Licensing of Right-of-Way Pesticide Applicators in Florida1

Frederick M. Fishel 2

This document explains the licensing and regulation of persons who apply restricted use pesticide applications to rights-of-way in Florida as regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Chapter 487) and administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Right-of-Way Pest Control

All persons who apply or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides in the maintenance of right-of-way areas must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the Bureau of Compliance Monitoring/Pesticide Certification Section. The Rights-of-Way Pest Control category is regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Florida Statutes, Chapter 487).

Category Certification Standards

Applicators seeking a license in this category must demonstrate practical knowledge of:

  • pests that occur in right-of-way areas accompanying roads, electronic lines and substations, pipelines, railroads, and similar areas;

  • types of herbicides used on right-of-way areas;

  • chemical control measures that pertain to the prevention and control of right-of-way pests;

  • equipment or methodologies required to safely and effectively implement such measures;

  • pesticide runoff and drift prevention;

  • recognition of target organisms;

  • actions necessary to prevent excessive foliage destruction; and

  • potential effects on non-target and off-site organisms.

License Classification

Certified right-of-way pest control applicators may be licensed as either public applicators or commercial applicators. These are the major differences:

  • A public applicator is a licensed applicator employed by a public or governmental agency. The license is only valid when performing work for the public or governmental agency. The public applicator fee for a four-year license is $100.

  • A commercial applicator is a licensed applicator whois licensed to apply restricted-use pesticides on any property provided they are certified in the category for which the applications are made. A commercial applicator is usually a contract applicator. The commercial applicator fee for a four-year license is $250.


Persons must successfully complete two examinations before they can apply to the department for a license. These examinations are a Core examination and the Right-of-Way Pest Control category examination. The Core examination may be taken at any UF/IFAS county Extension office. The Right-of-Way Pest Control category examination may be taken at a UF/IFAS Extension office that offers category examinations. No special qualifications must be met to take the examination. There is no fee to take the examinations.

Study Materials

Manuals and study materials for Core and Right-of-Way Pest Control applicators who will be taking exams may be obtained from the UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore by calling 1-800-226-1764 or online at The content of the Core exam is based upon the manual Applying Pesticides Correctly (Figure 1). The content of the Right-of-Way Pest Control exam is based upon the manual Right-of-Way Pest Control (Figure 2). Sample labels may be obtained from suppliers of pesticide products or online at CDMS by going to

Figure 1. SM 1: Applying Pesticides Correctly: A Guide for Pesticide Applicators (CORE)
Figure 1.  SM 1: Applying Pesticides Correctly: A Guide for Pesticide Applicators (CORE)

Figure 2. SM 9: Right-of-Way Pest Control
Figure 2.  SM 9: Right-of-Way Pest Control


Applicators must recertify every four years. To recertify, applicators may take the examinations again or attend training and obtain 8 continuing education units (CEUs) approved for the Right-of-Way Pest Control category and 4 CEUs approved for the Core category. Core CEUs cannot be used to meet the required Right-of-Way Pest Control CEUs. No substitutions of other types of CEUs are allowed. Opportunities to earn CEUs may be found at

Restricted Use Pesticides Applied in the Right-of-Way Category

Restricted use pesticides are seldom applied along rights-of-way.

Additional Information

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement, Pesticide Licensing Section, 3125 Conner Drive, Bldg. 8, L-29, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650, Phone: 850-617-7876, (accessed March 2016).

UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office, PO Box 110710, Bldg. 164, Gainesville, FL 32611-0710, Phone: 352-392-4721, (accessed March 2016).


1. This document is PI-148, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date February 2007. Revised August 2013 and March 2016. Reviewed March 2019. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

Publication #PI-148

Date: 2019-03-31
Fishel, Frederick M
Pesticide Information Office

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