COPII coat proteins are required for direct capture of cargo and SNARE proteins into transport vesicles from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Cargo and SNARE capture occurs during the formation of a 'prebudding complex' comprising a cargo, Sar1p-GTP and the COPII subunits Sec23/24p. The assembly and disassembly cycle of the prebudding complex on ER membranes is coupled to the Sar1p GTPase cycle. Using FRET to monitor a single round of Sec23/24p binding and dissociation from SNAREs in reconstituted liposomes, we show that Sec23/24p dissociates from v-SNARE and complexed t-SNARE with kinetics slower than Sar1p-GTP hydrolysis. Once Sec23/24p becomes associated with v-SNARE or complexed t-SNARE, the complex remains assembled during multiple rounds of Sar1p-GTP hydrolysis mediated by the GDP-GTP exchange factor Sec12p. These data suggest a model for the maintenance of kinetically stable prebudding complexes during the Sar1p GTPase cycle that regulates cargo sorting into transport vesicles.