What is the time zone of North Dakota?

North Dakota is divided into two time zones. About 80% of the state, including the cities of Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot are in the Central Time zone and observing daylight savings so there are two different clocks depending on the time of year. 

  • Central Standard Time (CST): – 6:00 UTC/GMT (behind)
  • Central Daylight Time (CDT): – 5:00 UTC/GMT (behind)

The southern west part of North Dakota is in the Mountain Time zone and is observing daylight savings so there are two different time zones depending on the time of year. 

  • Mountain Standard Time (MST): – 7:00 UTC/GMT (behind)
  • Mountain Daylight Time (MDT): – 6:00 UTC/GMT (behind)
Central Time
Mountain Time
USA states time zones
us state North Dakota counties time zone map
North Dakota time zone

The neighbouring state of Minnesota is the Central time zone, just as the east part of South Dakota, but you will be entering the Mountain Time zone when crossing the border with Montana or west part of South Dakota. When you cross the Canadian border with either Saskatchewan or Manitoba, you will also remain in the same zone as you’re in.

Zone boundary

The North Dakota time zone border between Central and Mountain time roughly follows the Missouri River and Yellowstone river.

North Dakota time zone border
North Dakota time zone border

The official border is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §71.7. (a):

North Dakota CFR

Daylight savings time (DST)

North Dakota is using daylight savings as also documented in the Uniform Time Act of 1966. During daylight savings the time changes from Standard time to Daylight time, so CST becomes CDT and MST becomes MDT depending on the location.

It starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. In March the clock is moved forward from 02.00 am to 03.00 am (so you will lose an hour of sleep during the night). While in November it’s reversed as the clock is moved backward from 03.00 am to 02.00 am and you will gain an extra hour of sleep. One way of remembering the movement sequence is that clocks “spring forward and fall back”.

The total period of daylight savings lasts for 34 weeks which is about 65% of the year.

daylight savings central time zone
daylight savings mountain time zone

North Dakota time news, bills and legislation

There is a continuous debate about which time should be applied. Several bills have been introduced to legalize daylight saving time as the year-round clock, whereas others try to align the time with bordering counties or states. The table below gives an overview of the latest bills in the state of North Dakota.

Date Bill Status/Action Title/summary
19 Apr 2021 1371 Second reading, failed to pass, yeas 36 nays 56 A BILL for an Act to create and enact a new section to chapter 1-08 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to requiring the state to observe daylight saving time year round; to repeal section 40-01-20 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to...
10 Mar 2021 2201 Second reading, failed to pass, yeas 25 nays 67 A BILL for an Act to create and enact a new section to chapter 1-08 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to requiring the state to observe daylight saving time year round; to repeal section 40-01-20 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to...
14 Jan 2021 1321 Intro, Withdrawn from further consideration A BILL for an Act to create and enact a new section to chapter 1-08 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to exemption of recognition of daylight saving time; and to repeal section 40-01-20 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to daylight ...

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