To register with MDA an artist must have sold work?

This is what the MDA told me when I phoned them up. And now as I search to exhibit, I’m discovering otherwise - that in order to exhibit, I must be registered with them.
Anybody know the real truth?!

As I understand it, there’s two categories of membership. To fully register with them as in, affiliate with them for your social security cover, you must have sold work and you have to submit a CV and portfolio etc with your application. But I believe there is another category where you register and pay a fee basically in order to be able to call yourself an artist and, as you say, participate in exhibitions etc, but it doesn’t entitle you to social security via MdA. Which is logical because people in that category wouldn’t be earning a living as an artist, they’d be students or keen amateurs or artists who are still getting established.

Could be wrong but I think that’s the gist, but it’ll all be on their website. Though as I recall MdA don’t have the most user friendly website in the world.

Thanks very much. That clarifies it more. I think I am in the later.