Certified mail allows the sender to obtain proof the addressee has received the letter or parcel. Only first class and priority mail can qualify for certification. The United States Postal Service is required to obtain a signature of receipt from the addressee. The signature, time and date of the signing can all be used in a court of law as evidence if necessary. The postal service has made it very easy to check the status of certified mail online.

Find your receipt. When you certify a letter, the postal service provides you with a receipt. The receipt will have a tracking number.

Go online to the postal service's website (see Resources).

On the homepage, click the "Track & Confirm" link at the top of the page.

You will be prompted to enter your receipt number. Do so and click the "Go" button to the left of the field.

The status of your certified letter will be displayed. If you opted to have a copy of the signature logged by the postal service, it will also be displayed.