The role of three N-linked glycosylation sites in rubella virus (RV) E1 protein on virion release was analyzed by transfecting Vero 76 cells with infectious RV RNA (Robo302WT) containing isoleucine substitutions at N76, N177, and N209 (individually and in combinations). RV RNAs were detected and found to retain substitutions in the transfected cells, but RV capsid indicative of infection was undetectable, except for in Robo302WT and Robo302-N177I transfected cells. Only culture supernatants of Robo302WT and Robo302-N177I RNA transfected cells were positive for RV, suggestive of the virion release into the culture medium. Further, detection of intracellular RV E1 and newly released virion-associated E1 was possible only from cells previously incubated with Robo302-N177I and Robo302WT culture supernatants, suggesting that N177I substituted virus retained infectivity. These results suggest that while glycosylation at N177 is not critical, N76I and N209I mutations are lethal to RV viability.