A private applicator is a person who uses or supervises the use of restricted-use pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on property owned, leased, or rented by him or his employer; or a householder who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide outside their home (either owned, leased or rented) to control plant or turf pests.
To become certified, a private applicator must come into our main office, take a written examination and pass with 70%. No fee is required to take the exam or obtain the certificate. The certificate is renewed either through continuing education or by passing the exam.
To purchase the study guide, you can buy a hard copy for $29 plus tax from us (check availability 559-600-7510 ext. 6). The UC Cooperative extension has a hard copy available to order online, or purchase a downloadable pdf for $10 on Google Play.
The Spanish language version of the hard copy is available, or purchase a downloadable Spanish pdf for $10 on Google Play.
PAC exams are given on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday by appointment only. A photo ID must be presented.
To make an appointment, call or email:
559-600-7510 extension 2
Attention: All private applicators currently certified will need to take the revised initial PAC examination beginning January 1, 2024, that includes revised competency standards upon their next renewal.
Taking this examination is not optional. Renewing through continuing education will not be an option until an individual has taken and passed the revised initial PAC examination that includes revised competency standards. This will be required at time of renewal and will occur over a three-year period as follows:
- PAC with last names “R-Z” expiring December 31, 2023
- PAC with last names “A-H” expiring December 31, 2024
- PAC with last names “I-Q” expiring December 31, 2025
Beginning September 5, 2023, we will begin providing group testing events for certificates expiring December 31, 2023. To continue to use aluminum phosphide products for burrowing rodents on and after January 1, 2024, PAC holders will need to take and pass the New Initial PAC Exam and New Burrowing Vertebrate Pest Fumigation (BVF) Certification. Beginning on January 1, 2024, private applicators will need the BVF certification prior to using or supervising the use of restricted materials labeled to control burrowing vertebrate pests on property owned, leased, or rented by them or their employer. ONLY private applicators who have taken and passed the revised initial PAC Examination (version released on October 1, 2022) are eligible to take the BVF certification examination. Private Applicators who intend to use any other type of pesticide labeled as a fumigant must obtain a Qualified Applicator Certificate or License (QAC or QAL) in the appropriate fumigant use category(ies). For example, if the individual intends to use or supervise the use of a pesticide at an on-farm post-harvest commodity fumigation using aluminum phosphide or sulfuryl fluoride, they need to obtain a QAC or QAL with Category M (Non-Soil Fumigation).
The study material for the BVF is available to download here(PDF, 1MB).
Continuing Education (CE) hours will only count for renewal once a PAC holder has taken the revised competency initial test. The CE hours must be taken during the valid period listed on the certificate. The valid period is from the date of issue until the expiration date listed on the certification card.