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Time Zones in Mexico

Multiple Time Zones

Country: Mexico
Long Name: United Mexican States
Abbreviations: MX, MEX
Capital: Mexico City
Time Zones: 3
Dial Code: +52

Time Zones Currently Being Used in Mexico

OffsetTime Zone Abbreviation & NameExample CityCurrent Time
UTC -7PDTPacific Daylight TimeTijuanaWed, 12:43:31 am
MSTMountain Standard TimeHermosilloWed, 12:43:31 am
UTC -6MDTMountain Daylight TimeMazatlanWed, 1:43:31 am
UTC -5CDTCentral Daylight TimeMexico CityWed, 2:43:31 am
ESTEastern Standard TimeCancúnWed, 2:43:31 am

How Many Time Zones Are There in Mexico?

With its varying Daylight Saving Time (DST) schedules, Mexico's time zone situation frequently causes confusion. The country has four standard time zones, which mirror the time zones in the contiguous United States. There are three corresponding DST time zones.

The central and most of the eastern parts of the country, including its capital Mexico City, observe Central Standard Time (Zona Centro). Most of western Mexico, including the states of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora, use Mountain Standard Time (Zona Pacífico).

These two areas, covering nearly all of Mexico, are flanked by much smaller time zones in the country's far east and far west. The state of Baja California, bordering California and the Pacific Ocean, is on Pacific Standard Time (Zona Noroeste); Quintana Roo, Mexico's easternmost state, observes Eastern Standard Time (Zona Sureste).

Generalized Time Zones in Mexico

Time Zone Abbreviation & NameOffsetCurrent Time
PTPacific TimeUTC -8:00 / -7:00Wed, 12:43:31 am
MTMountain TimeUTC -7:00 / -6:00Wed, 1:43:31 am
CTCentral TimeUTC -6:00 / -5:00Wed, 2:43:31 am

Like in the US, Mexico's time zones are often referred to by their generic name, without making a difference between standard time and Daylight Saving Time designations. For example, Central Time (CT) refers to Central Standard Time (CST) or Central Daylight Time (CDT), depending on which is currently in use.

Note: Local time in these time zones changes when Daylight Saving Time begins and ends.

Time Zones Not Currently Being Observed in Mexico

OffsetTime Zone Abbreviation & NameCommences
UTC -8PSTPacific Standard TimeNov 6, 2022
UTC -6CSTCentral Standard TimeOct 30, 2022

The above time zones are used during other parts of the year. They will become active again after the next clock change as Daylight Saving Time begins or ends.

Time Zone History of Mexico

In Mexico, standard time was introduced in 1922. Until then, each location in the country had been using solar mean time, based on its longitude. In Mexico City, it was 6 hours, 36 minutes, and 36 seconds behind GMT, then the world's time standard.

In 1922, Mexico turned its clocks back by 23 minutes and 24 seconds, so the local time was exactly 7 hours behind GMT. In 1928, clocks in Mexico's capital city were advanced by 1 hour to CST, the time zone it still observes as standard time today.

At first, Mexico was divided into only two time zones. The number increased over the years. Quintana Roo's switch to Eastern Standard Time (EST) in 2015 constituted the latest addition.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022