The Golgi apparatus in animal cells breaks down at the onset of mitosis and is later rebuilt in the two daughter cells. Two AAA ATPases, NSF and p97/VCP, have been implicated in regulating membrane fusion steps that lead to regrowth of Golgi cisternae from mitotic fragments. NSF dissociates complexes of SNARE proteins, thereby reactivating them to mediate membrane fusion. However, NSF has a second function in regulating SNARE pairing together with the ubiquitin-like protein GATE-16. p97/VCP, on the other hand, is involved in a cycle of ubiquitination and deubiquitination of an unknown target that governs Golgi membrane dynamics. Here, these findings are reviewed and discussed in the context of the increasingly evident role of ubiquitin in membrane traffic processes.