Of course they can, but you better have a valid reason other than it being a personal reason (i.e. you don’t like that person religion, the way they look or dressed, the papers being notarized).
Some years ago I had to go to the police headquarters in Yaphank, NY to renew my gun permit to fill out the permit on the spot because I had not receive it in the mail. I was then told I needed to have it notarized. So, off I went looking for a notary in Yaphank, NY.
A mile down the road I came to a Public Works Office, I ask if anyone is a notary & I was told this certain lady was. When I found her, I presented her with my gun permit renewal papers & she said “I don’t think I can do that”. I’m not sure what she meant by that comment, but after becoming a notary I think she might of had some kind of prejudice towards guns & did not want to stamp it for personal reasons.. Little did I know I could have reported her to the Secretary of State of NY for refusing a valid notary for personal reasons.
In another situation, I’m going to meet a client at a bank lobby. But my client is impatient & goes into the bank to ask a bank employee to notarize his paper. He signs it in front of the notary & she refuses to stamp it because his signature does not match his picture ID. I looked at his picture & it matched his ID. Is that right? Can you refuse a notarization just because the signature does not match?
In another case, I once notarize a client who was at least 85 years old, her signature looked like the edge of a hack saw blade. It took her a good 2 minutes to make that signature. Should I have refuse to notarize her document?
I once had a notarization reject by NYC Vital Records because they said the signature did not match the applicants ID, It did not matter if a notary acknowledge the signature. So, don’t think just because you acknowledge a signature it won’t be reject because it does not match the affiant’s ID.
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