At least half of all human pre-mRNAs are subject to alternative 3' processing that may modulate both the coding capacity of the message and the array of post-transcriptional regulatory elements embedded within the 3' UTR. Vertebrate poly(A) site selection appears to rely primarily on the binding of CPSF to an A(A/U)UAAA hexamer upstream of the cleavage site and CstF to a downstream GU-rich element. At least one-quarter of all human poly(A) sites, however, lack the A(A/U)UAAA motif. We report that sequence-specific RNA binding of the human 3' processing factor CFI(m) can function as a primary determinant of poly(A) site recognition in the absence of the A(A/U)UAAA motif. CFI(m) is sufficient to direct sequence-specific, A(A/U)UAAA-independent poly(A) addition in vitro through the recruitment of the CPSF subunit hFip1 and poly(A) polymerase to the RNA substrate. ChIP analysis indicates that CFI(m) is recruited to the transcription unit, along with CPSF and CstF, during the initial stages of transcription, supporting a direct role for CFI(m) in poly(A) site recognition. The recognition of three distinct sequence elements by CFI(m), CPSF, and CstF suggests that vertebrate poly(A) site definition is mechanistically more similar to that of yeast and plants than anticipated.