Colorado Department of Pesticide Education Program at Colorado State University

Private Applicator Licenses

If you are unsure whether you need a private applicator's license, or another type of license, try our decision tree here.

If, in fact, a private applicator license is needed-check out our decision tree with steps to renew your private applicator license.


Applicants for private applicator licenses must:
  1. Submit an order form with a payment of $20 for the private applicator exam and manual (or see other options below).
  2. Successfully complete the private applicator exam.
  3. Submit the $75 license fee with the application, exam answer sheet and a copy of your driver's license.

TAking the exam

You have two options for taking the test:

  1. Online. Take the test online through the CDA. It costs $20 and you have 30 days to complete the exam.
    • You can access the online exam here.
    • You can order a paper test and exam here.

  2. Paper Test. You can get the printed study guide and test from the CDA for $20. There is no time limit to return the test.
    • Call your local Extension office (list of numbers here) to see if they offer the study guide and test.
    • Sometimes the charge is $25 for the guide and test. Paying this small handling fee may be more convenient for you than waiting for the CDA to send it.

Expiration & Continuing Education

Private applicator licenses expire 3 years from your birthdate.The renewal fee is $75. In order to renew your license, you must either:

  • Obtain all required continuing education credits (CECs) PRIOR to your license expiring and submit your renewal before the expiration date; If you have earned ALL your CECs and submit your renewal after the expiration date, you are subject to a late fee:
    • renewing within 30 days after license expired, subject to a $7.50 late fee
    • renewing within 180 days after license expired, subject to a $20 late fee
    • renewing beyond 180 days after license is expired is NOT allowed and you must retake the exam.
  • OR
  • If you have not earned all the required CECs, retake the exam and apply for a new license.


IIf you choose to renew through CECs, you must obtain 1 or 2 credits in each of 6 different categories:

  • Applicator Safety (1 credit)
  • Environmental Protection (1 credit)
  • Laws and Regulations (2 credits)
  • Pesticides and Their Families (1 credit)
  • Public Safety (1 credit)
  • Use of Pesticides (1 credit)

Find upcoming CEC workshops here.


Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management:    Address   1177 Campus Delivery    Colorado State University     Fort Collins, CO 80523     Voice: 970-491-3947     Fax: 970-491-3862

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