Private Pesticide Applicator License- Is it for you?

The Private Pesticide Applicator License is a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) license that allows for the purchase and application of Restricted Use Pesticides needed for the production of an agricultural product. This license covers applications on farms raising a host of different crops. The license covers applications on property owned or rented and also applications by employees of the farm. This license does not allow for applications for hire. This means if you are a Private Applicator you are not allowed to get paid to make applications on other farms, however bartering for services is not prohibited. A pesticide labeled as Restricted Use requires a license to purchase and apply. Pesticides are deemed to be “Restricted Use” because of risks to people or the environment.

What’s required to get the Private Applicator license?

The Private Applicator license falls under Chapter 487 of the Florida Statutes. This includes a range of license categories which are considered non- structural, or “agricultural” licenses. For this group of licenses, two exams are required in order to earn the license. The Core or General Standards exam covers basic pesticide safety information and law. This exam is required for all Chapter 487 licenses.

Private Applicator Study Manual
Private Applicator Study Manual

To get the Private Applicator license, in addition to the Core exam, applicators must also pass the Private Applicator exam. This exam is based on SM 53- Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control, available for purchase from the UF/IFAS Extension bookstore in Gainesville. This manual, as well as the Core manual, are also available for sale at the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County office in Bartow. See pesticide training materials here:

The Private Applicator exam covers more application specific content, such as: reading a pesticide label; calculating how much product to use; basic application equipment information and Worker Protection Standards compliance requirements. See additional details and study materials at


What’s required to take an exam?

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is the agency responsible for issuing pesticide licenses. FDACS has recently adopted a new pre-registration requirement in order to take an exam. The process involves a few steps as follows:

  1. Head to and click on Apply for Examination
  2. If this is your first time visiting the FDACS site, sign up as a NEW USER and check your email to get your PIN
  3. Sign in with your Username and PIN
  4. Follow the prompts to enter your contact info and select which exam(s) you want to take
  5. This process will generate a Voucher number. This is now required in order to take an exam. Be sure to bring your Voucher number to the exam.
  6. Schedule the exam, either on paper or on computer. You can view the exam schedules by clicking on Testing Centers and Schedules within the site. See the schedules at:


Need a Study Boost?

Research shows that licensed pesticide applicators earn a higher income than unlicensed applicators. The Extension Service offers pesticide applicator training to support industry employment and provide instruction on how to apply pesticides properly to protect public health and natural resources. Florida’s Extension Service has provided this and other important services for more than 100 years. Check out some testimonials here.

Join us For a Core and Private Applicator Exam Prep

UF/IFAS Extension Polk County will hold exam preps for the Core and Private pesticide applicator exams on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Polk County Extension office, located at 1702 Hwy. 17-98 South, Bartow, Florida, 33830. Extension programs are provided through cooperation between Polk County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida IFAS on a non-discriminatory basis. Advance registration is $15 per person per class.

See complete details and register online with a credit card at
or contact Mary Beth Henry at (863) 519-1049 for more information.

This program is a cooperation between Polk, Hillsborough and Manatee County Extension Agents.
Check for additional program dates and locations below:





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Posted: January 28, 2019

Category: Agriculture, Events, Farm Management, Pests & Disease
Tags: Mbhenry, Pesticides

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