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Where Washington stands on making Daylight Saving Time permanent

Here is why Washington does not currently observe permanent Daylight Saving Time.

WASHINGTON, USA — Despite state lawmakers approving permanent Daylight Saving Time in 2019, Washingtonians will still need to adjust their clocks on Sunday, March 12.

The change will happen at 2 a.m. local time across much of the United States.

Two states don't observe daylight saving time at all, refusing to roll their clocks forward and backward every year. But Hawaii and Arizona are outliers, relying on a loophole in a 57-year-old federal law that requires states to stay on daylight saving time. 

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 mandates the country use daylight saving time, but allows states to opt out and exempt themselves from the practice. 

Just in the last five years, 19 states, including Washington, have passed legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

However, Washington can't do away with standard time unless given Congressional approval. 

Federal law allows states to opt out of Daylight Saving Time, but it doesn’t allow states to do the opposite. Hawaii and Arizona both operate on standard time year-round.

If Washington were to move to Daylight Saving Time year-round, we would stay on the same time we currently observe from March through November. We would keep later sunsets in the summer, but the change would be more noticeable in the winter months.

Unless that happens, it will be about eight months until Washingtonians need to reset their clocks again when standard time returns and we "fall back" on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023.

No matter how you feel about Daylight Saving Time, this time of year is a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should also check the clocks in your car, microwave, oven and non-smart devices.

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