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Regulatory Handbook -> Pesticide and Fertilizer Permits -> Public Operator License

Public Operator License

What is the Purpose of this License?
The purpose is to license employees of governmental agencies who apply restricted use pesticides by any means or any pesticide by power equipment on public or private property.
Who Issues this License?
Washington State Department of Agriculture
What Activities Require this License?
Applying restricted use pesticides by any means or any pesticide through power equipment as part of one's employment with a governmental agency. This license is not required of governmental research personnel unless applying restricted use pesticides.
How Much Will this License Cost?
The license costs $33. In addition, the applicant must pay a $25 testing fee each time they take pesticide exams. Note: The license fee is not required for governmental employees licensed only to work in the health vector field.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Applications are completed at the time of testing. The first time an application is submitted in a calendar year, the license fee of $33 is required. Each time tests are taken, a $25 testing fee and picture ID is required.
Is the Decision on my License Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
Applicant must pass required exams and have paid all fees before a license is issued. The license is only valid while making pesticide applications as part of employment with a public agency.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Once all requirements have been met (complete application submitted including fee and appropriate exams passed), the license is normally issued within one week. However, the work unit experiences a heavier than normal workload from December - March and licenses can take 2 - 4 weeks to issue.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Because exams are required, you must make your initial application at a WSDA testing session. These are offered at a number of statewide testing locations. WSDA does reciprocate with some state and federal licenses so testing may not be necessary. Go to the online reciprocal licensing information for details.
How Long is my License Valid?
The license is annually renewed but in a 5-year recertification cycle during which time continuing education credits must be earned. An alternative to recertification is to retest every 5 years.
What is the Appeal Process for the License?
Upon notice by the Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to deny, revoke, or suspend a license, a person may request a hearing under Chapter 34.05 RCW.
Notes / Comments:
Because exams are required, you must make your initial application at a WSDA testing session. These are offered at a number of statewide testing locations. WSDA does reciprocate with some state and federal licenses so testing may not be necessary. Go to the online reciprocal licensing information for details.
Where can I get permitting assistance?
Helpdesk phone: 877-301-4555
Subject matter expert phone: Rickie Johnson (360) 902-2039
Subject matter expert email: license@agr.wa.gov
Statewide Contact:
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Registration and Licensing Services
1111 Washington Street SE, NRB - 2nd Fl
PO Box 42589
Olympia, WA 98504-2589
Fax: (360) 902-2093
Toll Free: 1-877-301-4555
Email: license@agr.wa.gov
Website: https://agr.wa.gov/departments/pesticides-and-fertilizers/fertilizers/product-registration
* Permit information last updated 11/5/2020
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