Members take pride in their FMCA identification emblems, symbolic of membership in the world's largest motorhome owners club.
The oval, goose-egg-shaped membership emblem has long been a part of FMCA's history. Quite often it is the tool that initiates a conversation between motorhome owners at a campground or other location. It also promotes public awareness of FMCA.
New members of FMCA have been issued various types of coach plates over the years.
The first 10,000 members of FMCA, from 1963 to 1973, received cast-aluminum plates that had their membership number stamped on them in raised letters.
In 1973 the association began supplying numbered decals, made of weatherproof vinyl, to new members in lieu of the cast-aluminum plates. This change saved on the cost of material and prevented a membership dues increase. Metal plaques still could be ordered, for an additional charge to the member.
Also in 1973, FMCA’s leaders approved a provision for a 'second generation' coach identification plate and number assignment. This allowed sons or daughters of active or former members to request the addition of the letters S or D, centered below the number on their emblem.
The current FMCA Bylaws expands upon this action by indicating, "FMCA shall, upon request, issue the original F number to sons, daughters, grandchildren or parents of active or former members with the addition of an 'S,' 'D,' 'G,' or 'P,' respectively, centered below the number on the emblem."
Switch to acrylic
In June 1982, with the assignment of membership F44000, acrylic identification emblems were introduced.
These new membership plates were injection molded out of clear acrylic (Plexiglas), ideal for outdoor applications. The membership number was engraved on the reverse side of the emblems and then decorated by hot stamping the black, and spraying white and then silver. The new plates sold for $17 per pair, the same as the old metal plates.
In 1994 FMCA was advised that the mold for the smooth acrylic plates had worn out. A new mold would have cost $30,000 to make, so FMCA decided to look for a new source material.
Beginning Oct. 1, 1994, with the assignment of F185627, FMCA began issuing plates made of Lexan synthetic resin. The Lexan plates look more like the original cast-aluminum goose eggs, but the letters and numerals are white and more visible.
In January 2012, as a cost-saving measure, FMCA began issuing plates that feature a high-gloss vinyl decal affixed to a Lexan plate.
When motorhomers cease to be members of FMCA, they keep their identification plates. If they rejoin at a later date, they can use them again. FMCA membership numbers are never reissued and remain assigned to the original member.
The FMCA identification number and the identification plates, or goose eggs, are integral parts of the Family Motor Coach Association. FMCA asks that all members display their plates with pride.