The Registration of Recognized Arms
The College registers and publishes coats of arms which have been rightfully granted, certified, registered or otherwise recognized by an office of arms. Proof of such recognition and proof that the individual is personally eligible to bear the arms must accompany the application. The College has registered very ancient arms of this type as well as some which were more recently created. These arms originated in, or, have been recognized by most of the major offices of arms abroad.
The Registration of Unrecognized Arms
The College also registers and publishes arms of persons who have borne unregistered or unregulated arms in their family for some extended period. The College further registers and publishes the arms of those who have personally assumed arms of recent origin and now desire to have them duly registered and recognized by the heraldic community. The College will seldom register unrecognized arms for persons residing abroad.
The Registration of New Arms
Numerous individuals have no coat of arms of their own and desire the College's assistance in the creation of a pleasing and meaningful design which is technically correct. Following one's application, the College's President assigns a representative to work with the applicant to develop a coat of arms. When the design has been completed and agreed upon, the applicant assumes the arms for his own use and for the use of his descendants. Then the College duly registers his coat of arms and announces the registration in its publication - The Armiger's News. Further, it will be listed in the roughly-annual journal The Heraldic Register of America.
The assumption and registration of arms thus described is a most ancient, honorable and legitimate practice. The earliest recorded heraldic arms were assumed during the Medieval period. Later when offices of arms were created, these arms were duly recognized and recorded. New coats of arms continue to be legitimately created by registration, grant, and certification, both by ancient and modern offices of arms throughout the nations of the Western World. In fact, more new coats of arms are rightfully registered, granted and certified today than at any previous period in history.
The College is willing to Register new arms to the person requesting the Registration, or to a paternal ancestor no more than one generation beyond a living person in the line. Therefore, one may elect to have the arms Registered (a) to one's self; (b) to one's father and his descendants; (c) and if the father is yet living, then one may have the arms Registered to his paternal grandfather and his descendants; (d) and occasionally, when a grandfather is yet living, one may request that the arms be Registered to the paternal great-grandfather and his descendants. The method depends on the applicant's preference. There is no extra charge for adding one or many descendants at the time of the initial Registration.
One's arms descend to all of one's children, male and female equally. They may descend through the male lines to their children as well, generation after generation. However, females do not transmit their arms to their children since their paternal line and (almost always) surname changes. A situation in which persons with many different surnames bore identical arms would quickly lead to massive confusion, thus frustrating the original purpose of arms as a means of identification. In addition, such a practice would conflict with nearly a thousand years of heraldic practice and tradition.
Arms Registered initially to a female may descend to her children according to the aforementioned mode.
The College does not involve itself with the marshalling or quartering of arms.
The Registration of Impersonal Arms
Corporate bodies such as schools, colleges, cities, branches of government, businesses, industries, professional and fraternal organizations and the like may also register coats of arms. They may register recognized arms, unrecognized arms, or new arms under very similar conditions to that of individuals.
The Treatment of Arms Established Abroad
Those persons having arms established abroad are invited to proudly identify their rightful claim for the American heraldic community by registering their arms with the College. In this type of registration, the College recognizes the arms as remaining within the Jurisdiction and abiding within the traditions and customs of its own origin.
When registered and published, the origin of the arms will be identified. The College will recognize only those rights and armorial descendants authorized within the armorial recognition of the original grant unless superseded by other official authorizations which will also be specified in a Registration.