CD8(+) T cells directed against beta cell autoantigens are considered relevant for the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Using single cell T cell receptor sequencing of CD8(+) T cells specific for the IGRP265-273 epitope, we examined whether there was expansion of clonotypes and sharing of T cell receptor chains in autoreactive CD8(+) T cell repertoires. HLA-A*0201 positive type 1 diabetes patients (n = 19) and controls (n = 18) were analysed. TCR α- and β-chain sequences of 418 patient-derived IGRP265-273-multimer(+) CD8(+) T cells representing 48 clonotypes were obtained. Expanded populations of IGRP265-273-specific CD8(+) T cells with dominant clonotypes that had TCR α-chains shared across patients were observed. The SGGSNYKLTF motif corresponding to TRAJ53 was contained in 384 (91.9%) cells, and in 20 (41.7%) patient-derived clonotypes. TRAJ53 together with TRAV29/DV5 was found in 15 (31.3%) clonotypes. Using next generation TCR α-chain sequencing, we found enrichment of one of these TCR α-chains in the memory CD8(+) T cells of patients as compared to healthy controls. CD8(+) T cell clones bearing the enriched motifs mediated antigen-specific target cell lysis. We provide the first evidence for restriction of T cell receptor motifs in the alpha chain of human CD8(+) T cells with specificity to a beta cell antigen.