I think that Carl is correct in suggesting that we wait to register. AMA members need to make absolutely certain that they comment on these regs. as AMA has suggested. FAA may agree to allow AMA membership (a community based program) to suffice, but you can be certain that the AMA and FAA computers will need to be able to communicate effectively if it's going to work. If a private contractor does the work for the FAA then the computers may be able to talk freely. Having been a federal employee, I can say that sometimes the federal offices are significantly behind the private sector when it comes to computer systems. The cost of keeping up with the private sector can be a little too high for available agency funding. I'd bet in the end, because the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, an agreement with AMA will take time, and we'll end up having to obtain a federal number. I think AMA may be able to prevail eventually, especially if they can show any kind of savings for the FAA if AMA handles things for its members. I hope that AMA plays that angle. AMA membership information would likely be more current than what might be included in the federal system.
Thermals---I need thermals!