Classically, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention signals in secreted integral membrane proteins impose the requirement to assemble with other cognate subunits to form functional assemblies before they can exit the ER. We report that GluK5 has two ER retention signals in its cytoplasmic C-terminus: an arginine-based signal and a di-leucine motif previously thought to be an endocytic motif. GluK5 assembles with GluK2, but surprisingly GluK2 association does little to block the ER retention signals. We find instead that the ER retention signals are blocked by two proteins involved in intracellular trafficking, SAP97 and CASK. We show that SAP97, in the presence of CASK and the receptor complex, assumes an extended conformation. In the extended conformation, SAP97 makes its SH3 and GuK domains available to bind and sterically mask the ER retention signals in the GluK5 C-terminus. SAP97 and CASK are also necessary for sorting receptor cargoes into the local dendritic secretory pathway in neurons. We show that the ER retention signals of GluK5 play a vital role in sorting the receptor complex in the local dendritic secretory pathway in neurons. These data suggest a new role for ER retention signals in trafficking integral membrane proteins in neurons. SIGNIFICANCE: We present evidence that the ER retention signals in the kainate receptors containing GluK5 impose a requirement for sorting into local dendritic secretory pathways in neurons, as opposed to traversing the somatic Golgi apparatus. There are two ER retention signals in the C-terminus of GluK5. We show that both are blocked by physical association with SAP97 and CASK. The SH3 and GuK domains of SAP97, in the presence of CASK, bind directly to each ER retention signal and form a complex. These results support an entirely new function for ER retention signals in the C-termini of neuronal receptors, such as NMDA and kainate receptors, and define a mechanism for selective entry of receptors into local secretory pathways.