Mythbusters: Name and device by Baron Giles Leabrook
Before you can register name and device with the SCA College of Arms you must have been given an Award of Arms or higher.
The ceremonies bestowing Awards, Grants or Patents all say that you may register names and devices. I would suggest that you should register if you have Arms given by the Crown. I count people in negotiation with the Heralds as "registering". However, there is nothing in the College of Arms' rules that states that submitters must have any award at all. Anyone who stumps up the $40 and the forms can submit. I suggest that submitters shoot for unique, period style heraldry, but I would say that, wouldn't I? Anyone who wants to add to the pageantry and display of our Society, and also wants to protect their name and device, is encouraged to register. So... if it pleases you, register a quality name and a period device whether you are an armiger or a member or not. It doesn't matter.