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 new or existing referee resides. Contact information and a complete list of the 55 State Referee Associations can be found by clicking here.
These 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.
When registering directly with a State Referee Association, information is sent to U.S. Soccer at some point after the registration and certification process has been completed. Some State Referee Associations may require referees to register directly with U.S. Soccer, and in these cases, all registration procedures and deadlines will be communicated directly by the U.S. Soccer Registration Department when appropriate.
REGISTRATION CARDS AND BADGES
In collaboration with each State Referee Association, U.S. Soccer confirms all completed registrations by sending each referee an official referee registration card and referee badge.
The distribution of these materials can vary so new and existing referees should contact their State Referee Administrator or State Youth Referee Administrator with any specific questions related to the process.
Registrants who have received their current registration card can purchase a replacement or additional badges online at by clicking here.
Note that a maximum of two replacement badges can be ordered per USSF ID Number.
LAPSES IN REGISTRATION
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. For those individuals with registration lapses, reinstatement is decided by the State Referee Association.
At a minimum, 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
- Grade 16 State Emeritus
- Grade 15 State Emeritus
- Grade 14 National Emeritus
- Grade 13 Professional Emeritus
The purpose of Emeritus status is to allow officials 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.
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 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
- Recipients of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Meritorious Service Award if received for their contribution to the referee program
- Former FIFA panel officials who retired from the list solely because of age eligibility
Nominations can be submitted to U.S. Soccer by State Referee Administrators or State Referee Committees. All nominations should be submitted in writing describing the nominee’s contributions and include proof that the individual meets the above criteria.
Please note that lifetime membership is not automatic and must first be reviewed and approved by U.S. Soccer.