(a) No person may engage in the custom application of pesticides within this state at any time without first procuring an annual license from the commissioner. The fee for such license which shall accompany the application for a license shall be established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries for the custom application of pesticides by the use of ground equipment. The fee for a license where the applicant will perform the custom application of pesticides by the use of a single aircraft shall be established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries. An applicant planning to use more than one aircraft for the custom application of pesticides, shall pay a fee established by the board for each additional aircraft used in such work; provided, that the total amount required to be paid for a license issued under this section shall not exceed $120.00, regardless of the number of planes to be used by the applicant. Any person who engages in the custom application of pesticides by the use of both ground equipment and aircraft shall pay an annual license fee established by the board to engage in such work where the applicant will use only one aircraft. If the applicant will use more than one aircraft, then a fee established by the board for each additional aircraft so used shall be paid as provided in this section, subject to the maximum amount therein specified. The license required under this section shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it is issued, and shall be renewable as of January 1 of the following year by payment of the annual license fee as prescribed in this section and upon compliance with the other requirements of this article. If the license fee is not paid by February 15, or within 45 days from the due date, a delinquent penalty of 10 percent shall be added to the amount thereof. The application for a license shall be on forms furnished by the commissioner and accompanied by the required license fee. The application shall give all of the following information:
(1) The name and address of applicant.
(2) The type of equipment he or she proposes to use, including the number of aircraft, if such equipment is to be used.
(3) Information regarding the applicant's qualifications and proposed operation.
(4) Such other information as may be necessary for the commissioner to determine whether or not he or she qualifies for a license.
Any amount improperly or illegally collected under this section as an overpayment may be refunded to the person entitled thereto in accordance with Section 2-1-6.
(b) The commissioner shall require the applicant to show upon written examination, given by the examining board created and existing under the provisions of Section 2-28-2, that he or she possesses adequate knowledge concerning the proper use and application of pesticides and the dangers involved and the precautions to be taken in connection with their safe use, handling and application, together with other factors related thereto. An applicant may also be required to demonstrate knowledge and ability of the effective use of pesticides for control, prevention, or eradication of diseases and insects as authorized under authority of Chapter 28 of this title. The examining board as presently constituted may consult others on the scientific staff of Auburn University for advice and assistance relating to requirements and qualifications for persons to engage in custom application of pesticides. An examination fee established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries shall be paid and shall accompany each application for an examination before any applicant for a license is entitled to take the examination for a license as required under this section. Before a license is issued to any applicant, the applicant must be certified by the examining board as qualified to perform the custom application of pesticides. A full-time employee of the applicant, who has been certified by the examining board as qualified to perform the custom application of pesticides, may be designated by the applicant as supervisor to be in charge of and responsible for applicant's custom application of pesticides, and the license may be issued designating the employee as supervisor, provided the applicant otherwise qualifies for a license. License fees and examination fees collected under this section, together with the amount of any fines levied under Section 2-27-62, shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Agricultural Fund for use and expenditure for the administration and enforcement of this article.
(c) If the commissioner finds the applicant qualified, he or she shall issue an annual license to perform custom application of pesticides within this state. The license may restrict the applicant to the use of a certain type or types of equipment or pesticide, material, substance, or mixture thereof if the commissioner finds that the applicant is qualified to use only such equipment or pesticides. If the license is not issued as applied for, the commissioner shall inform the applicant in writing of the reasons therefor. In the event a license is refused or revoked by the commissioner, the applicant may appeal the action of the commissioner as provided in subsection (b) of Section 2-27-54.