When Do We Fall Back? Time Change Date for Autumn Season

The first day of fall ushers in a change of seasons, but the clocks will remain as they've been since March—at least for another six weeks.

Tuesday marks the first day of the new season, and the saying that we "fall back" into daylight saving time can cause confusion as to when the change occurs. However, the first day of fall and the turning back of the clocks have little to do with each other, and America won't return to standard time until November 1.

On that morning, at 2 a.m. to be exact, clocks will be turned back one hour to move from daylight saving time to standard time. Since this occurs in the fall, which goes until December 21 this year, the saying "fall back" has been used as a reminder that people will gain an hour of sleep, with "spring forward" indicating they will lose an hour.

Cellphone clocks make the change automatically, and it's common for those who have analog or digital clocks that must be changed manually to do it before they go to bed. This year, though, there's an effort to prevent that change from happening at all.

when do we turn clocks back time
The time on a clock is adjusted for the end of daylight saving time at Brown's Old Time Clock Shop in Plantation, Florida, on November 2, 2007. Tuesday is the first day of fall, but clocks don't get turned back until November 1. Joe Raedle/Getty

On Wednesday, Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced a bill that would keep the United States on daylight saving time until November 2021. Rubio called the additional daylight hour "critical" to helping families and children endure this "challenging school year," as well as being beneficial to lowering crime rates and improving mental health.

"Our government has asked a lot of the American people over the past seven months, and keeping the nation on daylight saving time is just one small step we can take to help ease the burden," Rubio said in a statement.

As governor of Florida, Scott signed the Sunshine Protection Act to keep the state on daylight saving time year-round. However, the measure can't be enacted without Congress taking action, as the Uniform Time Act of 1966 allows states to opt out of only daylight saving time, not standard time. President Donald Trump gave his approval to making daylight saving time permanent in a March 2019 tweet, and it's a change Rubio has pushed for on a national level at least twice.

If his congressional colleagues won't get on board for a permanent fix, Rubio said, it is time for the temporary solution to provide American families with "a year of stability" during a time when a pandemic has forced many changes upon them.

To avoid a changing of the clocks in November, the bill would have to pass the House and Senate and get Trump's signature. If it does become law, clocks also won't "spring forward" in March, as they're scheduled to do.