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    

1930's Los Angeles California Licensed Motor Bus Driver Chauffeur Badge. 1904 New York Registered Chauffeur Badge Number 5 .....1904. !st Year Of Issue!!Vintage Us Post Office Letter Carrier Hat And Badge #16 & Safe Driver AwardsVintage Wilts & Dorset Motor Services Ltd Bus Driver Oval Enamel Badge In VgcState Of Ohio 1913 Registered Chauffeur License Badge Pin Rare,antique,vintage,obsolet,1951 New Mexico Chauffeur Badge,taxi,licened Driver1927 California Issued, Chauffeur, Taxi, Bus Or Limo Driver's "chauffeur Badge"Vintage Taxi Bus Trolley Car Driver Badge Series E Moise Klinkner San Francisco State Of Ohio 1914 Registered Chauffeur License Badge Pin #15711929 British Columbia Chauffeur Badge #42771924 Chauffeur Badge Cairo Il Illinois Badge Number 55German Wwi Driver 1918 Leather Jacket Badge PhotoBadge Medal Army Qualification Bar Lot Rifle Grenade Bayonet Driver-w Pin Ob12Rubber No Smoking Sign Warning Logo Car Taxi Door Decal Emblem Badge Sticker 1pc1938 North Carolina Auto Driver Licensed Chauffeur Badge. Vintage, Antique,obsolet,badge, 1916 Pennsylvania Taxi,chauffeur,licensed DriverVtg 1953 Quebec Taxi Driver Proprietor Cap Badge / Chauffeur De Taxi / CanadaVintage 1928 New York Chauffeur Licensed Metal Brass Screw Pin Back Badge Badge Medal Army Qualification Bar Lot Rifle Pistol Bayonet Driver-w Pin Ob121969 Trois Rivieres Quebec Chauffeur De Taxi Badge2 Vintage Nyc New York City Erp 3 And 4 Year Safe Driver Award Pins Badges Maine 1922 Licensed Chauffeur Badge #2611London Overground Metal Pin Badge,wallet + Pen Rare Driver Issue1966 Plymouth Fury Iii 3 Fender Gills Emblem Trim Badge Script 2 For 1 Sale!