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Chauffeur Badges

In past usage of the term a “chauffeur” was any person who drove a motor vehicle for hire, carrying persons or cargo. Examples included taxi drivers, bus drivers and commercial truck drivers. Beginning on January 1, 1938, these persons were required to obtain a chauffeur’s license, and with that license came a small metal badge bearing a serial number matching the corresponding number on the paper license. In 1945 legislation was passed providing for the optional purchase of 2-year and 3-year licenses. In some such instances multi-year badges were provided, whereas in other instances a badge was received which indicated the last year that the license was valid. The badges and licenses were in use 1938 through 1957, and were ultimately superseded by the commercial driver’s license (CDL).  In keeping with the need to conserve metal during World War II, the 1944 and 1945 badges were made of laminated cardboard.  1939 large size badge courtesy Keith Austin. All others by Bill Johnston.
Sample Chauffeur Badges

The sample chauffeur badges illustrated here are the only ones known, though it seems likely that they must exist for other years as well.
1947 courtesy Keith Austin. 1952, 1952-1953, 1952-53-54 courtesy Collection of Dr. Edward H. Miles @ EdMilesAuto.com.
Low Numbered Chauffeur Badges
Shown here is a selection of badges whose serial numbers have three digits or less, i.e., are within the range 1-999.
1938, 1942, 1952 Courtesy Keith Austin. 1940, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1955 courtesy Collection of Dr. Edward H. Miles @ EdMilesAuto.com.
Chauffeur Badges With Nice Numbers
The idea of what constitutes a “nice” number is subjective, but here are a few that we think are nice. 1938 #111, 1942 #88 courtesy Keith Austin. 1940 #1, 1942 #20000, 1959 #22222 courtesy Collection of Dr. Edward H. Miles @ EdMilesAuto.com.



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