Certified Commercial Applicators are defined by the Missouri Pesticide Use Act as: Any individual, whether or not he is a private applicator with respect to some uses, who is certified by the director as authorized to use, supervise the use of, or determine the need for the use of, any pesticide, whether classified for restricted use or for general use, while engaged in the business of using pesticides on the lands of another as a direct service to the public in exchange for a fee or compensation.

Certified Noncommercial Applicators are defined by the Missouri Pesticide Use Act as: Any individual, whether or not he is a private applicator with respect to some uses, who is certified by the director as authorized to use, or to supervise the use of, any pesticide which is classified for restricted use only on lands owned or rented by the applicator or their employer.

Certified Public Operators are defined by the Missouri Pesticide Use Act as: Any individual who is certified by the director as authorized to use, or to supervise the use of, any pesticide which is classified for restricted use in the performance of their duties as an official or employee of any agency of the state of Missouri or any political subdivision thereof, or any other governmental agency.

General Guidelines - Licensure Process

What you need to know

To become certified as one of the above applicators or operators, the applicant is required to pass the state pesticide certification examinations. The applicant is required to pass the General Standards of Competence (CORE) examination and at least one of the category examinations listed below. The applicant should choose the category exam(s) based on their area of expertise.

After passing the required exams and depending on the type of license for which the applicant is applying, there are additional requirements the applicant will have to meet. For example:

To apply for a Certified Commercial Applicator license, the applicant must submit to the Missouri Department of Agriculture or upload the required documents through the MOPlants online submission process:

To apply for a Certified Noncommercial Applicator license in any category the applicant must submit to the Missouri Department of Agriculture or upload the required documents through the MOPlants online submission process:

To apply for a Certified Public Operator license in any category the applicant must submit to the Missouri Department of Agriculture or upload the required documents through the MOPlants online submission process:

  • A completed Certified Applicator and Pesticide Dealer Application.
  • If the applicant applies for a license in Category 7A, Category 7B, or Category 7C, the applicant must submit evidence of valid experience using pesticides (in these categories) or evidence of having an Associates of Arts degree or its equivalent in Biology, Chemistry, Agriculture, or Entomology by submitting a copy of the degree or college transcript. The Verification of Structural Pesticide Application Experience Form should be used to attest valid experience.
  • If the applicant is an out-of-state resident, the applicant must submit: Non Resident Agent Form
  • No license fee is required. The license will be mailed automatically to the applicant upon receipt of all required application materials and passing the required examinations.

License expiration and renewal:

  • Certified Commercial Applicator licenses expire annually. The license may be renewed by submitting the $50.00 license fee and the signed renewal card prior to expiration, or by renewing on-line through MOPlants.
  • Certified Noncommercial Applicator licenses expire annually. The license may be renewed by submitting the $25.00 license fee and the signed renewal card prior to expiration, or by renewing on-line through MOPlants.
  • Certified Public Operator licenses expire every three (3) years and may be renewed by submitting the signed renewal card (no license fee is charged), or by renewing on-line through MOPlants.
  • To renew a license during the sixty (60) day grace period following license expiration, the license holder must pay the original license fee plus a late penalty of 25% of the original fee. Licenses and certifications are canceled if not renewed before the expiration of the 60 day grace period.
  • All Certified Applicators and Operators are required by state law to renew their certification every three (3) years. This may be accomplished by attending an approved recertification program or by re-examination. The University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service provides recertification training annually during January. Other groups, businesses, and associations also sponsor recertification training programs. All recertification training programs must be approved by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Pesticide Control before recertification credit will be awarded to those who attend. Guidelines for pesticide recertification training programs may be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Pesticide Control. The Recertification Course Locator found under the Pesticide Programs menu at: http://MOPlants.mda.mo.gov can be used to find approved recertification programs.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has entered into formal reciprocal agreements with the following states:

  • Kansas - all categories.
  • Nebraska - all categories.
  • Iowa - all categories.
  • Minnesota - all categories
  • Illinois - all categories
  • Nebraska - all categories
  • Arkansas - all categories except for ornamental and turf pest control and the structural pest control categories.
  • Louisiana - all categories except for the structural pest control categories.
  • Agricultural Aviation Board of Mississippi - Categories 1A, 2, 5, and 6.
  • Tennessee - Aerial only

Reciprocity allows an applicant to apply for a Missouri license based on their certification in another state without having to take and pass the Missouri certification examinations.

To apply for a Certified Applicator license in Missouri through reciprocity, the applicant must:

  • Have taken and passed the certification examinations in the reciprocating state;
  • Be a resident of that state;
  • Request their state department of agriculture to submit to our office a reciprocal form; and
  • Submit to the Missouri Department of Agriculture or upload the required documents through the MOPlants online submission process. (To learn what documents are required, determine what license type you are applying for and follow the directions above for that license type, i.e Commercial, Noncommercial, Public.)

For further information contact the Pesticide Program.