A registered importer is also known as an RI. Unless you have delved into vehicle imports you probably don’t know much about RIs. Registered Importers (R.I.â€™s) are garages and mechanical shops that are licensed by DOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) to perform conversions on foreign cars to US standards. Typical conversion work includes headlamps, side markers, door beams, bumpers speedometer and fuel line. The car is bonded to an R.I. on entry and taken to the shop. After conversion, the shop submits a report on the conversion to DOT to get the bond released.