In eukaryotes, tRNAs are synthesized in the nucleus and after several maturation steps exported to the cytoplasm. Here, we identify exportin-t as a specific mediator of tRNA export. It is a RanGTP-binding, importin β-related factor with predominantly nuclear localization. It shuttles rapidly between nucleus and cytoplasm and interacts with nuclear pore complexes. Exportin-t binds tRNA directly and with high affinity. Its cellular concentration in Xenopus oocytes was found to be rate-limiting for export of all tRNAs tested, as judged by microinjection experiments. RanGTP regulates the substrate-exportin-t interaction such that tRNA can be preferentially bound in the nucleus and released in the cytoplasm.