Hundreds of proteins are anchored in intracellular membranes by a single transmembrane domain (TMD) close to the C terminus. Although these tail-anchored (TA) proteins serve numerous essential roles in cells, components of their targeting and insertion pathways have long remained elusive. Here we reveal a cytosolic TMD recognition complex (TRC) that targets TA proteins for insertion into the ER membrane. The highly conserved, 40 kDa ATPase subunit of TRC (which we termed TRC40) was identified as Asna-1. TRC40/Asna-1 interacts posttranslationally with TA proteins in a TMD-dependent manner for delivery to a proteinaceous receptor at the ER membrane. Subsequent release from TRC40/Asna-1 and insertion into the membrane depends on ATP hydrolysis. Consequently, an ATPase-deficient mutant of TRC40/Asna-1 dominantly inhibited TA protein insertion selectively without influencing other translocation pathways. Thus, TRC40/Asna-1 represents an integral component of a posttranslational pathway of membrane protein insertion whose targeting is mediated by TRC.