Officers in Aberdeen are the first in the country to use the scanners which are linked to a national fingerprint database and can alert police if the prints match a record.
The devices will save "several hours" of police time by cutting out escorted journeys to stations to check identities, senior officers believe.
The devices have proved a success with many English forces, including West Midlands Police, who were able to identify about 2,200 people, including some who were wanted in connection with criminal investigations, during a six-month trial.
If they prove a success in Aberdeen, they could be used across Scotland.
Chief inspector Nick Topping said: "It can be a considerable impact on our time to have to convey people to a police station in order to confirm their identification where there may be dubiety.
"The mobile scanners can quickly confirm this and, ultimately, free up officers to be on the streets protecting the public.
"It will also ensure that members of the public who we need to speak to in relation to our enquiries are not unnecessarily delayed in going about their own business.
"The scanners will also provide opportunities for police to detect the small minority who may attempt to pervert the course of justice by providing false details.
"There are numerous examples where these devices have been used very effectively in ensuring officers have been able to quickly conclude their enquiries and be available to provide further service within the local communities."