination are given twice a month at the Plant Board headquarters in Little Rock.  Dates are on the Preregistration Form For Testing At The Plant Board Office and preregistration is required.  If questions, contact the Assistant Director of Certification and Training in the Pesticide Division at 501-225-1598.    


Step 2

Once you have passed the required exams you are eligible to obtain your Pesticide Applicator License.  The Plant Board will send eligible individuals and Application for License Form (Commercial Form DP-30 and Non-Commercial Form DP-27).  Complete the form and mail it back to the Plant Board with the appropriate license fees for processing.  The license, once issued,   will expire December 31 of the current year.


Step 3

Once you have obtained your license you must attend a pesticide safety training session (conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service in most cases) at least once every three years in order to maintain your certification.  These sessions are known as Re-certification sessions.  Your pesticide license has the "Re-certification Training Required by:" date printed on the front.  You must attend a re-certification session by this date to receive your license for the next year and the following two years.  At least one (usually more) re-certification session is conducted each year in Little Rock by the Extension Pesticide Assessment Specialist.  

Click here for a current list of training classes 

After attending the full 3-4 hour training session, you must fill out the half-page triplicate form (proof of Certification), provided by the trainers.  Once the form is filled out and then signed by the appropriate Extension personnel, you remove the back copy for your records.  The Plant Board will send an application for a license in October or November of each year to all currently licensed individuals.  If your certification is current, you just fill out the application form and send it, along with the appropriate fees, to the Plant Board for processing.  The license, once issued, will expire on December 31 of the current year. 


Step 4

Keep your license and re-certification current.  Remember that re-certification refers to the required training conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service.

If you let your license lapse you do not have to retake the exams if you maintain your re-certification training requirements (i.e., you attend a re-certification session at least once every three years).  If you let your re-certification expire, simply attend another re-certification session and begin the three year cycle again.

If for some reason you are unable to attend a re-certification session by the required date and you must have a license you have only one option.  You must retake the exams at the State Plant Board in Little Rock.  Therefore, it is very important that you attend the training sessions at least once every three years to maintain your re-certification.

The above information applies to Commercial and Non-Commercial agricultural pesticide applicator categories

  • Agricultural Plants
  • Agricultural Animals
  • Demonstration and Research
  • Forestry
  • Wood Treatment
  • Right of Way
  • Public Health
  • Aquatic
  • Regulatory

For licensing information regarding other categories, contact the Pest Control Section of the State Plant Board.