A minimization method for material characterization of laminated composite plates using static test results is presented. Mechanical responses such as strains and displacements are measured from the static tests of the laminated composite plates. The finite element method is used to analyze the deformation of the laminated composite plates. An error function is established to measure the differences between the experimental and theoretical mechanical responses of the laminated composite plates. The identification of the material elastic constants of the laminated composite plates is formulated as a constrained minimization problem in which the elastic constants are determined by making the error function a global minimum. A number of examples are given to illustrate the feasibility and applications of the proposed method.