Vintage Chauffeur and Taxi Badges

Beginning in the early 20th century, qualified drivers for taxi cabs or other paid car services were issued a small metal license called a chauffeur badge. The word “chauffeur” comes from the French word for “stoker,” since the earliest automobiles utilized steam-powered engines, requiring the driver to stoke the coal fire during the engine's operation. Though associated with luxury vehicles today, chauffeur licenses were required for all paid passenger-vehicle drivers, whether they were behind the wheel of a sleek limousine or a bulky city bus.

In 1903, New York became the first state to issue a motor vehicle license for chauffeurs, also known as “public hacks.” Pinned to a coat or hat, these metal badges provided an easy way for drivers to display their certification while operating their vehicle. While some badges were designed in the form of a state or a decorative crest, many were simply oval or shield-shaped affairs. Most chauffeur licenses indicated the date of issue, the state certified, and the driver’s specific identification number.

By the early 1950s, paper licenses had replaced badges, which were more expensive to produce. The rarest, most collectible chauffeur badges come from smaller states with fewer taxi operators, rather than those with metropolitan hubs like New York or California.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Comic Character Pinbacks

Comic Character Pinbacks

Mark Lansdown's excellent collection of over 800 pinbacks representing 200+ comic characters from 100+ strips. Beau… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Chauffeur Registered License Badge Pin, Vintage, Illinois, 19141914 Ontario Canada Chauffeur's Badge/pin 4 Digit#2099Magicard Enduro Duo Id Card Thermal Badge Printer Dual Side 76 Badges Driver 3eVintage 1923 State Of Oregon Chauffeur Badge #7488Vintage Texas Licensed Chauffeur Badge Stunning Yukon Chauffeur Badge 1956 The Trolley Bus Company North Carolina Charter Bus Driver Hat Badge Free ShipStunning Quebec Chauffeur Badge 1923 Stunning Manitoba Chauffeur Badge 1920 Stunning Quebec Chauffeur Badge 1925 Stunning Saskatchewan Chauffeur Badge 1929 Stunning Saskatchewan Chauffeur Badge 1925 Stunning Quebec Chauffeur Badge 1926W&s Motor Coach Driver Hat Badge With Greyhound Bus EmblemTransportation Unlimited Inc Bus Driver Hat Badge Free ShippingSksl Bus Lines Driver Hat Badge Free Shipping An OldieChicago Taxi Cab Badge 1926 Roaring '20sHudson Bus Lines Of Lewiston Maine Driver Hat Badge Free ShippingChauffeur Badge (virginia) 1927B & R Transit Company Bus Driver Hat BadgeVintage Louisiana Chauffeur License Badge Old Original 1930 Brass Chauffeur Badge Fort Smith,arkansas W/attaching PinOld 1930 Arkansas Registered Chauffeur Badge-alumnium 1 1/2" DiameterVintage Louisiana Chauffeur License Badge Vintage Louisiana Chauffeur License Badge 1940 Saskatchewan Canada Chauffeur's Badge 4 Digit #2726Rare San Bernardino Calif. Norton Air Force Base (driver) Fireman's Hat BadgeVintage Benton Harbor Michigan 1947-1948 Taxi Cab Driver Badge #54 No Reserve!Austria Austrian Kfor Eod Iedd Team Driver Kfor Army Military Sleeve Badge PatchVintage Arkansas Chauffeur License Badges 1938 Manitoba Canada Chauffeur's Badge 5 Digit#102171935 Dayton Stencil Works Co Oregon Chauffeur BadgeVintage Louisiana Chauffeur License Badge 1931 Minnesota Licensed Chauffeur Badge1937 Minnesota Licensed Chauffeur Badge1941 Oval Ohio Oh Chauffeur Badge W/pin Back Nice Badge #241