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Hi,

For some time I've been searching for information and value of a driver license back in early 1900's. It was my grandfather's and is like a metal piece apparently used in the belt. I figured it was his driver license since I do have some of his later ones (like the ones we know) matching same number.

Its interesting historical value is that it was issued between 1898-1932, since it is inscribed as "PORTO RICO MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR". After the ratification of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, Puerto Rico came under the military control of the United States of America. This brought about significant changes being one of them the change of name from Puerto Rico to Porto Rico (it would be changed back to Puerto Rico in 1932).

What do you think the value of this item is?

Thanks,

Vanessa I Lora

 

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Deb, I'm new on this and I noticed that you sent me a reply, but I can't see it....I hit the "1 comment" but it just shows me the pics I added.....did you actually replied and commented on my answer?....Vanessa

 

Hi Vanessa - I am afraid I have no info to offer on your interesting piece -- I just reloaded your pix so that they could be seen without opening a link.  It is so much easier for us to view them that way. Use the second button, the blue box to make the pix visible.  Good luck, I hope someone will be able to help.

Hi Vannesa,

I am Ovidio Davila from Puerto Rico. What you have is a vehicle operator (conductor) license badge. There were three types of vehicle license categories: operator (conductor), chauffeur (chofer privado o publico), and heavy driver (vehiculos pesados). The metal badge were issued with black enamel (operator), white (chauffeur), and blue (heavy driver).  These badges had back screw or pn closures only, but people in Puerto Rico like to used them on their belts (most drivers were men then), so they took their "placas", as they were known, to a local jeweller, who for a small fee soldered a brass loop on the back. This seems to be the case with you grandfathers "placa".  These placas were first issued in 1915 as the result of the passing of Law 75 of 1914 which stablished the license system for the then growing number of cars in Puerto Rico, and on account of World War II between 1942-1943 these badges or placas were no longer required for driving in Puerto Rico.  The license number 27591 was issued around 1926-1928.  I am on of the very few people in Puerto Rico who collect these placas. Intact badges, with the original, either back screw or pin, in inalterated state are much rare.  These have been sold on eBay for around $150.00: the one included, in mint, condition, with original pin back, was recently purchased by me.  Operator types are more common, being the blue enamel "heavy vehicle driver" more rare.  Me, as a collector, would stimate that your placa is worth around $75, having some ware and having been alterated with the soldering on the back of a metal loop.  I hope this information helps you. Regards, Ovidio     

Hi Vannesa,

I am Ovidio Davila from Puerto Rico. What you have is a vehicle operator (conductor) license badge. There were three types of vehicle license categories: operator (conductor), chauffeur (chofer privado o publico), and heavy driver (vehiculos pesados). The metal badge were issued with black enamel (operator), white (chauffeur), and blue (heavy driver).  These badges had back screw or pn closures only, but people in Puerto Rico like to used them on their belts (most drivers were men then), so they took their "placas", as they were known, to a local jeweller, who for a small fee soldered a brass loop on the back. This seems to be the case with you grandfathers "placa".  These placas were first issued in 1915 as the result of the passing of Law 75 of 1914 which stablished the license system for the then growing number of cars in Puerto Rico, and on account of World War II between 1942-1943 these badges or placas were no longer required for driving in Puerto Rico.  The license number 27591 was issued around 1926-1928.  I am on of the very few people in Puerto Rico who collect these placas. Intact badges, with the original, either back screw or pin, in inalterated state are much rare.  These have been sold on eBay for around $150.00: the one included, in mint, condition, with original pin back, was recently purchased by me.  Operator types are more common, being the blue enamel "heavy vehicle driver" more rare.  Me, as a collector, would stimate that your placa is worth around $75, having some ware and having been alterated with the soldering on the back of a metal loop.  I hope this information helps you. Regards, Ovidio

After all this time, VANNESA I LORA has not even been kind enough as to reciprocate my reply to her request of information regarding her grandfather's driver metal badge. This is the type of arrogant and ungrateful attitude that harms the educative and knowledge sharing purposes of I Antique Online.  

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