Private Applicator Certification & Recertification Procedures
Private applicators must participate in training approved by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and pass a competency examination. VDACS-approved training, at a minimum, means study and review of required training materials. The basic training manual for Private Applicator certification is the Virginia Core Manual - "Applying Pesticides Correctly".
Private applicators must participate in training approved by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and pass a competency examination. Board-approved training, at a minimum, means study and review of required training materials. The basic training manual for Private Applicator certification is the Virginia Core Manual - "Applying Pesticides Correctly". You can order Training Manuals by going to our TRAINING MANUAL order page.
People who wish to take the examination for private applicator certification may do so at Virginia Cooperative Extension offices or at Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Service Centers. There is no fee for the Private Applicator Exam.
- Written multiple-choice exams are given at Virginia Cooperative Extension offices by appointment. Written exams are mailed to VDACS/OPS for scoring. OPS will notify prospective applicators of their exam results by mail. Persons who pass the exam will receive a certificate.
- Electronic multiple-choice exams are given at DMV Customer Service Centers on touch-screen computers. Prospective applicators must be authorized to take an exam at a DMV site. To obtain authorization download and complete the "Request to Take Exam at DMV" form below and mail the completed form to:
P.O. Box 1163
Richmond, VA 23218
Electronic exams are graded on site at DMV Customer Service Centers. People who pass the exam will receive a temporary certificate good for seven days, printed on site. OPS will mail your official certificate within one week.
A score of 76% or better is required to earn a private applicator certificate. People who do not pass an exam the first time must wait ten days before taking the exam for a second time. A 30-day waiting period is required for subsequent attempts.
Persons who pass the Private Applicator Core Examination will earn certification in two of the private applicator categories: 90 and 91. Once certified, producers maintain certification by attending appropriate recertification courses.
Most categories of private applicator require a written competency examination. However, non-readers may qualify for a Limited Certificate (87). This allows a grower to use a single restricted-use product for one clearly identified purpose. A non-reader may earn this type of certificate, based on the recommendation of a VDACS pesticide investigator and a Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent.
To keep a Private Applicator Certificate in force, the holder must earn at least one credit in each of three content areas per category every two years.
- S = General Safety: personal/applicator safety; environmental safety.
- P = Pest Management and Application Technology: IPM (general concepts or specific programs); pest control options (chemical and non-chemical); new pest control products; safe use of application equipment and materials; new handling and/or application equipment and practices; equipment selection, use, calibration and/or maintenance.
- L = Legal Aspects of Pesticide Use: new and/or recently changed regulations affecting private applicators; reminder of current legal obligations.
To find courses approved for private applicator recertification:
- Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office.
- Find a course on the recertification courses website.
Course participants must sign an Attendance Roster and an Application for Recertification Credit to verify attendance. The Application for Recertification Credit is coded to show the credits earned at the session or program.
Applicators may accumulate up to four years recertification credit per content area.
Private Applicator certificates expire December 31.
Please note: VDACS will not print and mail a new certificate to a certified producer until the one he or she has is about to expire. Persons who allow their applicator's certificate to lapse must be re-examined.