Bank Notary Refused because I am not a Customer

That is not only rude, impolite and bad business; it’s also illegal. On my web site there is a link for Notary Laws and Procedures. At that link leads to a direct link to the official notary law for New York State. Under Section 195 “Official Misconduct” which is defined as a “Class A Misdemeanor” it states: Notary must officiate on request.
The Penal Law (§195.00) provides that an officer before whom an oath or affidavit may be taken is bound to administer the same when requested, and a refusal to do so is a misdemeanor.

Thus, it is illegal for a Notary Public to refuse to notarize a document when requested. There are some practical limitations to the requirement. You certainly cannot demand entrance to a private residence to see a notary; no rule requires that the notary permit you into their home. It is generally viewed as applicable to “places of public accommodation”, such as a bank, law office, or pharmacy. You probably would not be able to disrupt someone’s lunch break. But the flat out refusal because you are not a “customer” is totally improper. If you run into this situation; print out a copy of the law from my site, and remind the reticent notary that they took an oath to uphold the notary laws of New York State – and criminal penalties apply to lawbreakers.

There is a practical side to public places. You generally have to wait your turn, sometimes in a very long line. “Walk In” notaries are not always available at your convenience. Some are only available on certain days and / or times of the day. Their primary job certainly takes precedence over their secondary accommodation of providing notary services. It’s a good idea for you to find out what day / time the “walk in” notary will be available. When goes to you – at the place and time that suits you best; there is absolutely no wait. In fact, generally arriving a few minutes early, I check my email while waiting for you to become available. If you arrive with a complete “loan package” and require 43 notarizations; I doubt if you would be accommodated. Even the New York County Clerk will not process a large number of notarizations for an individual – it is too disruptive to the others waiting on line for service. It’s different when you have an appointment and the notary can allocate sufficient time for your processing.

There are some gray areas related to what a notary will process. Some notaries refuse to do Powers of Attorney, or documents in a Foreign Language. Banks typically refuse both. The former, they see as an exposure of the bank to possible litigation. The latter, I can only guess, is fear of the unknown. There is no legal requirement for me to be able to read the document. I only need to be able to administer the notary oath to the person signing in English, the only language I know. It is not permitted to administer the oath via an interpreter. There are probably other “cases” – but the general law is inflexible. The notary must accommodate your request as long as it is, in the notary’s opinion lawful. That includes proper date, lack of blank spaces, proper ID, etc.