The T cell repertoire comprises αβ and γδ T cell lineages. Although it is established how αβ T cell antigen receptors (TCRs) interact with antigen presented by antigen-presenting molecules, this is unknown for γδ TCRs. We describe a population of human Vδ1(+) γδ T cells that exhibit autoreactivity to CD1d and provide a molecular basis for how a γδ TCR binds CD1d-α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer). The γδ TCR docked orthogonally, over the A' pocket of CD1d, in which the Vδ1-chain, and in particular the germ line-encoded CDR1δ loop, dominated interactions with CD1d. The TCR γ-chain sat peripherally to the interface, with the CDR3γ loop representing the principal determinant for α-GalCer specificity. Accordingly, we provide insight into how a γδ TCR binds specifically to a lipid-loaded antigen-presenting molecule.