The availability of the complete genomic sequences of the human and mouse T cell receptor loci opens up new opportunities for understanding T cell receptors (TCRs) and their genes. The full complement of TCR gene segments is finally known and should prove a valuable resource for supporting functional studies. A rational nomenclature system has been implemented and is widely available through IMGT and other public databases. Systematic comparisons of the genomic sequences within each locus, between loci, and across species enable precise analyses of the various diversification mechanisms and some regulatory signals. The genomic landscape of the TCR loci provides fundamental insights into TCR evolution as highly localized and tightly regulated gene families.