From The Blog

The Basics of Commercial Gate Access for Your Service Providers, Contractors and Deliveries

The Kiawah Island Community Association manages all Kiawah Island gate access, including access for commercial businesses like your service providers, contractors, delivery companies, and more. Since Kiawah is a private island, access is carefully managed and all commercial entities must pay a fee to enter the island, even if a member has requested their services. Not all companies may be familiar with Kiawah’s gate access policies or fees, so be sure to talk to your service providers about gate access before they come to the island. 

How Commercial Access Works

Commercial businesses are responsible for obtaining a gate pass before access to the island is granted, either at the Commercial Pass Office or at the Main Gate. This process requires the driver to show a valid driver’s license and a current vehicle registration and insurance. The access pass authorizes a vehicle to enter the island and proceed to the submitted address for service. Once a pass is obtained, commercial access is only permitted on certain days: Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If these hours are abused, KICA can revoke access to the business. 

Payment Responsibility

By default, the business is responsible for paying for their gate access, although a member can call Security (843-768-5566) or email ([email protected]) in advance to authorize payment for the business’s one-day access, to be charged to their member account. Some businesses that aren’t familiar with Kiawah’s gate access policies may be unprepared and unwilling to pay. In this case, the member requesting their services is contacted to see if they would like to pay on behalf of the business. Members have the right to authorize payment and access, or refuse payment and access.

Many large local companies purchase decals for their fleet of vehicles, and may already have annual gate access. Some companies or types of businesses, like FedEx, charities and home health aides, are exempt from commercial fees and are granted access during commercial hours, but it’s always best to check with the business first to see if they have access, or will need to get a pass.

You can refer your service providers to for access rates and vehicle decal forms.

How the Fees Benefit the Kiawah Community

The commercial access fee was enacted at the 1994 KICA Annual Meeting as a way to augment funding for the maintenance and upkeep of the island’s private roads. The income from commercial gate access is substantial: in 2023, KICA received $2.15 million in access fees. The majority (85%) of this revenue funds road repairs, as the traffic from commercial customers incurs wear and tear on our island’s private roads. Commercial vehicles with six or more wheels pay more for access than a vehicle with four wheels, as the larger vehicles are heavier and have a greater impact on the condition of roadways. A small portion (15%) of the commercial gate access income also funds the administrative side of managing commercial access operations.

Visit for all gate access information and our Security department is available 24/7 to answer your questions or assist you with gate access for your requested service providers or guests.