Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,173
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

@Jordan2 wrote:

I get very confused about Priority Mail, Priority Express, and Certified Mail with Signature, through USPS. I live in New York state and need to mail important documents to the DMV ( because of COVID-19 I rather not go to the DMV in person). What is the best way to mail this? Priority Mail Express starts at $25 which is rather expensive, the Priority Mail with Signature is about $8 plus about $3 for the signature. Also what exactly is the difference between Certified and Priority Mail?

First Class vs. Priority Mail


Letters, flats and packages weighing 13 ounces or less are considered First Class mail. Traveling as ordinary mail, these items typically arrive at their destination in two to three days. Priority Mail service gets most items to their destination in two days, and can be used for any mailable item.


Certified Mail

Certified Mail service can be added to any First Class or Prioity Mail Item. Certified Mail service provides the sender with a unique article number that the Postal Service uses to track the item and maintain a record of delivery. Certified items must be signed for by the addressee.


Certified Mail

Certified Mail was added to the Registered Mail system in 1955. The USPS introduced it for people to send important mail for less than Registered Mail. Today it’s used to transport important documents like tax returns and legal notices.


Certified Mail promises USPS delivery of your letter or package. You receive a unique article number to prove the piece mailed which you can use to track the status of the delivery online. When the piece gets delivered, you’re notified of the time and date of delivery.


Certified Mail gives you proof of delivery. If someone claims they didn’t receive your package, you can prove it got delivered.


You can’t insure Certified Mail the way you can with Registered Mail.


Certified Mail isn’t transported in a locked compartment the way Registered Mail is.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,599
Registered: ‎08-19-2014

I live in New York. I had to mail plates back to the DMV. I did it through overnight mail.. It got there without any issues.It cost a little extra but it was worth not having the stress.Piece of mind is worth it.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,331
Registered: ‎05-02-2017



During the holidays, I sent a small package with USPS 3 day Priority, with signature and insurance.  It took over three weeks to arrive!


Priority express is supposed to be overnight---similar to Fed Ex.


If the items are extremely important, I would only send by Fed Ex.  You can track Fed Ex very easily.


The USPS is having many problems, and UPS is only a step above...


Yes, it costs more, but peace of mine is priceless.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,811
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

DH and I went to DMV yesterday to renew his license.  It took twenty minutes without an appointment ( less capacity during Covid but very safe, lots of barriers).  I've been so impressed with Arizona DMV in 14 years I've lived here (boy I wish California could copy their efficiency and professionalism).

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,913
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: The best Method To Mail

[ Edited ]

It can be expensive but I'd never send official documents any way but priority or overnight.  If they contain any personal information, I'd send overnight. You can put the tracking number in and track it and get confirmation of delivery.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,580
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

I wouldn't use any of it.  LOL


I work in an office and we've had issues with everything from USPS to FedEx to UPS.  


We have to send out a lot of certified mail and because of Covid, the carriers aren't required to obtain a signature on the green card. They are allowed to put it in the mailbox and write Covid in the signature block.  You have no idea if it was really delivered, to whom or who rec'd it, if anyone.


2 weeks ago we sent some very important documents and checks out via FedEx overnight. They were not delivered due to weather.  As of today, they have still not been delivered to those who were supposed to get them nor have they come back to us.  They are floating around somewhere.    

Honored Contributor
Posts: 23,602
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

The quality of Fed-Ex varies wildly depending on where you live. Here, it's horrible. I let out an audible groan where I hear something is coming Fed-Ex. I've got a "two-day" Fed-Ex package that's been in Boise Idaho for four days now. I don't think of Boise, Idaho as being an especially busy Fed-Ex hub, but for whatever reason, my package is just hanging out there instead of coming here. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday, then today, now it's tomorrow. Since it's been in Boise since Sunday morning and it's still there, I'm not wildly optimistic.


The post office and UPS are great here, but horrible elsewhere. Amazon is great here. Fed-Ex is a nightmare.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,006
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

I don't know about 2021 but in 2020, no signatures were required for anything, due to COVID-19.  USPS for certified mail nor UPS for packages.

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore to be happy”. (By Nightbirde, singer of the song, It’s Ok)
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,446
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@Jordan2 - I had to go to the DMV in August and I was surprised at how organized it was. Had to make an appt which I did online and only people with appts were allowed inside. The chairs were appropriately spaced and you got called to go inside when they were ready.


If you really need to send something, I would go certified mail so you know they received it and make copies of everything you send.


Good Luck. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 30,277
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

If I need something to get their quickly with a signature; I send it via FEDEX.