This study presented a Degraded License Plate Recognition (DLPR) to identify town buses on highway. Since the License Plates (LPs) of town buses are influenced by the external conditions and become hardly distinguished by the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) method. The proposed DLPR system adopts Histogram of Oriented Gradient (HOG) and Support Vector Machine (SVM)-for classification-based solution. The proposed system implements a two-level LPR, including LP localization and character recognition. For the recognition efficiency of the proposed system, two trained databases for LP localization and character recognition are reduced by the mathematical and feature-based approaches, respectively, and thus the searching time can be saved significantly. To certify the performance of recognizing the degraded LPs, the proposed system is demonstrated by physical degraded LP images, and thus the results reveal that the proposed system overcomes several degraded LP images with reasonable recognition accuracy.