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MDARD partners with Metro Institute to offer remotely proctored, online pesticide applicator certification exams

Licensees encouraged to register for an exam before the June 30th deadline

For immediate release: March 25, 2021 
Program contactBrian Verhougstraete, 517-582-4573
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 

LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced today that pesticide applicators can now take their certification exams through remotely proctored, online testing. This new testing capability is provided by Metro Institute, which offers computer-based pesticide certification exams in multiple states.

"The integrity of our pesticide certification exams is essential. Technology has reached the point where we are confident that online exams can be administered with the same level of security as in-person exams," said Mike Philip, Director of MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. "Online exams open up a new level of flexibility for applicators and businesses to take exams at a time and location that works best for them. It also allows MDARD to focus our limited resources on investigations and inspections that protect human health and the environment."

"Being a certified applicator means you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to apply pesticides in a safe manner. MDARD encourages applicators with 2019 and 2020 credentials to schedule their exams as soon as possible. With the certification extensions implemented in 2020, an unusually high number of applicators will need to take exams over the next few months," added Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD's Pesticide Section Manager. "Between online and in-person exams at Metro Institute's testing centers, there is currently a lot of availability. However, as the June 30 deadline approaches, we expect exam availability to tighten up. We are strongly encouraging applicators to schedule their exams now."

Michigan law requires an individual to be either a certified pesticide applicator or a registered pesticide applicator to apply a pesticide for a commercial purpose. It also requires certification for anyone wishing to purchase a restricted use pesticide. Michigan's certified pesticide applicators must pass examinations to ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to properly apply pesticides in a manner which 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.

To take an online exam, applicants will need a computer with a microphone and video camera, and a reliable high-speed internet connection. After an applicator passes an exam, they immediately get their results and are certified. The fee for online exams is $65 per test.

For more information on MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pesticide Management Division, visit


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