Pesticide Applicator Licensing, Dealer Licensing and Permits

Federal law requires that a person who purchases or applies a restricted use pesticide must be certified and receive periodic pesticide safety training.  State laws and regulation require that a person who purchases or applies restricted use pesticides have a current pesticide applicators license.

Restricted use pesticides are those that have higher risk potential for humans, wildlife, and the environment.  The Federal government has determined that the benefits provided by these pesticides outweigh the risks as long as they are properly handled, applied, and disposed.  Knowledge and prevention are the keys to avoiding accidents and unwanted exposures.

In Arkansas, the licensing of pesticide applicators and regulations is the responsibility of the Arkansas State Plant Board.  The required safety training, also known as Certification or Recertification, is provided by the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas.


There are three basic types of pesticide applicators: private, commercial, and non-commercial. 

Private Applicators: are certified applicators who use restricted use pesticides to produce agricultural commodities on property owned or rented by them or their employer.  This does not include the home gardener.  Restricted use pesticides are not labeled for home gardens.  Therefore, a pesticide license is not required, nor available, for home gardeners.  To be eligible for a Private Applicator License one must be a producer of an agricultural commodity.                                                                 

Commercial Applicators: are certified applicators who use restricted use pesticides for hire for any purpose or on property other than that specified for defining private applicators.  This includes aerial and ground applicators.

Com/Non-Com Applicators: are certified applicators who use restricted use pesticides but do not qualify as a Private Applicator nor require a Commercial Applicators License.  Examples: researchers, Extension Agents, chemical company representative, etc.

Commercial Applicator Technician: are applicators who use restricted use pesticides under the supervision of a certified Commercial Applicator.

All pesticide dealers who desire to sell federally restricted-use pesticides must obtain a Dealer's License to do so.

All persons desiring to apply pesticides containing 2,4-D that are labeled for agricultural use, by ground or air in Clay, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett, Cross, Crittenden, St. Francis, Lee, Phillips, or Mississippi counties in Arkansas must obtain a 2,4-D Hardship Permit to do so.

Application Fees for Licenses and Permits

Note: An individual is not eligible to purchase or apply restricted use pesticides until a license is actually issued.