Mike Hunter, Regional Field Crop Specialist, North Country Regional Ag Team

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you timely information regarding the sale of restricted use pesticides to applicators that failed to obtain sufficient continuing education credits necessary for recertification of their NYS pesticide applicator license.

On April 7, 2020 the NYS DEC issued an Enforcement Discretion for Extension of Pesticide Applicator Recertification and Business and Agency Registration during the COVID -19 Emergency notice (found here:

Here are the highlights of this action and how it applies to pesticide applicators with expired licenses:

    • Any applicator, both private and commercial, whose certification lapsed on or after November 1, 2019 is allowed to possess, purchase and apply restricted use pesticides until 60 days from the expiration of Executive Order 202 (issued March 7, 2020 and found here:
    • As of now, the Executive Order 202 expires September 7, 2020. The enforcement discretion will expire 60 days from that date or any extensions issued to it.
    • The pesticide applicator must follow these steps during the period of time outlined:
      • Make sure that their applicator card expiration date is after November 1, 2019
      • Keep the expired applicator card in their possession
      • Have a printed copy of the Enforcement Discretion Letter in their possession
      • Present both the expired license and a copy of the Enforcement Discretion letter to the pesticide dealer when purchasing restricted use pesticides.

It is strongly recommended that the pesticide business that sells restricted use pesticides to a person with an expired applicator license retains a copy of both the expired license and the enforcement discretion letter on file.  This will provide added insurance in case there is any question that may arise in the future.  Again, make certain the person’s license expired after November 1, 2019 prior to making the sale.  This special arrangement DOES NOT apply to applicators whose licenses expired before November 1, 2019.  If a person does not have a copy of the Enforcement Discretion Letter please print a copy for them to carry and one for you to keep on file.

If you have any additional questions regarding this matter please contact your local NYS DEC pesticide control specialist in your region of the state.  The NYS DEC statewide directory can be accessed here:

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