It’s important to know the requirements for pesticide licensing

January 8, 2014 

Here in the extension office we get many questions about pesticide licensing. Do I need a license, what kind of license do I need, where can I get recertification credits, etc. In this column I want to give you an overall summary on the who, what, when and where when it comes to pesticide licensing.

Let’s start with who needs a license. Anyone who applies or oversees the application of a pesticide for agricultural or commercial purposes needs a license. Your average gardener does not.

There are two types of licensing: private and commercial. If you apply a pesticide for agricultural purposes to your own property, you need a private license. If you are applying a pesticide on another person’s property and charge a fee, you need a commercial license.

Applicators can only receive a license after they have completed training and have been tested to ensure that they understand how to apply a pesticide correctly.

The training includes information about pesticide safety, labeling, environmental concerns and the government agencies responsible for educating and enforcing pesticide rules and regulations. Private licensing is done at the extension office by the agricultural agent.

For a commercial license, study material has to be purchased from the Georgia Department of Agricultural Pesticide Division, and the test is conducted at a local area providing testing, usually a technical college. Everyone obtaining a commercial license has to take the general standards test plus an additional test based on your category of interest.

For example, your category could be in Ornamental and Turf. Ultimately, the goal is to educate applicators and supervisors, so they understand every aspect of pesticide safety.

Some pesticides require a license to purchase them. These are labeled as “Restricted Use Pesticides.” These pesticides are labeled for restricted use because of their inherent toxicity or potential hazard to the environment.

These could be products that might easily contaminate ground water or are acutely toxic to humans and animals. The license requirement is to ensure that only applicators who have received proper training can apply them.

As of July 1, new requirements were added to the licensing process.

Upon completion of training, the applicator will need to print out a HB125 form, complete it, and have it notarized. They will also need to provide proper identification. This document will then need to be sent to the Georgia Department of Agricultural Licensing Division.

In order to maintain your applicator’s license, you will have to earn recertification credits. Recertification credits can be obtained by attending pesticide trainings and workshops. Contact your local agricultural agent, or check out the Georgia Department of Agricultural Pesticide Division website for upcoming classes and locations,

For more information on any program area, contact Houston County Extension at 478-987-2028 or drop by our office in the old courthouse, downtown Perry, 801 Main St. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit our website at for more news about your local Extension office.

Dates to remember

Jan. 16: Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Tifton

Jan. 21-Feb. 20: Garden Academy, Perry

Jan. 24: Georgia Ag Forecast, Macon

Jan. 29: Georgia Ag Forecast, Tifton

Production meetings for the Macon County Area:

All meetings will be held at the Macon County Extension office at noon.

Jan. 17: Disease Management

Feb. 17: Corn Production

Feb. 19: Weed Management

Feb. 25: Cotton Production

The soybean meeting is still in the planning stages.

Charlotte Mote is the Houston County agricultural and natural resources agent. Contact her at 478-987-2028 or

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