p53 and p63 belong to a family of sequence-specific transcription factors regulating key cellular processes. Differential composition of the p53 and p63 DNA-binding sites may contribute to distinct functions of these protein homologues. We used SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) methodology to identify nucleic acid ligands for p63. We found that p63 bound preferentially to DNA fragments conforming to the 20 bp sequence 5'-RRRC(A/G)(A/T)GYYYRRRC(A/T)(C/T)GYYY-3'. Relative to the p53 consensus, the p63 consensus DNA-binding site (DBS) was more degenerate, particularly at positions 10 and 11, and was enriched for A/G at position 5 and C/T at position 16 of the consensus. The differences in DNA-binding site preferences between p63 and p53 influenced their ability to activate transcription from select response elements (REs) in cells. A computer algorithm, p63MH, was developed to find candidate p63-binding motifs on input sequences. We identified genes responsive to p63 regulation that contain functional p63 REs. Our results suggest that the sequence composition of REs could be one contributing factor to target gene discrimination between p63 and p53.