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Release Date: 01/04/2021

A new emergency rule filed on December 30, 2020 by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell extended pesticide applicator credential expiration dates as part of the state’s continued COVID-19 response. Applicators whose credentials expired on December 31, 2019 or December 31, 2020 will have those credentials extended to June 30, 2021. In addition to extending the expiration date, the rule gives applicators six additional months to renew their credential via continuing education courses.

“Extending applicator credentials and giving them more time to complete their continuing education courses allows inspectors to focus on our regulatory activities protecting human health and the environment from misapplications of pesticides,” said Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD’s Pesticide Section Manager. “It also provides certified applicators and businesses some regulatory clarity and ensures they can continue their work protecting our food supply from damaging pests.”

The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, P.A. 451 of 1994, Part 83, requires individuals to be either a certified pesticide applicator or a registered applicator to apply a pesticide for a commercial purpose. The Act also requires certification for anyone wishing to purchase a restricted use pesticide. Michigan’s certified pesticide applicators must pass written examinations to ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to properly apply pesticides in a manner that protects themselves, the public, and the environment. Once certified, applicators must renew their credentials every three years by either retesting or participating in continuing education events.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department is not offering in-person exams. Metro Institute, a private company MDARD has partnered with to offer computer-based exams, is providing limited in-person exams at some of their testing centers. To schedule a computer-based exam, please visit Metro Institute’s website: or call 877-533-2900.

More information about MDARD’s recertification by continuing education program and a listing of approved courses can be found at

For additional information on MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pesticide Management Division, visit