I've lived in NC for almost 20 years now, 2 different areas and have never gotten out of the DMV for a DL in less than 4 hours and that was before the REAL ID. Now that you can renew on line, that's what I did the last time, which meant no REAL ID. However, it is a legal Driver's License. Just after Jan 1 2020 you can't use it for flying or getting on a military base. We're going to be moving within the next year (husband has new job and is in an apt there, but keeping this address as main address until we can get something to move us to). Once we do that we have to get new DL's anyway with a new address so I may look into getting the REAL ID then. (It's rare to get out of the DMV for license plate renewals in less than 2 hours where I currently live. Where I used to live that could easily be done in 15 to 20 minutes).