Vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) is a transmembrane protein that functions as the surface coat of enveloped viral particles. We report the surprising result that VSV-G uses the tyrosine-based di-acidic motif (-YTDIE-) found in its cytoplasmic tail to recruit adaptor protein complex 3 for export from the trans-Golgi network. The same sorting code is used to recruit coat complex II to direct efficient transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus. These results demonstrate that a single sorting sequence can interact with sequential coat machineries to direct transport through the secretory pathway. We propose that use of this compact sorting domain reflects a need for both efficient endoplasmic reticulum export and concentration of VSV-G into specialized post-trans-Golgi network secretory-lysosome type transport containers to facilitate formation of viral coats at the cell surface.