Florida Pesticide Licenses: Right-of-Way

Florida is one of the most regulated states concerning pesticide applications. Florida has 13 different pesticide licenses with over 20 categories. This makes it difficult for applicators to understand what license is the one they need for a specific job. One of the most difficult to understand is the Right-of-Way pesticide license.


Who Needs a Right-of-Way Pesticide License?

A Right-of-Way pesticide applicator is an individual who is licensed to use or supervise the utilization of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) in the maintenance of Right-of-Way areas associated with public roads, electric power lines, pipelines, railroads, and other similar areas. This license could be public or commercial. Fumigants are not allowed under this license (a “Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation” license will be needed for this purpose). This license falls under the Florida Pesticide Law Chapter 487.

The Right-of-Way includes streets and highways, as well as railways, airports, utility lines, substations, and pipelines. Photo Credit: Lyon Duong, UF/IFAS.


What is Part of the Right-of-Way?

The Right-of-Way is not just streets and highways, it also includes airports, railways, utility lines, substations, and pipelines. Any applicator that sprays pesticides on these locations will need a Right-of-Way license.


What is the Purpose of the Right-of-Way License?

To retain functionality, Rights-of-Way must be maintained to limit hazards to those who use and depend on them. Maintaining the Right-of-Way could help maintain worker safety, reduce fire hazards, and make it easier to inspect important areas. Right-of-Way applicators use both Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Vegetable Management (IVM).

IPM means combining appropriate pest control practices into a single plan to reduce pests and their damage to an acceptable level while minimizing adverse effects on their environment. This includes practices such as:

  • Biological control – using natural enemies such as beneficial insects to control the pests.
  • Physical/Mechanical control – using machines, barriers, or direct removal.
  • Cultural control – good irrigation, pruning, mowing, fertilization, sanitation, mulching, and prescribed fires.
  • Chemical control – using pesticides (When using pesticides always follow label instructions).

IVM is a preventive maintenance program that integrates pest control practices to promote the survival of one group of desirable plants, while selectively controlling undesirable plants. IVM includes:

  • Improved highway pavement management.
  • Improved highway safety.
  • Railroad vegetation management.

    Maintaining road signs free of unwanted vegetation reduce the risk of road accidents and is part of the IVM goals. Photo credit: Lyon Duong, UF/IFAS.
  • Preservation and enhancement of scenic resources.
  • Providing wildlife habitat.

IVM long-term goals are the following:

  • Reduce maintenance costs of the Right-of-Way.
  • Reduce water quality problems and erosion.
  • Naturalize the Right-of-Way with native plants.
  • Provide shelter and food for wildlife.
  • Prevent any interruption of utility services.
  • Avoid the risk of injury to the general public.
  • Treat target species at the proper time and avoid injury to non-target species.
  • Control undesirable plants before they adversely affect the desirable plants.


How can I Obtain my Right-of-Way Pesticide License?

To obtain a Right-of-Way pesticide license applicators must complete 2 exams with 70% or more: The General Standard CORE exam and their Right-of-Way category exam. Once the exams are completed, applicants must apply for the license through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Public applicators will have to pay a fee of $100 while commercial applicators will have to pay a fee of $250. To apply for their exams, applicants must obtain a voucher number and schedule their exams. For more information about this process please watch the following videos:



For more information about all Florida Pesticide Licenses access this “Ask IFAS” publication:


or visit the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office.


To find the study materials for the Right-of-Way License visit UF/IFAS Bookstore:

CORE guidebook

Right-of-Way guidebook


University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution


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Posted: June 6, 2024

Category: Conservation, Natural Resources, Pests & Disease, Professional Development, Recreation, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, Water, Wildlife
Tags: Pesticide License, Pesticide_applicator, Pesticide_protection, Right-of-way, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Polk County

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