Misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are exported to the cytosol for degradation by the proteasome in a process known as ER-associated degradation (ERAD). CPY* is a well characterized ERAD substrate whose degradation is dependent upon the Hrd1 complex. However, although the functions of some of the components of this complex are known, the nature of the protein dislocation channel remains obscure. Sec61p has been suggested as an obvious candidate because of its role as a protein-conducting channel through which polypeptides are initially translocated into the ER. However, it has not yet been possible to functionally dissect any role for Sec61p in dislocation from its essential function in translocation. By changing the translocation properties of a series of novel ERAD substrates, we are able to separate these two events and find that functional Sec61p is essential for the ERAD-L pathway.