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Pesticide License Information

Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry

NOTE: this page contains pesticide license information specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  For pesticide information for other states in the Northeast, refer to our Pesticide Resources page.

Massachusetts law requires that all persons who apply pesticides in public areas and private places used for human occupation and habitation must be in possession of a valid pesticide license or certification issued by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. In accordance with the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act and the current pesticide regulations, the DAR conducts written examinations to measure competency to sell, purchase and apply pesticides in Massachusetts. All exams are closed book and applicants must be at least 18 years of age as of the date of the examination.

How to obtain a MA pesticide license or certification:

Complete information about how to obtain a Massachusetts pesticide license or certification is detailed in the Pesticide Examination and License Information Bulletin. The bulletin includes an exam schedule and an exam application:

Mass. DAR Pesticide Examination and License Information Bulletin

If you have problems downloading or printing the bulletin, call the Mass. DAR Pesticide Bureau at (617) 626-1785 to have a copy mailed to you.

Preparing for Pesticide Licensing Exams

The Pesticide Education Program of UMass Extension offers a workshop designed to help individuals prepare for the pesticide applicator examination. This workshop is offered several times through the year and includes all of the basic information covered in the examination. A practice exam is part of each workshop. Information on workshop dates and registration can be obtained by visiting the Pesticide Education Program web site or by calling 413-545-1044.

Maintaining your license

Pesticide license regulations require that applicators remain current in their knowledge and understanding of pesticide issues including the safe and effective use of pesticides. UMass Extension provides opportunities for continuing education related to pesticide issues by offering workshops throughout the year. Many of these workshops have been approved for pesticide license recertification credits by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Information on available workshops can be found in our Educational Events listing.  A more comprehensive UMass Extension-wide listing can be found at