The History Of AAA

AAA History

Over 100 Years of Serving Members


Vintage AAA Tow Truck

AAA was founded over 100 years ago for the purpose of lobbying for driver and passenger rights, fair laws and safer vehicles — all to better promote the love of the open road and the adventure of driving. Since then, AAA has grown to over 50 million members strong, while providing valuable membership services such as roadside assistance. Additionally, AAA has broadened its horizons to include all types of travel-related services, as well as offer a variety of insurance and financial products and services. Here are some significant events in our history.


1902:
The American Automobile Association is officially formed. Membership totals approximately 1,500.
1903:
Supports federal legislation calling for federal funds for the improvement of national highways through the establishment of what is now the Department of Transportation.
1905:
First map is published.
1915:
Emergency Road Service (ERS) begins.
1917:
Publishes first hotel directory in a single publication.
1919:
Begins Roadside Protection Program designed to protect highways and the safety and comfort of travel.
1920:
First AAA Campground Directory is published. AAA School Safety Patrol is launched.
1926:
First series of AAA TourBook® guides is released and covers the Northeastern, Southeastern and North Central states and parts of Canada.
1929:
Develops all-inclusive travel services, including complete tour packages.
1937:
Begins field inspections of lodgings and restaurants.
1940:
First AAA Driver Education and Training manual for high school teachers is published. Membership in AAA passes one million.
1963:
Adopts rating system for TourBook® guide accommodations listings which will later become the Diamond Rating System.
1969:
Founds AAA Life Insurance Company. Signs agreement for a nationwide computer reservation system.
1975:
Develops Approved Auto Repair program to identify competent, reliable repair facilities.
2007:
Membership reaches 50 million.