Electrorheological (ER) fluids are a kind of smart material whose rheological properties can be controlled by an external electric field. In the present paper, the transient vibration of a rectangular three layer sandwich plate with electrorheological fluid core is analyzed based on the classical plate theory. The Bingham plastic model is used to consider the post-yield behavior of ER fluid. The structure is modeled using a finite element method. Hamilton’s principle is employed to derive the finite element equations of motion. The constant average acceleration scheme is used to integrate the equations of motion. The effects of change in electric field and core thickness on the structure settling time and its natural frequencies are studied for various boundary conditions. The results show that the thickness of the core layer and the electric field strength has significant effects on damping behavior of the sandwich plate. When the applied electric field increases a linear decay in transient response of the structure is observed. It is also found that the electric field changes have no influence on the system natural frequencies.