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Automobile license plate recognition (ALPR) is becoming increasingly important to homeland security and law enforcement. There are a number of commercial vendors with tag recognition hardware and software in the ALPR market. Many of these vendors have developed open tag recognition solutions that run on laptop PCs with commodity video-capture devices as peripherals. Such PC-based solutions are quite conducive to an open architecture for data transmission and sharing between applications. In this paper, we present an architecture that supports such a commodity tag recognition solution as its centerpiece. We then discuss a recent pilot project where this architecture was implemented and tested.