Ultraviolet (UV) light induces mutagenic cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) in nucleosomal DNA that is tightly wrapped around histone octamers. How global-genome nucleotide excision repair (GG-NER) processes CPDs despite that this chromatin arrangement is poorly understood. An increased chromatin association of CHD1 (chromodomain helicase DNA-binding 1) upon UV irradiation indicated possible roles of this chromatin remodeler in the UV damage response. Immunoprecipitation of chromatin fragments revealed that CHD1 co-localizes in part with GG-NER factors. Chromatin fractionation showed that the UV-dependent recruitment of CHD1 occurs to UV lesions in histone-assembled nucleosomal DNA and that this CHD1 relocation requires the lesion sensor XPC (xeroderma pigmentosum group C). In situ immunofluorescence analyses further demonstrate that CHD1 facilitates substrate handover from XPC to the downstream TFIIH (transcription factor IIH). Consequently, CHD1 depletion slows down CPD excision and sensitizes cells to UV-induced cytotoxicity. The finding of a CHD1-driven lesion handover between sequentially acting GG-NER factors on nucleosomal histone octamers suggests that chromatin provides a recognition scaffold enabling the detection of a subset of CPDs.