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EAST LANSING, MI. – A new emergency rule filed on December 30, 2020 by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell extended pesticide applicator credential expiration dates as part of the state’s continued COVID-19 response. Applicators whose credentials expired on December 31, 2019 or December 31, 2020 will have those credentials extended to June 30, 2021. In addition to extending the expiration date, the rule gives applicators six additional months to renew their credential via continuing education courses. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department is not offering in-person exams. Metro Institute, a private company MDARD has partnered with to offer computer-based exams, is providing limited in-person exams at some of their testing centers. To schedule a computer-based exam, please visit Metro Institute’s website: www.metrosignup.com or call 877-533-2900. 

Here are two key portions of the newly-released emergency rule:

•    A certified or registered applicator credential with an expiration date of December 31, 2019, is considered valid until June 30, 2021. A qualified certified or registered applicator who renews a credential with an expiration date of December 31, 2019, shall be issued a credential that is valid until December 31, 2022. A certified or registered applicator credential with an expiration date of December 31, 2020, is considered valid until June 30, 2021. A qualified certified or registered applicator who renews a credential with an expiration date of December 31, 2020, shall be issued a credential that is valid until December 31, 2023.

•    An applicant who desires to renew his or her credential by seminar shall earn all renewal credits before the expiration of the credential, except that an applicant with a credential that expires on December 31, 2019 or December 31, 2020 who wishes to renew his or her credential by seminar, shall earn all renewal credits before June 30, 2021.

What does this mean in plain English? First, that if your license expired either at the end of 2019 or 2020, it is being renewed automatically until the end of June of this year. Second, if you would like to renew your license by earning continuing education (a.k.a. RUP) credits, you can now do that until the end of June of this year. 

Here is a related note from Bruce MacKellar: “We will be holding educational sessions to provide re-certification for private and commercial applicators that need to gain credits to recertify in specialized categories such as grain fumigation and right of way applications. For more information on these programs as they become available, contact the Van Buren County MSU Extension office at (269) 657-8213 and request to be notified of our programs via email. For those that would like to take a complete course where you can earn 12 RUP credits in one place, the Pesticide Applicator Training Course is a multiple-hour online class that takes you through the complete core manual at your own pace. The base price for completing the course is $75/person, with price reductions available for veterans.” 

More information about MDARD’s recertification by continuing education program and a listing of approved courses can be found at Michigan.gov/MdardPestCert. For additional information on MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pesticide Management Division, visit Michigan.gov/MDARD. 

Private Core 16

Commercial Core (each) 8

Commercial Category 8

Registered Core 8

Registered Category (each) 8

Standards (Aerial/Fumigation) (each) 2

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