We all know that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, even if it has yet to gain statehood. It only makes sense that you may be wondering whether Puerto Rico has the same time zone as other places in the US. So, does it?
Puerto Rico does not share a time zone with any part of the continental United States. It operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST). This time zone is shared with the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of Canada. This does change slightly in the summer when, due to Daylight Savings Time, AST and EST become the same.
Let’s explain in a bit more depth, shall we?
What is Atlantic Standard Time?
Atlantic Standard Time is the time zone for a select part of the Atlantic Ocean. The time zone is UTC+4.
Both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands follow AST, although they are the only parts of the United States to do so. In addition to this, some parts of Canada also observe AST.
Does Puerto Rico Have Daylight Savings Time?
No. Because Puerto Rico is so close to the equator, it doesn’t need to use DST. This is because the length of the nights doesn’t change all that much. There is no need to adjust the time because it wouldn’t have a major impact on a working day.
This does, however, mean that Puerto Rico and parts of the United States do have the same time on their clock during the summer months. When the summer rolls around, Puerto Rico’s clocks will match the clocks of anybody that lives in the EST zone.
While we suppose this could technically mean that Puerto Rico and the US do share a time zone, it isn’t legally the case. The two time zones are distinct from one another, and there will only be a small amount of overlap during the year. For the other part of the year, Puerto Rico’s clocks match parts of Canada as opposed to the United States.
Could The Continental US Ever Share a Time Zone With Puerto Rico?
Oddly enough, yes.
About a decade ago, there was a push for all of the states that operate on Eastern Standard Time (EST) to move to AST. This means that there is a chance that it could happen in the future, although potential legislation seems to have gone nowhere, thus far. If this does happen, it is likely to be instead of DST.
It is unlikely that the time zone for Puerto Rico would be changed. It is not like they are the only place using this time zone. Plus, there is nothing wrong with operating on AST. The locations that Puerto Ricans are likely to do the most business with are operating roughly within the same times anyway i.e. EST states.
Puerto Rico operates on AST, which is UTC+4. This time zone is not shared with any state in the US, although there is some overlap during DST.