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Detailed Guide to Submitting NCSI Background Check

In order to receive your 2020 Referee License, you will need to initiate a background screening and receive a Green Light from NCSI. This is mandatory for any referee over the age of 18 per USOPC* guidelines. If you do not initiate and receive a green light for your background screening, you will not be able to referee. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to

*United State Olympic & Paralympic Committee


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I have already completed a background check this year; do I have to do yours?

A: In order to be licensed as a U.S. Soccer Referee you must complete an NCSI background screening through U.S. Soccer. If you have met this criterion, your profile should reflect this, and you will be considered eligible to register for a course. If you have not completed the NCSI background screening (which includes undergoing an alternative background check), you will be required to meet the USOPC / U.S. Soccer standard background check.


Q: I am 17 right now but I will turn 18 before my referee license expires, what should I do?

A: Once you turn 18 you will have 45 days from the day of your 18th birthday to initiate and receive a green light for your background screening. If you do not initiate this process within 45 days your referee license will be suspended, and you will not receive assignments until you receive a Green Light.


Q: How much does the background screening cost?

A: A background screenings costs $31.21 ($30 fee + credit card processing fee) and are valid for 2 years. These funds go directly to NCSI, U.S. Soccer and your state referee association do not receive any portion of these funds.


Q: My profile says, “Pending Determination”, what does this mean?

A: Once initiated, your profile will reflect that your background screening status is pending. Until you receive a determination (Red Light or Green Light), this is what will be reflected on your profile. This process typically takes anywhere from 2-10 days.


Q: My profile says, “Red Light”, what does this mean?

A: A Red Light can appear for several different reasons. This could mean you filled out information incorrectly, you have been previously convicted of a felony, crime of violence or misdemeanor, or there is someone with the same name as you who has been convicted of a felony, crime of violence or misdemeanor. Please check your email as you will receive communication from NCSI directly explaining exactly why you received a red light and follow the directions provided in that email.


Q: I believe I was given a Red Light incorrectly, how do I fix this?

A: Please send an email to

Detailed Guide to Submitting NCSI Background Check

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