A support vector machine (SVM) optimized by particle swarm optimization (PSO)-based damage identification method is proposed in this paper. The classification accuracy of the damage localization and the detection accuracy of severity are used as the fitness function, respectively. The best and can be obtained through velocity and position updating of PSO. A simply supported beam bridge with five girders is provided as numerical example, damage cases with single and multiple suspicious damage elements are established to verify the feasibility of the proposed method. Numerical results indicate that the SVM optimized by PSO method can effectively identify the damage locations and severity.