U.S. Soccer’s registration window opens each July 1 and closes on June 30 of the following year.  The registration is then valid from January 1 through December 31. (E.g. 2018 registration is open July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2018 but is valid from January 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018). 

First time referees that register after July 1 can referee immediately after completion of certification until December 31 of the following calendar year.

All other referees that complete the registration and recertification process are valid only from January 1 to December 31 of the following calendar year.


All officials, instructors, assignors and assessors must register with U.S. Soccer annually to be eligible to work affiliated competitions and participate in the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program. 

The cost, process and deadlines for registration vary depending on the State Referee Association where the referee registers.  Contact information and a complete list of the 55 State Referee Associations can be found by clicking here

State Referee Associations support the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program at the local level and should be the first point of contact for all new and existing referees looking for specific information and details on the registration process. 


Each referee will receive a badge from their State Referee Association.  The specific badge you receive depends on your grade. Referees should contact their State Referee Administrator or State Youth Referee Administrator with any specific questions related to the distribution of materials.

Registrants who would like to download and print their own registration card for a current registration can follow the directions here.

Registrants who have completed their registration for the current year can purchase replacement or additional badges online by clicking here.  Note that a maximum of two replacement badges can be ordered per year per USSF ID Number.

Registrants who wish to download a copy of the current liability certificate can click here.


All officials, instructors, assignors and assessors are required to be registered for the current year prior to being involved with any U.S. Soccer affiliated match or U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program activity.  Any referee that has missed one or more years of registration should contact his or her State Referee Association to confirm the recertification or certification requirements that need to be met.

U.S. Soccer recommends the following:

  • Any individual being away from the program for 4 years or less should meet the established recertification requirements
  • Any individual being away from the program for 5 or more years should meet the established certification requirements


The purpose of Emeritus status is to allow those officials who have reached State Referee or higher to retire from the game at the highest referee grade they attained. It may not be used to circumvent any registration, certification or recertification requirements mandated by U.S. Soccer or the State Referee Association. 

Emeritus grades:

  • Grade 15 Emeritus State 
  • Grade 13 Emeritus National

To register as Emeritus, the official must submit a personal letter of intent to the State Referee Administrator who will then initiate the appropriate paperwork.  The official must have held the corresponding referee grade in question for a minimum of three years prior to the request.  The three years do not have to be consecutive or immediately preceding the request for emeritus status. 

Any official looking to remain active while registered as Emeritus must meet all registration and recertification requirements for the level they want to officiate. 


Lifetime membership for the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program is available for those select individuals that have displayed a thorough dedication to the program.  In addition to their contributions, nominees must also meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum age of 60
  • Registered with the program for 25 or more consecutive years

Note that above criteria is waived for any of the following:

  • Recipients of the Eddie Pearson Award or the William Schofield Award
  • Former FIFA officials that served at least 3 years on the FIFA panel

If the above age & registration years criteria is waived for one of those reasons, the individual must still be nominated and reviewed to be accepted.

All nominations can be submitted to U.S. Soccer by State Referee Administrators or State Referee Committees by using the nomination form. U.S. Soccer reviews and approves all nominations. Please send all completed forms to referee@ussoccer.org

Please note that lifetime membership is given to those who have made significant contributions to the referee program; meeting the above criteria does not guarantee lifetime membership.  U.S. Soccer reviews and approves all nominations. 

U.S. Soccer reserves the right to remove Lifetime Membership from an individual at any time.


Active overseas military members may preserve their present referee grade or become a referee with our Overseas Branch by completing specified requirements.  For instructions on these requirements, please click here.  Current and former military are able to get reimbursed by the Veteran's Affairs for USSF registration fees. Contact your local VA for more information.