A DREB-type transcription factor gene GmDREBL has been characterized for its functions in oil accumulation in seeds. The gene is specifically expressed in soybean seeds. The GmDREBL is localized in nucleus and has transcriptional activation ability. Overexpression of GmDREBL increased the fatty acid content in the seeds of transgenic Arabidopsis plants. GmDREBL can bind to the promoter region of WRI1 to activate its expression. Several other genes in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway were also enhanced in the GmDREBL-transgenic plants. The GmDREBL can be up-regulated by GmABI3 and GmABI5. Additionally, overexpression of GmDREBL significantly promoted seed size in transgenic plants compared to that of WT plants. Expression of the DREBL is at higher level on the average in cultivated soybeans than that in wild soybeans. The promoter of the DREBL may have been subjected to selection during soybean domestication. Our results demonstrate that GmDREBL participates in the regulation of fatty acid accumulation by controlling the expression of WRI1 and its downstream genes, and manipulation of the gene may increase the oil contents in soybean plants. Our study provides novel insights into the function of DREB-type transcription factors in oil accumulation in addition to their roles in stress response.