This paper presents an alternative algorithm for number plate recognition. The algorithm consists of three modules. Respectively, they are number plate location module, character segmentation module and character recognition module. Number plate location module extracts the number plate from the detected car image by analyzing the color and the texture properties. Different from most license plate location methods, the algorithm has fewer limits to the car size, the car position in the image and the image background. Character segmentation module applies connected region algorithm both to eliminate noise points and to segment characters. Touching characters and broken characters can be processed correctly. Character recognition module recognizes characters with HHIC (Hierarchical Hybrid Integrated Classifier). The system has been tested with 100 images obtained from crossroad and parking lot, etc, where the cars have different size, position, background and illumination. Successful recognition rate is about 92%. The average processing time is 1.2 second.