The association of biomolecules is the elementary event of communication in biology. Most mechanistic information of how the interactions between binding partners form or break is, however, hidden in the transition paths, the very short parts of the molecular trajectories from the encounter of the two molecules to the formation of a stable complex. Here we use single-molecule spectroscopy to measure the transition path times for the association of two intrinsically disordered proteins that form a folded dimer upon binding. The results reveal the formation of a metastable encounter complex that is electrostatically favored and transits to the final bound state within tens of microseconds. Such measurements thus open a new window into the microscopic events governing biomolecular interactions.