E-communications from the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education program may include workshop updates, newsletter, applicator licensing information, registration deadlines, or other pesticide safety news and event information.
Private applicators apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs) to lands or sites they own, rent or manage for the production of an agricultural commodity. Farmers and their families who apply RUPs to their land can apply for a private applicator certification.
Registration for 2023 recertification workshops and the online exam is open
Attend a 2023 recertification workshop if your applicator certification has not expired and has an expiration date of March 1, 2023. Recertification workshops are held in January and February.
You must take the online or mail-in exam if:
- You are a new private applicator,
- You are a current applicator who missed your workshop, or
- You are an applicator with an expired certification.
Find study manuals and exam information below. In-person workshops are offered in January and February.
Certification lasts for three years. To check your certification number, status and expiration date, go to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Private Pesticide Applicator Search page. Or call the MDA at 651-201-6633.
How to get certified
If you are a new applicator or if your certification has expired, you must take the exam to become certified.
- Complete the mail-in exam as a home study course. Private Pesticide Applicator study manuals (19th Edition; $10) and mail-in exams are available at most county Extension offices. Find your county Extension office.
- Or you can complete the exam online.
How to recertify
If your certification has not yet expired, choose one of the following recertification options:
- Complete a mail-in exam,
- Take an online exam, or
- Attend an in-person workshop offered in January or February.
Each option costs $75.
If your certification has expired, you must complete the mail-in or online exam.
Exam registration opens on January 4, 2023
The exam is required for initial certification or if your certification has expired. You may recertify by exam instead of attending a workshop. The exam has 50 questions.
- Online exam deadline: midnight, October 31. All online exam attempts must be completed before the system closes on this deadline.
- Mail-in exam deadline: October 31. All exams, including second and third attempts, must be mailed and postmarked by this date. No exceptions.
Online exam requirements
- Use your own email address to register
- DO NOT USE someone else's email address. If you use someone else's email address, the certification won't be issued in your name and you will need to register, pay and retake the exam to become certified.
- Registration information and exam access are sent to the email address you use when you register.
- You must use Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
$75, payable by credit or debit card
The fee includes three attempts to pass the exam in one calendar year. Once you pay for the online exam, you cannot switch to any other exam or course without paying again.
Register for the online exam
- Watch our Registration Help videos and reset your UMN guest account before starting your registration.
- Have your Private Pesticide Applicator Certification Number ready for registration. If you don't have your certification card, get your certification number from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website or call 651-201-6633.
- Review our cancelation, transfer and refund policies.
At the end of the registration process, your receipt will be displayed on the screen. Click on "Receipt Notes" and the link to your exam will be available. The link is also provided in your University of Minnesota Confirmation email for future exam access (do not delete the email). Please check your junk or spam email if you can’t find it.
- For all account or login-related issues, please contact the University’s helpdesk at 612-301-4357.
- For any other questions regarding registration, please contact us at 763-767-3840 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Need more help? See the private pesticide applicator online exam guide for instructions on how to take the exam.
About the exam
You need an 80 percent score or better to pass the exam.
- If you scored at least 80 percent (40+ points), do not retake the exam. If you do, you will not receive your certification.
- You can take the exam three times in one calendar year. If you fail the exam three times, try again next year.
- Review the study manual and answer questions based on the manual.
- The exam will automatically save your answers to each question. There is no "Save" button in the exam.
- You will not see how you answered the questions in previous exam attempts.
If you have any questions about making a second or third attempt on the exam please email email@example.com.
Need to retake or work on your unfinished exam?
To access the online exam you registered for, visit canvas.umn.edu. Log in to Canvas using the email address (Internet ID) and password you used for registration.
Getting your temporary certificate
After you have successfully completed the exam, you will be able to view and print your temporary certificate in Canvas. The certificate can be used to purchase restricted-use pesticides before you receive your permanent private pesticide certification card from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Please allow up to 60 days to receive your new card.
Mail-in test packets are available from most local county Extension offices. Please call ahead to check supplies and office hours. Mail-in tests must be received before October 31.
19th Edition Private Pesticide Applicator Study Manual
The 19th edition is the study manual to use to prepare for the exam. Older versions of the manual do not include all topics and materials covered by the exam. You may download the manual for free or buy printed copies.
Download the manual by chapter
- Introduction and table of contents
- 1. Integrated pest management
- 2. Pesticide laws
- 3. The pesticide label
- 4. Pesticide formulations
- 5. Protecting the environment
- 6. Health and safety
- 7. Safe handling: the application process
- 8. Personal protective equipment
- 9. Pesticide application procedures and equipment
- Appendix A: Pesticide toxicities
- Appendix B: Glossary
- Appendix C: Conversions and calculations
Where to buy a printed manual
- University of Minnesota Bookstores
- Download an order form to mail your order.
- You also can buy the manual at your local county Extension office (call ahead to make sure they have them).
Please read carefully. There are no exceptions to these policies.
- When you register, you must use the name and contact information, including email address, for the APPLICATOR RECEIVING credit.
- To transfer to a different workshop, you must request this change BEFORE the registration deadline.
- To cancel your registration, you must cancel before the registration deadline to receive a partial refund. There is a $30 cancellation fee, even if requested before the registration deadline.
- There is no refund if you cancel after the registration deadline.
Setting up and maintaining an existing guest account when registering can be confusing. Before registering for a course, we encourage you to use the references below to help you.
Password and Guest Account how-to video:
Registration step-by-step how-to video:
For all login and guest account-related questions, please call the University of Minnesota Technology Help Desk at 612-301-4357.
2023 Recertification workshops
- Workshops may be held in different locations than in past years.
- Workshops last approximately 3.5 hours.
- Registration is available online to pay in advance by credit card.
- Walk-ins are welcomed for in-person workshops. Walk-ins must pay by check on-site. No cash, credit cards or payment apps.
- To attend a Zoom workshop, you must register in advance online.
- Cost for both in-person and online workshops: $75
Need help with registration?
- Read How to register online.
MDA requirements for workshop participation
- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture requires workshop participants to attend the entire workshop to receive credit for recertification.
- Anyone who arrives at an in-person workshop or joins a Zoom workshop more than 15 minutes late will not receive recertification credit — no exceptions.
- Use your own email address to register.
- DO NOT USE someone else’s email address. If you use someone else’s email address the certification won’t be issued in your name and you will need to register, pay and complete the workshop again to become certified.
- Workshop information is sent to the email used in registration.
- Watch our Registration Help videos and reset your UMN guest account before you start your registration.
- Have your Private Pesticide Applicator Certification Number ready for registration. If you have misplaced your certification card you may get your certification number from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website or call 651-201-6633.
- Review our cancelation, transfer and refund policies.
- Online registration closes five days before a scheduled workshop. If you don’t see a registration link for your workshop, the registration deadline has passed and you’ll need to register and pay onsite at the workshop as a walk-in.
- Register for a workshop by clicking on the "Register" link in the table under "In-person workshops" below (scroll down to find one near you). You’ll be linked to a list of all workshops in that region.
Need more help?
- For all account and login-related issues, please contact the University’s Helpdesk at 612-301-4357.
- For any other questions regarding registration, please contact us at 763-767-3840 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Select the Register link from the workshops listed below. When you follow the registration link, workshops will be grouped by region. You can also see all of the workshops available in a region with these links:
- Register Central Region
- Register NW Region
- Register SE/So Central Region
- Register SW Region
- Register W Central Region
Having trouble viewing the table on your device? Download the spreadsheet. The table below will be updated with any changes, including cancelations. Please check it before heading out to a workshop.
Before heading out to your workshop
A workshop may be canceled or postponed due to facility issues, illness or bad weather. Before leaving for your workshop, please check the following resources for any last-minute cancelations or updates.
- Check for updates on the list of workshops. Cancelations and postponements will be marked accordingly.
- If you registered online, check your email for a cancelation notice, and always look in your Spam or Junk folders, too!
- Call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077 or email@example.com.
- Visit our Facebook account or Twitter feed.
Workshop change: The Rushford workshop that was listed in our newsletter for February 17 was canceled and will not be rescheduled.
You will need access to a reliable and stable internet-connected device such as a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. Your device must have a microphone, speaker, and built-in camera or external webcam.
- Download Zoom and test to make sure your device is Zoom compatible.
- Use Google Chrome internet browser. Download Chrome for free.
- Zoom Demo Help video (Is Zoom a good fit for you?)
- Zoom Participant Guide (Learn more about Zoom)
- During the workshop, you will be required to interact with the presentations on your device. All participants must respond to at least 80% of the questions during the workshop to be counted as "present."
- 2 or 3 days prior to your scheduled Zoom workshop, you will receive an email with the Zoom link, agenda, handouts, and additional information on how to join the workshop.
Applicators can sign up for any Zoom workshop but some content will be focused on certain growers. We may combine or cancel a Zoom workshop due to low enrollment.
Online registration confirmation
- Click on "Receipt Notes" on the registration screen for important workshop information.
- Receipt notes can also be found in your University of Minnesota confirmation email (check your spam or junk folder if you did not receive it).
A receipt will be mailed to you approximately two weeks after the workshop and can be used as temporary proof of workshop completion for recertification when purchasing restricted-use pesticides.
Please allow up to 60 days to receive your new certification card from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.