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In this research, the design of a new genetic algorithm (GA) is introduced to detect the locations of license plate (LP) symbols. An adaptive threshold method is applied to overcome the dynamic changes of illumination conditions when converting the image into binary. Connected component analysis technique (CCAT) is used to detect candidate objects inside the unknown image. A scale-invariant geometric relationship matrix is introduced to model the layout of symbols in any LP that simplifies system adaptability when applied in different countries. Moreover, two new crossover operators, based on sorting, are introduced, which greatly improve the convergence speed of the system. Most of the CCAT problems, such as touching or broken bodies, are minimized by modifying the GA to perform partial match until reaching an acceptable fitness value. The system is implemented using MATLAB and various image samples are experimented with to verify the distinction of the proposed system. Encouraging results with 98.4% overall accuracy are reported for two different datasets having variability in orientation, scaling, plate location, illumination, and complex background. Examples of distorted plate images are successfully detected due to the independency on the shape, color, or location of the plate.