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America on the Move
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New York Chauffeur's License
Catalog #: 336,544, Accession #: 1978.0419
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This badge declared that its owner was a “Licensed Chauffeur, New York, 1916, 80045”
Physical Description
artifact. 1 1/4" W x 1" H x 1/4" D; small brass badge, with white enamel and blue numerals.
Date Made:
New York
Gift of Don H. Berkebile

Early motorists were taught to drive by automobile salesmen, family and friends, or organizations like the YMCA. States required car registrations before they required licenses for drivers. Drivers licenses were issued by 39 states by 1935 and few required a test.

Related People, Places, and Events
Don H. Berkebile
Donor worked for the National Museum of American History. He donated this artifact in 1978

Place of Use
New York

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