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    

Mercedes Cufflinks Car Lewis Hamilton Driver Badge Motor Sport German Le Mans 24Vintage U.s. Mail Postal Driver Badge No. 4 (1940's) Rare!Wwii U.s. Army Driver And Mechanic Badge Medal 4 Different Sterling Pin Insignia1912 Licensed Driver Badge, Pennsylvania, #4676Vintage The Order Of The Road Car Bar Badge 37 Year Driver Auto Emblem1923 Los Angeles, California Licensed Chauffeur Badge #1758An Old Brass City Of Newcastle Upon Tyne Omnibus Driver Badge No. 398Vintage Badge Taxi «st Romuald No 32 Quebec 1967**** Rare Quebec Chauffeur Sans / No Accident 1930's Badge Lot Of 5 ****Quebec Canada 1921 Chauffeur Badge #1733 Enameled PinVintage Chauffeur Driver Hat W/ 1942 Registered Ohio Badge L@@k!Registered Chauffeur Metal Badge #1089 California 1924Vintage Ww 2 U.s Army Sterling Silver Wheeled Vehicle Driver Qualification BadgeNew York City 1947 Public Hack Driver/taxi Badge License N.y.c.1961 Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Driver Badge Kendall License Dick Lord1916 New York Chauffeur Badge Vintage Original 667833 Vintage Kansas Licensed Chauffeur Pinback Badges 2 - 1947 & 1 - 1949Military Tank Driver Qualification Badge Third Class 1960 RussiaVintage 1923 Illinois Chauffeur License Driver Badge Pin New York Chauffeur Badges 1926 1927 1928 Vintage 1928 New York Licensed Chauffeur Enameled Badge - Emblem1934 Minnesota Licensed Chauffeur Badge Vintage - Original 22415Original 1939 Illinois Licensed Chauffeur Badge / Pin 1927 New York Chauffeur License Badge Brass Super Cond.antique Great Condition Vintage Sterling Wwii Driver And Mechanic Pin Badge Medal Driver-t TankVintage Truck Driver Hat Badge And Belt Buckles1945 Indiana Licensed Chauffeur License Badge