Licensing Guide

NMDA’s Pesticide Compliance Section issues eight different types of licenses:

  • Commercial Pesticide Applicators
  • Commercial Operator/Technicians
  • Public Pesticide Applicators
  • Private Pesticide Applicators
  • Noncommercial Pesticide Applicators
  • Pest Management Consultants
  • Public Consultants
  • Pesticide Dealers

Commercial Applicators apply or supervise the application of any pesticide for any purpose on someone else’s property for compensation.

In order to qualify for a Commercial Applicator license an individual must be able to document 2 years’ experience applying pesticides, or 20 hours of college credits in biological and/or agricultural sciences plus 1 year experience. Examples of acceptable documentation include:

  • A pesticide applicator’s license from another US state;
  • Another type of NM applicator license (operator/technician, private applicator, public applicator, or noncommercial applicator) for at least 2 years;
  • A letter from an employer describing your duties with regards to pesticide use in the course of employment.

This experience requirement can also be met by successfully completing one of several specific distance education courses offered by Colorado State, University of Florida, or Purdue. These are formal college courses that require tuition payment and may take several months to complete. Click here for more information on documenting experience and the distance education opportunities.

Commercial Applicators become certified by passing an exam covering core pesticide information and NM laws and rules, and at least one specific pest control category exam. License holders in other US states may apply to have some of their certifications recognized by NMDA and may only need to pass the NM laws test.

Commercial Applicators must also provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of a liability insurance policy or a surety bond. The minimum coverage required is $25,000 each aggregate bodily injury and property damage for ground applications and $50,000 each aggregate bodily injury and property damage for aerial applications. See NMAC for details.

The basic steps to a Commercial Applicator License are:

  1. Complete the Commercial Applicator application form
  2. Document acceptable pesticide application education/experience
  3. Pass the National Core Exam and at least one Pest Control Category exam
  4. Provide proof of financial responsibility
  5. Submit license fee of $75.

If an individual qualifies for a Commercial Applicator license based on his application form and education/experience, he will be notified that he can sign up to take the certification exams. Exams are administered regularly around the state. A list of recommended study materials and study guides are available from NMDA.

After the applicant has passed all the required exams he must provide proof of financial responsibility and pay the license fee of $75. Applicants have 60 days to complete all the requirements, or they must re-apply and take all tests again.

Commercial Operator/Technicians are employees of Commercial Applicators who apply pesticides. Any employee of a Commercial Applicator who applies any pesticides, whether or not the pesticide is classified as Restricted, must be licensed.

Operator/Technicians must pass written exams covering general pesticide information and NM laws and rules but do not take Category exams. Operator/Technicians may only perform the types of pest control in which their Commercial Applicator employer is certified. To be licensed as an Operator/Technician an individual must:

  1. Complete the Operator/Technician application form. This form must be acknowledged by the Commercial Applicator employer
  2. Pass the Operator exam
  3. The Commercial Applicator employer then submits the license fee of $50.

Applicants have 60 days to complete all these requirements, or they must re-apply and take all tests again.

Public Applicators are individuals who work for a government agency and whose duties include applying restricted-use pesticides. Public Applicators are not required to pay licensing fees, but must pass the National Core Exam and category exams that correspond to the type of pest control they will be doing.

To apply, complete the Public Applicator application form and pass the required exams. Applicants have 60 days to complete all the requirements, or they must re-apply and take all tests again.

Private Applicators use or supervise the use of restricted agricultural pesticides to produce agricultural commodities on property they or their employers own or rent. To become licensed as a private applicator an individual must pass a closed-book written exam and pay the $15 license fee. Private Applicator exams are administered at regular test sessions around the state and by appointment.

Noncommercial Applicators are individuals who use pesticides only on their property or their employer’s property. Examples of noncommercial applicators are owners or managers of apartment complexes or other property, nursery growers, etc. Noncommercial Applicators must meet the same requirements as Commercial Applicators except for documenting experience and the financial responsibility requirement. To apply, complete the Noncommercial Applicator application form, pass all required exams, and pay the license fee of $75.

Noncommercial Applicators may NOT apply pesticides for hire.

Pest Management Consultants  are individuals who are certified to provide recommendations and advice for using restricted use pesticides. PMCs may NOT apply pesticides. Home inspectors who wish to inspect property for termites and other wood destroying pests may be licensed as PMCs with the 7D category. Agricultural consultants and employees of pesticide dealers who provide recommendations for using pesticides but never actually apply pesticides may also hold this license.

Public Consultants are employees of government agencies who may give technical advice or make recommendations to users of restricted-use pesticides.

Pesticide Dealers are individuals who sell restricted use pesticides. A business that sells restricted use pesticides must have a Dealer license for each sales outlet in the state. Out-of-state businesses that distribute restricted use pesticides in New Mexico must license their principle out-of-state location or outlet. The completed Dealer License application form must be sent in with the $75 license fee.

Additional Requirements for Wood-Destroying Pest Control (Category 7D)

Any Commercial Applicator who wishes to apply pesticides for the control of wood destroying organisms (primarily termites) must document one year of specific WDO experience and attend four hours of approved training before he is eligible to take the Wood Destroying Pest Control Category exam (Category 7D).

Operator/Technicians must also attend approved training and pass a Wood Destroying Pest Control exam before they can perform any WDO pest control. Once an Operator/Technician passes the Category 7D exam, he is known as a Termite Technician.

In addition, any person who wishes to conduct inspections for wood destroying organisms must be licensed as a Commercial Applicator, Termite Technician, or Pest Management Consultant and must be certified in Category 7D.



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