Due to the potentially dangerous nature of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs), you and your business must be licensed by the state to apply them commercially. Being properly trained in their safe handling and application keeps pesticides and fertilizers from endangering both humans and the environment.

In the State of Michigan

To acquire a Michigan pesticide applicator’s license, you must take and pass at least two tests. One must be the CORE exam, and at least one other must be in a specific pesticide category. The categories most commonly used in lawn maintenance are:

  • 3A: Turfgrass pest management
  • 3B: Ornamental pest management
  • 6: Right-of-Way pest management

Tests must be administered by an official state representative, but can be organized and hosted by non-governmental agencies. MeritHall recently hosted a two-day event featuring one full day of training by an expert in pesticide regulations and the exam the next day. Instruction by a professional is the ideal way to prepare yourself for the exam. It is also recommended that you review your notes and study other reference materials on your own.

The test is comprised of questions with multiple choice answers. Your exam will be electronically graded when you turn it in so you are immediately informed of your results. If you don’t pass, you can register to retake the exam at a later date.


  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency
  2. Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development