Pesticide Permits

Pesticide use permits

In California, pesticide use is tracked in agricultural settings. Each property operator or business owner is required to obtain an Operator Identification Number (OIN) when applying pesticides for the production of an agricultural commodity or for pest control in certain settings like rights-of-way, parks, cemeteries, and golf courses.

In addition, certain pesticides in California have been classified as "restricted materials" and require a Restricted Material Permit (RMP) to obtain and apply them. The criteria used to designate a pesticide as a restricted material include hazards to public health, applicators, farm workers, domestic animals, honeybees, the environment, wildlife, or crops other than those being treated. With certain exceptions, they may be purchased and used only by or under the supervision of a certified commercial or private applicator under a permit issued by the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC).

The permitting process for pesticides that are designated as restricted materials allows the local County Agricultural Commissioner to assess, in advance, the potential effects of the proposed application on human health and the environment. Permit applicants must be certified applicators or identify a certified applicator who will apply the restricted material on the permit. 

In order to obtain an RMP, the property owner or business operator must provide specific details about the anticipated use of each restricted material pesticide. Required information includes:

  • areas to be treated, including location and size
  • crops or commodities to be treated
  • information about the pest to be treated
  • names of restricted pesticides that the permittee wishes to apply
  • method of application
  • map or description of the area so that a permit map can be created for each site
  • completed RMP worksheet on all alternatives and mitigation measures considered before requesting the permit

If a permit applicant has several locations in the county (for example, different fields), these can all be included in a single permit. If you have questions about obtaining an OIN, site-specific RMP, or wish to renew these in Contra Costa, please contact us at 925-608-6600.


Authorized representative form for Operator IDs and restricted material permits (PDF)

Documentation of alternatives for restricted materials permits (PDF)

Instructions for filling out the alternatives worksheet for restricted material permits (PDF)

Presentation on how to document alternatives considered for a restricted materials permit (PDF)


CA restricted materials list (PDF)

Restricted materials use requirements

US Environmental Protection Agency endangered species information