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Types of Pesticide Licenses

The department issues licenses to sell or apply pesticides after training and testing to protect producers, consumers and the environment. Staff can assist with applications to assure that they can be processed promptly. Applicator and dealer licenses are issued by type and category, with appropriate education and testing for each.

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Click on the appropriate license type from the tabs below to obtain information about fees, forms, reports and other aspects of licensing.

Summary of Applicator License Types

Commercial applicators are individuals, who by contract or for hire, apply pesticides by aerial, ground, or hand equipment to land, plants, seed, animals, water, structures, or vehicles. Commercial applicators receive specialized training and testing appropriate to categories for which they are licensed. For more information click on Commercial Applicators in tabs below.

Public Utility applicators apply pesticides to land owned or leased by a public utility. Training and licensing are the same as for commercial applicators. For more information click on Commercial Applicators in the tabs below.

Government operators are individuals who apply pesticides for a city, county or state or other government agency to public land or right-of-way, or as a public service. Must meet the above standards for commercial operators. Government operators can operate only within their respective governmental jurisdiction. For more information click on Government Applicators in the tabs below.

Non-Commercial applicators are individuals who cannot be classified as a commercial, public utility, governmental or private pesticide applicators, but desire to apply restricted-use pesticides. These individuals need to be classified into one of the 11 categories established for commercial applicators and may use restricted-use pesticides on lands owned, rented, or leased by an employer or by the license holder. For more information click on Commercial Applicators in left menu.

Operators are employees of licensed or certified applicators who do not hold a commercial license must be licensed as operators and may not apply pesticides more than 100 miles from the licensed applicator's physical location. To obtain an operator's license, and individual may: 1) pass a department exam with a score of 80% or better; 2) attend a department training course; or 3) receive training from a certified applicator. Operator licenses must be renewed each calendar year before applying pesticides. See below for the Operator application form. For more information click on Commercial Applicators in the tabs below.

Nonresidents applying for a license to apply pesticides in Montana must be certified for applying pesticides in their state of residence. Passing our examination regarding Montana's Rules & Regulations is always required before applying for reciprocity. Look under Links below for our "Out of State Requirements" to see how to setup an examination as well as the full list of requirements for applying for a license. For more information click on Commercial Applicators in the tabs below.

A pesticide dealer is any person who sells, wholesales, exchanges, barters, or gives away any pesticide in or into Montana except products intended only for home, yard, garden, home orchard, ornamental trees, bushes, and lawn. For more information click on Pesticide Dealers in the tabs below.

A Private Applicator is any person who applies restricted use pesticides to his/her own crop, land or leased lands. For more information click on Private Applicator in the tabs below.

Information also is available by calling the Department of Agriculture at (406) 444-5400, by e-mail at agr@mt.gov, or by fax at (406) 444-9493.

Commercial, Noncommercial & Public Utility Applicator Licensing

Any person in the business of applying pesticides must obtain an applicator's license from the department. To obtain a license, a person must pass examinations, complete an application form and pay a licensing fee. See the licensing main page for definitions of specific license types. Commercial, non-commercial, special utility and government applicators also must pass exam questions related to pest categories in which they work.

Liability

Commercial applicators, except wood product treatment and seed treatment categories, must meet financial liability requirements. A commercial pesticide applicator must show proof of financial responsibility before a license is issued. An aerial applicator must carry minimum liability of $1,500. All other applicators must carry minimum liability of $500. The financial responsibility must be maintained in full force and be effective during each entire licensing period.

The liability requirements may be met in one of three ways (forms at the bottom of the page):

  1. Insurance - The insurance policy must cover any off-target chemical damage. This policy can have a deductible no higher than $500 except as provided by ARM 4.10.102(2).
  2. Surety Bond - This can be obtained through a bonding company.
  3. Liability Indemnity (certificate of deposit) - This can be obtained through your bank. The account must be automatically renewable and be held solely by the Montana Department of Agriculture. Its sole purpose must be to fulfill requirements imposed upon pesticide applicators by law as part of the licensing procedure.

Applicator licenses must be renewed annually on January 1 before pesticides are applied.

More information on initial licensing, study materials and pest categories is available in the instructions for pesticide dealer and applicator licensing (PDF format).

Required Reports

Every five years, and specifically for calendar 2015, applicators must submit a summary report to the Montana Department of Agriculture containing information on the use and sale of agricultural chemicals. The summary report is for that one year only and is due by January 31 of the following year. If no restricted or general use pesticides are used during the time period, that information must be documented to the department.

How to Obtain a License

  • Pass a core exam and category-specific sections for general and restricted-use products with an 80% or better score.
  • Meet liability requirements. (Commercial Applicators.)
  • Complete an application form.
  • Pay a license fee of $55.

Fees

  • $55.00 per year
  • $25.00 per operator (first 2 operators)
  • $10.00 per operator (additional operators)
 

Commercial Applicator Categories

Core Certification - Core certification is required for all pesticide applicators and dealers wishing to become licensed in the state of Montana. This is accomplished by learning how to handle pesticides correctly and how to protect yourself, others and the environment from pesticide misuse. Study materials titled "National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual" and "Montana State Laws and Regulations Pertaining to the Use of Pesticides" are available from the department or can be found online at the links below.

These classification categories determine additional test questions that may be required:

(21) Aerial - Applicators who apply pesticides by aircraft.

(30) Agricultural Plant Pest Control - Plant classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in the production of agricultural crops, including but not limited to small grains, feed grains, soybeans and forage, vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits and nuts, as well as on grasslands and non-crop agricultural lands.

(31) Agricultural Animal Pest Control - Animal classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides on animals including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, horses, goats, poultry and livestock, and to places on or in which animals are confined. Doctors of veterinary medicine engaged in the business of applying restricted use pesticides for hire, publicly holding themselves out as pesticide applicators, or engaged in a large scale use of restricted pesticide are included in this classification and must be certified-licensed.

(32) Agricultural Vertebrate Pest Control - Vertebrate classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in the management of vertebrate animals normally wild or feral, including certain predators, rodents, and birds, which may adversely affect human health, property, or are a nuisance to people.

(33) Forest Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in forests, forest nurseries, and forest seed-producing areas. Forest Pest Control study manual is available at the link below.

(34) Ornamental and Turf Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides to control pests in the maintenance and production of ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers, and turf.

(35) Seed Treatment and Elevator Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides onto seeds, the use of fumigants in seed storage areas or on or in seeds and the use of pesticides in or aground the elevator seed storage facilities.

(36) Aquatic Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides purposefully applied to standing or running water, excluding applicators engaged in the Public Health Pest Control category.

(37) Right-of-Way, Rangeland, Pasture, and Noncrop Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides to manage weeds or other vegetation in the maintenance of public roads, electric power lines, pipelines, railway rights-of-way, or other similar areas, as well as grassland and pastures that are not harvested for forage, and on noncrop areas.

(38) Public Health Pest Control classification includes state, federal, or other governmental employees or contracted commercial applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides in public health programs for the management and control of pests having medical and public health importance. The jurisdictional health officer, state veterinarian, their duly authorized representatives, and governmental research personnel are exempt from licensing when applying general use pesticides to experimental areas.

(39) Demonstration and Research – This classification includes: a) Individuals who demonstrate to the public the proper use of pesticides and pesticide application techniques or supervise such demonstrations or make or approve recommendations on pesticide product use and/or selection (Persons licensed as Dealers are exempt from this classification); b) Individuals conducting field research with pesticides and in doing so, use or supervise the use of pesticides.

(40) Industrial, Institutional, Structural, and Health Related Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in, on, or around food handling and manufacturing establishments, human dwellings, institutions, such as schools and hospitals, industrial establishments including warehouses, and any other structures and adjacent areas, public or private, and for the protection of stored, process, or manufactured products.

(41) Wood Product Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides for pole framing, silling applications, some home and farm uses, brush on treatments, sapstain control, and uses in non-pressure treatment plants for the protection of wood products.

(43) Sodium Cyanide (M-44) classification includes any applicator using M-44 cyanide capsules to control certain wild canids: coyotes, red fox, gray fox and wild dogs that depredate livestock and poultry. Special training and a field exam is required after passing the written exam.

(44) Special Utility classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides for pole wraps, utility right-of-way, or similar uses.

(45) School IPM Pest Control classification includes applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides in the school environment, including but not limited to school yards, buildings, playing fields, and other property under the jurisdiction of the school districts.

(46) Piscicide Pest – Applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides purposefully applied to waters to eliminate fish species as a fishery management tool.

(56) Other – Applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides in environments that are not included in any other classification e.g., Sewer Treatment, Biocides, Animal Contraceptives, etc.

All state agencies, municipal corporations, or any other government agencies are subject to the same examination, completed application form and licensing fee requirement as the commercial and public utility applicators.

How to Obtain a License

  • Passing exams (core exam as well as category specific exams) with an 80% or better for general-use and/or restricted use products.
  • Completing an application form.
  • Paying a licensing fee of $60.

Fees

  • $60.00 - first four Dealer and/or Applicator licenses per agency.
  • $15.00 - each additional Dealer and/or Applicator.
  • Additional Operator fees, if any, apply to each Applicator.
  • $600.00 - maximum annual fee per agency.
 

Government Applicator Categories

Core Certification must be achieved by all pesticide applicators and dealers wishing to become licensed in the state of Montana. This is accomplished by learning how to handle pesticides correctly and how to protect yourself, others and the environment from pesticide misuse. Study materials entitled "National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual" and "Montana State Laws and Regulations Pertaining to the Use of Pesticides" are available from the department or can be found at the links below.

Regulatory Pest Control classification includes state, federal, county, or other governmental employees who use or supervise the use of pesticides in the control of regulated pests. The following sub classifications of government applicators are established to more accurately reflect some government applicator's specific duties and areas of operation.

  • (50) Mosquito Abatement
  • (51) Predator
  • (54) Rodent
  • (55) Weed
  • (56) Other (Sewer Treatment, Biocides, Etc.)

A dealer is a person who sells, wholesales, exchanges, barters, or gives away within Montana any pesticide except those pesticides intended for home, yard, garden, home orchard, shade trees, ornamental trees, bushes, and lawn.

How to Obtain a License

  • Passing a core exam with an 80% or better.
  • Completing an application form.
  • Paying a license fee of $55.

Dealer Records

All pesticide dealers are required to maintain shipping, purchase or invoice records of all pesticide products received. A complete and accurate record of all restricted use pesticides purchased and sold also must be maintained. Pesticide records must be kept for 2 years.

Records for each sale of a restricted use pesticide must include:

  1. The company name on the label
  2. The trade name or the EPA registration number
  3. The volume sold
  4. The license number of the certified applicator or dealer
  5. The name of the certified applicator or purchaser
  6. Date of the transaction

Dealer Pesticide Reports

Each dealer selling general and restricted use pesticides must submit a summary report to the Montana Department of Agriculture containing the above information every fifth year. The summary report will be for that one year only and is due by January 31 of the following calendar year.

Fees

  • $55.00 per year ($60.00 for non-federal governmental agencies)
  • $25.00 late fee after March 1st

Private (Farm) Pesticide Applicators

A private applicator is defined as a person applying restricted-use pesticides for agriculture on land owned, rented, or leased by the person or by his or her employer.

Private applicators must be licensed prior to purchasing and using any fungicide, herbicide, insecticide or rodenticide that is labeled as a restricted-use product. A person interested in becoming a private applicator must either:

  • pass a graded written exam from a local office of the Montana State University (MSU) Extension Service, or
  • attend a training course provided by MSU Extension Service and take an ungraded written exam.

The fee for the private applicator license is $50 and the license is effective for five years. Private applicators wanting to renew their license must acquire six continuing education credits in five years by attending approved training courses.

Private applicators are required to keep records of all restricted use pesticides that they apply. These records must be logged within 14 days of the application and kept for two years following the application. Recordkeeping requirements include the date of application, field location, product information and other information, and can be found on the USDA Pesticide Record Keeping Program website.

Fees

  • $50.00 for a five year license

Daniel Reimer
Applicator Licensing Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-4900
E-mail : DReimer2@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493



Linda Johns
Pesticide Licensing, Registration, & Training Program Manager

Phone : (406) 444-3736
E-mail : LJohns@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493 302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Agricultural Services Bureau
Phone : (406) 444-5400
E-mail : agr@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Pesticide Licensing Forms & Files

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