Permits & Private Applicator Certification

The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office issues permits for the purchase and use of California Restricted Use Pesticides and operator identification numbers for agricultural uses of all other pesticides.

Restricted Material Permits

The purpose of Restricted Material permits is to allow our office to evaluate the application site and surrounding properties and to require site-specific use practices be followed (beyond the label and applicable regulations) to mitigate potentially adverse effects.

Restricted Material Permits are only issued to the operator of the property or his or her authorized representative. You must bring a copy of your private or commercial applicator certification; a signed owner authorization letter (if applicable) and copies of clear, legible maps for each location on your permit. Maps must include permit/operator ID number, company/organization name, ranch name, ranch number, year, lot numbers and acreage, pesticide storage areas, section, township, and range (if known), adjacent neighbors, wells, reservoirs, north arrow, ranch access/entry point, cross streets or physical address, landmarks (power poles, equipment yards, gates, fences, ditches, trees, etc.), and sensitive sites within a ¼ mile.

Private Applicator Certification (PAC)

California and Federally Restricted Use Pesticides may only be used or the use supervised by a certified applicator. In California persons holding a qualified license or certificate issued by the Department of Pesticide Regulation or a Private Applicator Certificate issued by the county agricultural commissioner’s office are certified applicators. A private applicator is a person who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on property owned, leased, or rented by him/her or his/her employer; or a householder who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide outside their residence to control plant or turf pests on residential property owned, leased, or rented by the householder.

To become certified, a private applicator must come into our office, take and pass a written examination with a minimum score of 70%. There is no fee for taking the examination, obtaining the certification card, or renewing the certification by passing the written examination.

The examination is available in both English and Spanish. The only part of the Spanish examination written in English is the pesticide label. Federal law requires all certified applicators to be able to read and understand the registered labeling. In the United States most pesticide labels are only written in English.