Pesticide Use and Permitting

In California, pesticides are any substances that prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest (including spray adjuvants and plant growth regulators). The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office issues Operator Identification Numbers (OINs) to property operators to purchase and report pesticide use during a specified period. Additionally, the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office issues Restricted Materials Permits (RMPs) for the purchase and use of California restricted-use pesticides.

Operator Identification Numbers (OINs)

If you intend to use any substance for pest control (including organic and minimum-risk pesticides) in a production agriculture setting (e.g. forestry, crop production, rangeland, pasture, nurseries, etc.) or a non-production agriculture setting (e.g., farm roads, cemeteries, greenbelts, parks, golf courses, roadsides, rights-of-way, etc.) you are required to obtain an Operator ID Number (OIN) and maintain pesticide use records. You will also need to report your pesticide usage regularly. Please see our Pesticide Use Reporting page for more information.

OINs are only issued to the property operator or their authorized representative. If you need to obtain an OIN, contact our department to speak with an inspector. We will need a list of the sites that you intend to apply to, their section, township, and range coordinates, the commodity you are applying to (i.e. crop, rangeland, right-of-ways, etc.), the size of each contiguous site, an assigned site ID number for each location, and a signed authorized representative form (if applicable).

An OIN is not required when:

  • The property is not involved in the production of an agricultural commodity and pesticides are purchased and applied by a licensed pest control business.
  • Pesticides are applied by a licensed pest control business.
  • When used on livestock

Restricted Materials Permits (RMPs)

California Restricted Materials are certain pesticides that are considered to have a higher potential to cause harm to public health, farm worker safety, domestic animals, honeybees, the environment, wildlife, or other crops. With certain exceptions, restricted-use pesticides may only be purchased and used by operators holding a valid RMP issued by the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC) and their use must be under the supervision of a certified commercial or private applicator.

The purpose of Restricted Materials permits is to allow our office to evaluate each proposed application site and surrounding properties, identify any potential adverse effects, and require site-specific mitigation procedures to be followed (beyond the label and applicable regulations) to prevent any unacceptable risks.

Notice of Intent to Use Restricted Materials

24 hours before the use of restricted material, the permit holder is responsible for filing a "notice of intent" (NOI) with the County Agricultural Commissioner's Office. This responsibility is often delegated by the permit holder to the pest control operator, pesticide dealer, or other involved party, but the permit holder is ultimately responsible for this requirement. 

A notice of intent submitted to your local Agricultural Commissioner requires the following information:

  • Permit number
  • Name and address of permittee and applicator
  • Location (site number) to be treated
  • Crop or commodity and acreage to be treated
  • Pesticide to be used, pest(s) to be controlled, application rate (per acre), and dilution
  • Date of the intended application
  • Environmental changes since the permit was issued (adjacent sensitive plants, seasonal streams, etc.)

NOIs can be submitted online using your CalAgPermits user account.

To apply for an Operator Identification Number or Restricted Materials Permit, please submit an application to our office:

Notice of Intent to Apply Restricted Materials