There are many different types of registrars, in disciplines as varied as health care, education, government, and Internet technology. Any person or entity that keeps track of records and registrations can be considered a registrar. Registrars frequently work in schools and universities, managing student enrollment papers and transcripts. Any time there are records that need looking after, however, a registrar is usually involved.
Some of the most widely recognized registrars work in schools. Most academic institutions have a dedicated registrar’s office, which houses the records of all students past and present. This kind of registrar, often called a student registrar or a college registrar, maintains and updates files. He or she may also certify such things as proof or enrollment or class rank on behalf of the larger institution.
Registrars also work for government agencies. Voter registration databases, for instance, are usually maintained by an appointed registrar of voters. A national- or local-level vital records registrar keeps track of birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. Similarly, a deeds registrar manages land records and paperwork related to property title transfers.
Not all registrars work with a discreet entity, locality, or organization. Some registry professionals work in health care and public health capacities, keeping track of a much more disparate group of records from a much wider variety of individuals. The laws of many places require that records be kept of certain diagnoses and that files be maintained on patients known to have contracted or to be suffering from certain diseases. Cancer is a common example.
A cancer registrar, also sometimes called a tumor registrar, is a professional whose job it is to input records and update patient files in a national or local-level cancer database. A person in this position must be able to differentiate different types of cancer and diagnoses in order to create a robust system of records that doctors and sociologists can use when looking for patterns among certain populations. These registrars must also usually have special training in redaction to prevent sensitive and personally identifiable information from becoming public knowledge.
Registration for such things as Internet domain names also requires registrar services. Internet registrars are more unique in that they are usually corporations rather than individuals. They operate as a sort of clearinghouse for domain names. The registrar keeps track of domain names that are available and manages sales. When domain names expire, or when registrants fail to live up to the terms of their registry agreements, it is usually the job of the registrar to either revoke the name or enforce the agreement's terms.