Each year, US Soccer Federation referees must recertify with USSF to be eligible to officiate any USSF league, club, friendlies, or tournaments. The registration period runs from July 1 to June 30th of the following year and registrations are valid until December 31st of the year certified for. (For example: if one certifies for 2022 on August 26th 2021 their certification is valid until December 31, 2022.)

Certifications may lapse for no more than 3 years before you are required to take a beginner referee course again. If you have 5 or more years of past refereeing experience and your licenses lapse for 3 years, please contact us before signing up for a beginner course. All referee classes, safety certifications, and background checks are all completed in the US Soccer Learning Center.

Please follow the steps below to ensure a smooth recertification process. For How-To Videos visit the Learning Center Knowledge Base


The recertification course is all online. There is no requirement for any in-person field sessions. Once the State Referee Committee is notified of your recertification completion a current year badge will be mailed directly to you. Make sure the address entered into the Learning Center is current and can receive USPS mail.

If you are 18+ you must complete a US Soccer NCSI background check. This background check is completely separate from any MYSA or coaching background check you may already have completed and they are non-transferable. The cost is $30.00 plus fees and is valid for 2 years. This background check can take 7-10 days to complete. You may complete the recertification course while the check is pending but your certification won’t be finalized until a clear result is returned.

Step 1: Enable Browser Cookies

In Chrome or Safari find your settings menu and under privacy and security, enable cookies. This ensures your progress throughout the course is saved.

Step 2: Log Into or Claim Learning Center Account

  1. Go to the US Soccer Learning Center.

  2. In the upper right corner either log-in or if you’ve never been to this site click “Sign Up”.

  3. When signing up, fill out the form using your current information. It’s recommended that you use the same email previously used on other systems as long as you have access to it. Do not use a school email address, they typically do not allow external emails.

  4. If the system recognizes you from your referee or coach profiles you will be asked to confirm your information.

  5. Please familiarize yourself with the information shown on your Profile and update any contact details and Relationships you may have.

The Relationships Tool enables you to select which Committees have access to your certification information.

Step 3: Sign Up for Recertification Course

Register for an online referee recertification course based upon your prior certification. Be sure to read all course information prior to registering to make sure you’re signing up for the correct course.

  1. Be sure to read all course information and visit the various tabs to familiarize yourself with the classroom. You’ll find additional downloads and links in the “Resources” tab you may need while taking the course.

  2. When ready, visit the “Assignments” tab and complete all requirements for your course. You are not certified until all assignments are completed. You'll receive an email upon completion with your certification.

  3. If your referee license has expired for more than 3 years you will not be able to recertify. In that event, please contact us so we may explore what options you have to become certified again.

Step 4: Complete/Update Safety Certifications

The below training courses must also be completed or updated every year. The system will notify you via email if a certification lapses as you will no longer be approved until completed.

  • Background Screening (If you are 18+ years old you will need to submit or renew a US Soccer NCSI Background Check. The check is valid for 2 years and is $30 plus fees paid directly to NCSI during your registration. This is a requirement by the US Soccer Referee Federation and is separate from any other entity or coaching background checks performed by other groups or sports. If you turn 18 after re-certifying for the current year your certification will be suspended until the background check is performed.)

  • SafeSport (This is a federal requirement for anyone that comes in contact with youth players. If you’ve taken SafeSport through another system or sport the code at the bottom of the certificate can be entered for verification.)

  • Introduction to safe and healthy playing environments (When taking this module be sure to click through every slide, there is a slide, 3 from the end that says "Congratulations" but this is not the end and you will not receive credit for completing it.)

Step 5: Complete any Supplemental Recertifications or Certifications

All current Instructors and Assessors must also take the new Referee Mentor course as part of the Mentor/Coach pathway. Please read the Referee Mentor course requirements carefully and feel free to ask if you have any questions about the course requirements.