Genome packaging is functionally coupled to replication in RNA viruses pathogenic to humans (Poliovirus), insects (Flock house virus [FHV]), and plants (Brome mosaic virus [BMV]). However, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. We have observed previously that in FHV and BMV, unlike ectopically expressed capsid protein (CP), packaging specificity results from RNA encapsidation by CP that has been translated from mRNA produced from replicating genomic RNA. Consequently, we hypothesize that a physical interaction with replicase increases the CP specificity for packaging viral RNAs. We tested this hypothesis by evaluating the molecular interaction between replicase protein and CP using a FHV-Nicotiana benthamiana system. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation in conjunction with fluorescent cellular protein markers and coimmunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that FHV replicase (protein A) and CP physically interact at the mitochondrial site of replication and that this interaction requires the N-proximal region from either amino acids 1 to 31 or amino acids 32 to 50 of the CP. In contrast to the mitochondrial localization of CP derived from FHV replication, ectopic expression displayed a characteristic punctate pattern on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This pattern was altered to relocalize the CP throughout the cytoplasm when the C-proximal hydrophobic domain was deleted. Analysis of the packaging phenotypes of the CP mutants defective either in protein A-CP interactions or ER localization suggested that synchronization between protein A-CP interaction and its subcellular localization is imperative to confer packaging specificity.