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A low-profile (aplambda/100) passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag antenna incorporated with a compact artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) substrate is proposed. A novel modified rectangular patch type AMC substrate with offset vias is employed to significantly reduce the planar dimensions of a tag antenna, which is about 0.1lambda times 0.2lambda. The effect of a ground plane size and the number of AMC unit cells on the antenna performance such as return loss and gain is investigated with a view of tag installation. It is demonstrated through experiments that the proposed tag antenna shows relatively tolerant reading distances from 2.4 to 4.8 m under various platform environments such as a conductive plate or a plastic water container.