The twin-arginine transport (Tat) system is a protein-targeting pathway of prokaryotes and chloroplasts. Most Escherichia coli Tat substrates are complex metalloenzymes that must be correctly folded and assembled before transport, and a preexport chaperone-mediated “proofreading” process is therefore in operation. The paradigm proofreading chaperone is TorD, which coordinates maturation and export of the key respiratory enzyme trimethylamine N-oxide reductase (TorA). It is demonstrated here that purified TorD binds tightly and with exquisite specificity to the TorA twin-arginine signal peptide in vitro. It is also reported that the TorD family constitutes a hitherto unexpected class of nucleotide-binding proteins. The affinity of TorD for GTP is enhanced by initial signal peptide binding, and it is proposed that GTP governs signal peptide binding-and-release cycles during Tat proofreading.