Vesicular carriers for intracellular transport associate with unique sets of accessory molecules that dictate budding and docking on specific membrane domains. Although many of these accessory molecules are peripheral membrane proteins, in most cases the targeting sequences responsible for their membrane recruitment have yet to be identified. We have previously defined a novel Golgi targeting domain (GRIP) shared by a family of coiled-coil peripheral membrane Golgi proteins implicated in membrane trafficking. We show here that the docking site for the GRIP motif of p230 is a specific domain of Golgi membranes. By immuno-electron microscopy of HeLa cells stably expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-p230GRIP fusion protein, we show binding specifically to a subset of membranes of the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Real-time imaging of live HeLa cells revealed that the GFP-p230GRIP was associated with highly dynamic tubular extensions of the TGN, which have the appearance and behaviour of transport carriers. To further define the nature of the GRIP membrane binding site, in vitro budding assays were performed using purified rat liver Golgi membranes and cytosol from GFP-p230GRIP-transfected cells. Analysis of Golgi-derived vesicles by sucrose gradient fractionation demonstrated that GFP-p230GRIP binds to a specific population of vesicles distinct from those labelled for beta-COP or gamma-adaptin. The GFP-p230GRIP fusion protein is recruited to the same vesicle population as full-length p230, demonstrating that the GRIP domain is solely proficient as a targeting signal for membrane binding of the native molecule. Therefore, p230 GRIP is a targeting signal for recruitment to a highly selective membrane attachment site on a specific population of trans-Golgi network tubulo-vesicular carriers.