Due to the increasingly need for automatic traffic monitoring, vehicle license plate detection is of high interest to perform automatic toll collection, traffic law enforcement, parking lot access control, among others. In this paper, a sliding window approach based on Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) features is used for Brazilian license plate detection. This approach consists in scanning the whole image in a multiscale fashion such that the license plate is located precisely. The main contribution of this work consists in a deep study of the best setup for HOG descriptors on the detection of Brazilian license plates, in which HOG have never been applied before. We also demonstrate the reliability of this method ensured by a recall higher than 98% (with a precision higher than 78%) in a publicly available data set.