[Well actually, at the moment there is no direct charge to submitters in Lochac, but the below explains the level of fees necessary in the past -- TN]
The costs for submissions have evolved over time. It used to be that most of each submission fee went to postage for various purposes, but in these days of the Intertubes, only true old farts can even remember what a postage stamp looks like. Of the remaining costs, the smallish ones are things like these:
- Every new submission to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms, who does the registration SCA-wide, costs US$3.00 (currently about AU$3.90 or NZ$4.95).
- The complete package of submissions has to be physically mailed to the College of Arms' File Clerk, keeper of the Filing Cabinets of DOOOM. That’s quite a large package some months. The current File Clerk is Shauna of Carrick Point, who lives under a mountain of yellowing paper in Montana.
- When a device is registered, the College sends out a letter notifying the bearer. Yes, an actual letter, using paper and one of those old-fashioned stamp thingummies.
- The College also pays for submissions from branches (which are not free at the Laurel level).
- A certain amount of money from device registrations was formerly sent to the Scribes who do the scrolls. Currently there are discussions about whether to reinstate this payment and exactly how much it should be.
- Occasionally it’s good to purchase a good reference book. Man cannot live by Wikipedia alone!
The big cost has traditionally been shipping of the files every two years when the office of Rocket (the submissions herald) changes over. With the new Rocket Eleyne de Comnocke living in Auckland and her predecessor Tamsyn living in Melbourne, this was a particularly expensive proposition. However, a plan has now been formulated that means this will happen much less, so this should stop being a major cost fairly soon.
The College's financial procedures are in a state of flux, so all of the above will change. For now, the fees are just about covering costs; with any luck, it will be possible to reduce the submission fees, although doing so too swiftly may turn out to be a bad idea. Money is always a tricky issue. Certainly, any potential submitter who is worried about the cost should have a chat with their local herald; every opinion counts.
Meanwhile, as Uberto said in the original answer to this FAQ:
Besides, for something that gets protected for it’s owner forever, I think $20 per registration is a pretty damn good deal! Especially if at the end they also get a piece of artwork (their award scroll) which might cost $100s if commissioned from a professional commercial artist.
Karl Faustus von Aachen, with input from Uberto Renaldi, Wakeline de Foxeley, Massaria da Cortona, Eleyne de Comnocke, Giles Leabrook and Tamsyn Northover. Updated: 15 June 2009 (AS XLIV).