State ID Proves Vital in License Plate Readers

This document establishes the need for state identification in LPR data capture as part of thorough risk assessment.

Vehicle identification and inspections plays a vital role in thorough perimeter and access control security protocols. You must know the people and vehicles coming and going from your facility in order to assess the validity of the visit and determine the threat they or their vehicle may pose to the environment. Typically gate officers manually check a license plate number against a secured database in an effort to verify the person and vehicle have been cleared to enter. But there are strong arguments for automated License Plate Readers with State Identification capabilities to automate this process and return all available plate data for thorough local and federal database clearances.

Manual vehicle transactions can consume an average of 3-4 minutes of a gate officer’s time, which in turn causes traffic congestion and frustration issues at the point of entry. Many gate officers who encounter traffic delays at the gate have admitted to foregoing the normal checks and security procedures in order to restore a manageable traffic ´┐╝flow.

There is a growing need for automated real-time License Plate Reading technologies with State Identification for use in initial security assessments or as potential forensic evidence at an entry gate. High performance License Plate Reader systems, which operate consistently in low light situations and under extreme weather conditions and can return optimal license plate read results or data regardless of vehicle speed, allow gate officers to operate with increased efficiencies while optimizing crucial facility access security operations. But not all License Plate Readers operate with consistent accuracy and can return all the license plate data needed to realize optimal efficiency and threat assessment or readiness.

It is not uncommon for license plate numbers to be repeated from state to state. In those cases state, province or country of origin identification become the qualifying variables that allow gate officers to properly cross check against secured databases, completely removing a manual step in the security process. If “vehicle origin” data is missing, gate officers must either manually check and enter that information before querying databases such as BOLO or NCIC or check the databases with the hopes that duplicated tags are not in the system. This manual solution can potential cause a massive tie up of the databases query and becomes an enormous resource drain on the officers, who spend their time cleaning and qualifying data, instead of assessing the information at hand. This presents a security risk at the gate. Officers with their eyes on a computer screen, running queries, compromise their ability to respond to a threat that may be evolving in front of their eyes. Their readiness to respond is greatly compromised. 

Data Integrity & Timeliness

The data captured by a fixed automated License Plate Reader must be complete and fast so officers are not tasked with manually identifying and plugging in missing pieces of information. Missing data and manual follow through in these circumstances cause burdensome traffic delays and drain valuable re- sources of productivity and more importantly cannot generate accurate returns against local or national databases.

Data Relevancy

To quickly assess risk, data captured by an automated License Plate Reader must be exact and specific to various agency requirements. Key information such as country, province and state identification along with alphanumeric optical captures are required to determine the origin and owner of a vehicle. Once automatically captured, this data is transmitted and checked against secured databases. Data reliability is crucial to the risk assessment process. All images captured by an automated License Plate Reader and converted as data within a secured, proprietary software system must be reliable. If the optical capture technology misinterprets the plates, then the initial set of data values will not match the secured database values, thus failing to return all of the matches needed to identify potential threats.

Implications of Risk Assessment and Using Good Data

When real time image and data creation processes are introduced, officers can make smarter decisions and keep traffic moving, while keeping their eyes on the landscape before them. Thorough risk assessment starts with accurate data. The proprietary software system interprets these images into data to include the state identification component and checks the data against secured local or national databases, and the VIS software displays the data so gate officers have a thorough transaction on every passenger or commercial vehicle entering or leaving a facility.


Failure to capture accurate or complete data at entry gates create taxing traffic delays and compromise facility security and asset protection. Security threats from within and outside of facilities are constantly evolving. Automated, real-time imaging systems such as License Plate Reader Systems that return accurate results within a matter of seconds allowing gate officers to perform systematic risk assessments while providing these same officers with forensic evidence needed to successfully prosecute those who would do harm.